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College Chargebacks, Fair Housing Law, Local Development Corporation

Added construction costs, contract extensions and county communications appear as agenda items for the four legislative committees meeting on Tuesday.

 

Diverse issues face legislature committees from asking the state to review community college chargeback laws to setting a public hearing dates on amending the Fair Housing Law and transferring the Summit Park Nursing Care Center to a Local Development Corporation (LDC). The series of committee meetings on Tuesday also deal with added construction costs for roads and consulting fees for the county’s public communication system plus departmental reviews. 

The Public Safety Committee will discuss county communications during emergencies and vote on using $10,000 in federal forfeiture funds for the purchase of 2013 New York State Law Enforcement Handbooks for all county law enforcement agencies when it meets at 5:15 p.m.

The Multi Services Committee which meets at 6 p.m. will set a date for a public hearing on amending the county’s Fair Housing Law.  According to the resolution before the committee, “The purpose of this amendment to the Rockland County Fair Housing Law is to prevent landlords from discriminating against people who receive lawful sources of income.” The types of income named are social security and public assistance.

Planning & Public Works is set to begin its meeting at 7 p.m. and vote on resolutions to extend contracts for digital mapping and consulting on a communications system plus fund added costs for the reconstruction of New Hempstead Road. 

Construction inspection costs for the New Hempstead Road project are higher than originally planned by $1.3 million. The committee will vote to cover those expenses and authorize the county executive and county highway superintendent to apply for reimbursement from the federal government and state Department of Transportation. The project is being paid for with 80 percent federal funds and 20 percent non-federal funds. The project’s initial estimate was $24,725,000 but now increases to $26,025,000.  

The committee will vote on extending the contract for the county’s digital tax map.  The amendment would add $116,118 for a total contract cost of $348,279 with James W. Sewall Company of Old Town, ME. The agreement covers the maintenance and hosting of the mapping service from March 1, 2013 to Feb. 28, 2014.

Another contract amendment deals with the county’s public safety communications system. It is the third amendment to extend Valley Cottage-based Avstar Corporation’s contract for consulting services for the development, design, implementation and construction of the system. The $15,000 amendment would increase the total contract cost to $165,000, for the time period from Sept. 10, 2007 through March 10, 2014.

An operational review of the functions of the county’s Office of Fire & Emergency Services is also on Planning & Public Works’ agenda.

The Budget & Finance Committee will set a date for a public hearing on the transfer of Summit Park to an LDC when it convenes at 7:15 p.m. Members will consider several resolutions dealing with Memorandums of Agreement with the county’s unions and non union salaried management and the 2013 target voluntary separation incentive program. 

Its members will vote on a resolution seeking the governor and state legislature to review the community college chargeback and funding laws and make changes for “adequate, fair and accurate funding.” Specially, the resolution asks that FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) no longer be included in the college chargeback program and instead limit chargeback costs to associate’s degree and certificate programs. The resolution notes that chargeback costs for community colleges per student amount to hundreds of dollars compared to tens of thousands of dollars for residents attending FIT’s four-year program. Additionally, it calls upon the state to provide funding consistent with Education Law.   

Budget and Finance will also conduct a review of the function of the Budget/Management and Finance departments.

 

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