Tag Archives: Legislator Jake Mulcahey

Legislators approve DSS temporary relocation deal

by Carol Thompson

When the Oswego County Legislature met recently, the final order of business was to approve a contract for the temporary relocation of the Oswego County Department of Social Services (DSS).

The department will be temporarily located in the former Cayuga County Community College location in Fulton while contractors complete an asbestos abatement project with a cost that has escalated from double to triple digits.

The county received three bids for the moving project.

The highest bid was received from Delaney Moving of Syracuse, who submitted a proposal of $149,900. The second lowest bidder was Syracuse-based Fox Hollow Movers at $125,920.

The low bidder, Greater Syracuse Moving, was awarded the bid at a cost of $79,367.

Legislator Doug Malone cast the lone opposing vote with Legislator Art Ospelt absent and Legislator Amy Tresidder excused due to a death in the family.

County Administrator Phil Church said the bid is higher than the original budget estimate.

Other bids are due soon for construction and electrical and the legislature will make a decision what work beyond the asbestos abatement that they want to approve.

Legislator James Karasek said the public should be informed that a good portion of the increase is due to complying with HIPAA laws and the moving of confidential files.

“That drove the cost up a great deal on this,” he said, adding that the legislature wasn’t aware of it when the project planning was started.

Legislator Jake Mulcahey said he is concerned because the project is only in phase one and the costs are already $50,000 more than anticipated. “It’s very substantial,” he said.

To read the rest of the story, pick up the latest copy of The Valley News. You may also subscribe to the paper by calling 598-6397

DSS asbestos abatement costs remain a concern for legislators

by Carol Thompson

Members of the Oswego County Legislature’s Finance and Personnel Committee raised concerns over the rising cost of removing asbestos ceiling tiles from the Department of Social Services complex located in Mexico.

During Tuesday’s meeting, the committee approved a capital project of $1.5 million, which is the cost of asbestos abatement and the relocation of staff to a temporary facility.

The state will pay 75 percent of the cost with the local share at $366,585.

Legislator Jake Mulcahey expressed concerns with the rising cost of the project. Legislator Robert Hayes said that the legislators can chose to eliminate certain items from the project that may not be deemed necessary.

“We can throughout this project, not do something on the list,” said Hayes. “That’s my understanding.”

County Administrator Phil Church clarified that each component of the project will be bid out and legislators can review those bids and approve or disapprove.

“You can indicate what work you want done through the bidding process,” he said.

Church said the legislature can reject any part of the bid. He added that each bid could be structured with different components.

To read the rest of the story, pick up the latest copy of The Valley News. You may also subscribe to the paper by calling 598-6397

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DSS asbestos costs to climb

by Carol Thompson

Two members of the Oswego County Legislature’s Infrastructure and Facilities Committee voted against the transfer of more money for the asbestos abatement project at the Department of Social Services complex in Mexico.

“I don’t know that I’m going to be able to support all this,” Legislator Jake Mulcahey said as a request for a capital project be amended to a maximum authorization of $1,566,341.

“I support moving out the employees, I support abating all the asbestos in the building and potentially replacing the carpets,” Mulcahey said, adding that he was not sure he could support everything else.

Asbestos was discovered in the ceiling tiles earlier this year, following a complaint reportedly made by an employee. County Administrator Phil Church told the committee that employees in the newer part of the building have also expressed concerns and that additional testing will be conducted.

While the state is expected to pick up 75 percent of the cost, taxpayers will contribute more than a quarter million dollars to the project.

The asbestos abatement is expected to cost $214,250 with the construction costs estimated to be slightly over $1 million.  The entire project is estimated to cost over $1.5 million.

To read the rest of the story, pick up the latest copy of The Valley News. You may also subscribe to the paper by calling 598-6397
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Legislators discuss clerk memo behind closed doors

by Carol Thompson

A memo issued by acting Oswego County Clerk Georgiana Mansfield was the subject of a closed-door session during Wednesday’s meeting of the legislature’s Community and Consumer Affairs Committee.

The memo, issued Sept. 20 states, “Any contact with representatives of the public, media or legislators concerning the functioning of the Oswego County Clerk’s office or any topic concerning this office not related to the filing, recording or searching of documents will be handled solely by the acting county clerk or the deputy clerk.”

Legislators held a lengthy executive session and adjourned the meeting as soon as reconvened. Legislator Terry Wilbur, who serves as committee chairman, said after the meeting that he could not comment on the executive session.

Legislator Jake Mulcahey attempted to discuss the memo in the public session and the executive session was called for the reason of “proposed litigation or arbitration” as well as Article 14 of the Taylor Law.

County Attorney Richard Mitchell added the session was for pending or proposed litigation and/or arbitration and the employment history of a particular person or persons or matters leading to the appointment, employment, promotion, demotion, discipline, suspension, dismissal or removal of a particular person or persons.

While legislators are being tip-lipped following the executive session, they were vocal prior to the meeting.

 To read the rest of the story, pick up the latest copy of The Valley News. You may also subscribe to the paper by calling 598-6397
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GOP legislators block property tax break

by Carol Thompson

Republican lawmakers blocked an effort by the Democrat caucus that would allow homeowners who make improvements to their property to receive a tax break.

During Wednesday’s meeting of the Oswego County Legislature’s Consumer and Community Affairs Committee, a resolution was presented to schedule a public hearing on the issue.

Legislator Jake Mulcahey, a Democrat, made the motion to set the hearing date. Legislators Dan Chalifoux, Mary Flett, Kevin Gardner, Terry Wilbur, John Martino and Robert Hayes, all Republicans, sat in silence.

With the lack of a second to the motion, the resolution cannot be brought to the floor. “I guess it dies then,” said Wilbur, who chairs the committee.

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