Highlights from the August 1 meeting of the
Tompkins County Board of Representatives
NEW BUYER FOUND FOR BIGGS A
In an executive session following its regular meeting, the Board unanimously (13-0; Barbara Blanchard and Nancy Schuler were absent) approved a contract to sell the Biggs A building to Klaff Realty, LP, a Chicago-based developer, for $250,000. The price will be lowered to $200,000 if the buyer can close the deal within 100 days. Klaff Realty proposes to use the 150,000-square-foot building, adjacent to Cayuga Medical Center, for commercial office space with a focus on high-tech firms. Two previous offers to buy Biggs A have fallen through, largely because each was contingent on various government grants, tax credits, and the need to have the building designated as an historical site. The current offer has a better chance of success, said Board Chair Barbara Mink, because it contains no such contingencies. Biggs A was constructed in 1932 as a state hospital. It served as the Tompkins County Hospital from 1956 to 1979. From 1985 to 1997, it was home to the Department of Social Services and other not-for-profit and County agencies. The purchase would include 11.5 acres of land. Me
BOARD TABLES NON-RESIDENT ADVISORY BOARD LAW
A vote on a local law that would allow residents of counties bordering on Tompkins to serve on groups that advise the Board of Representatives was postponed. The prospective law is being sent back to the Government Operations Committee for more revisions.
SHERIFF REPORTS CLEAN BILL OF HEALTH FOR COUNTY JAIL
Tompkins County Sheriff Peter Meskill gave Board members a copy of the annual inspection report of the County jail by the New York State Commission of Corrections. Meskill noted that that annual report was the first since 1987 that found no deficiencies in the jail facility. He commended the corrections staff, particularly Chief of Corrections Debra Niemi (pronounced NEE-m’eye), who has headed up the corrections unit for the past year. Among areas the state inspectors look at are: security, visitation, food service, sanitation, exercise, staffing, and the grievance process.
BOARD CANCELS SECOND AUGUST MEETING
The Board agreed to cancel its August 15 meeting, for lack of business. The next meeting of the Board of Representatives will be September 5.