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September 27, 2013

Delaware board discusses bed tax, dairy

By Cheryl Petersen Contributing Writer
The Daily Star

---- — A bed tax discussion, a Cornell Cooperative Extension presentation, and congratulations to Sherry Homan, employee of the month, occupied the Delaware County Board of Supervisors meeting Wednesday.

Homan began working as a Delaware County social worker in 2002 and now supervises the social workers.

“Sherry oversees 1,200 clients and 12 clinicians besides working with many agencies,” said mental-health director Cindy Heaney. “She is resourceful and respectful. It’s an honor to award her employee of October.”

Jeanne Darling and Paul Cerosaletti, Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) staff members, then brought the board of supervisors up to date on the activities offered in the county through CCE. “Science, technology, engineering and math are being introduced into 4-H programs,” said Darling. “Human Ecology promotes healthy eating and families. And, agricultural education plays a vital role in the county.”

“As for the future of CCE, the organization is looking to expand on its day camps and school programs to help children socially and emotionally. CCE will also work with initiatives such as the Dairy Acceleration Program,” said Darling.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Dairy Acceleration Program is designed to assist New York dairy farmers develop strategic business plans. Funds are made available to remodel facilities or create farmstead plans on farms with lactating dairy cattle.

Supervisors Bruce Dolph and Michael Triolo, who serve on the finance committee, broached the idea of applying a bed tax in Delaware County.

“In a greater effort to support the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber could use bed tax monies to pay for advertising,” said Dolph.

“It’s a budget negotiation,” said Triolo. “The bed tax would increase revenue without raising property taxes. Moreover, Sen. (James) Seward has indicated he’d introduce the bed tax to the Legislature.”

“We can return to our towns and talk to our constituents about a potential bed tax,” said Dolph. “We estimate a bed tax would bring in between $40,000 and $50,000 per year.”

Two resolutions seeking financial relief were approved by the Board, one to urge the governor and state Legislature to avoid shifting new costs to counties in regard to the takeover of local Medicaid administrative functions. The other resolution called on the governor and Legislature to continue to support a gradual reduction in the local share of Medicaid costs by augmenting automatic federal savings that accrue to New York counties under the Affordable Care Act.

Michael Sabansky was re-appointed as Director of Real Property Tax Services II for a six-year term.

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) owns, maintains and operates approximately 39 miles of public roads around the Pepacton and Cannonsville Reservoirs.

“The roads are in poor shape and the city has agreed to spend $1 million for road repairs. That will repair about 2 miles and the work probably won’t be finished until year 2014,” said Wayne Reynolds, commissioner of public works. The board voted to enter into an agreement with the city for the road reconstruction.

The week of Oct. 6-12 was designated as Cornell Cooperative Extension Week and National 4-H Week in Delaware County during its Centennial Year of CCE in the county.