Highlights from the October 5, 1999 meeting of the
Tompkins County Board of Representatives
BOARD APPROVES LEASE AGREEMENT WITH FINGER LAKES LIBRARY SYSTEM
The Finger Lakes Library System will be a 10-year tenant in the new Tompkins County Public Library facility when the renovated building on Green Street opens next fall. The Board of Representatives unanimously approved a lease agreement with Finger Lakes, the regional inter-library loan system that is housed in the current library building. The annual lease amount negotiated with Finger Lakes is $66,315 per year for the first three years, with cost-of-living adjustments in subsequent years. Finger Lakes currently pays the County $58,679 a year for its space in the old library building. Finger Lakes will also make a one-time payment of $50,000 to help finish about 6,100 square feet of interior space in the new library building for its offices and workrooms.
BOARD DISAGREES, DELAYS VOTE ON MEMBERSHIP RULES FOR EMC
After more than 40 minutes of discussion, the Board of Representatives sent back to committee a resolution outlining new rules governing membership on the Environmental Management Council (EMC). The proposed changes attempt to solve several concerns, including fair representation from the towns and villages, how to fill long-vacant seats, and assuring communication between the council and the municipalities. A point of contention was how to balance EMC membership so that municipalities have sufficient representation. Although all Board members appeared to agree with current policy that allows each of 16 municipalities in the County to nominate a resident to serve on the council, they disagreed on the number of at-large members who could be appointed. The Board also debated a proposal to fill vacant municipal seats with at-large members. The proposal was returned to the Planning, Intergovernmental Relations and Education Committee (PIRE) for more work.
ULYSSES LIBRARY RECEIVES REVITALIZATION GRANT
The Board unanimously approved $7,500 in a County-funded Commercial Center Revitalization grant for the new Ulysses Philomathic Library. The funding will help the library install walkways and plantings. The Ulysses library, which dates from 1811 when the book collection was housed in a store, is constructing a new 8,000-square foot building on Main Street in Trumansburg. ("Philomathic" derives from Greek and means "love of learning.")
BOARD APPROVES EMC RECOMMENDATION ON PROTECTION OF FOREST LAND
The Board approved by an 11-4 vote (Reps. Proto, Todd, Totman, and Winch voted no) a recom-mendation from the Environmental Management Council that protection of the environment should be the yardstick for decisions on what recreational activities are allowable in state forests. The state Department of Environmental Conservation invited the County to comment on a master plan for state forests in this region.