Tag Archives: Legislator James Karasek

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

Legislators critical of college

by Carol Thompson

When the Oswego County Department of Social Services found a temporary home while asbestos abatement is underway, not all legislators approved of the rental fee that will need to be paid.

When the Oswego County Legislature met Thursday, a lease agreement with Cayuga County Community College sparked discussion.

The college agreed to temporarily house the employees while the work is under construction at a cost of $5 per square foot for 19,900 square feet.

Minority Leader Mike Kunzwiler asked how the price was derived. County Administrator Phil Church said it was done through negotiations with the college.

Legislator James Karasek said he had concerns with the lease. He said when Cayuga County Community College recently held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the expansion that it was noted the Oswego County campus is now larger than the Cayuga County campus.

The result, Karasek said, is that more students will be enrolling in the Oswego County campus. County taxpayers are required under state law to pay for one-half of each students tuition.

“It’s eating up their tax bills,” Karasek said of the tuition. “My concern with this is that many times the college comes to us for support.”

Karasek said he is not opposed to higher education. “I’m very disappointed that the college that has empty, vacant space would come back to the county and charge them anything,” he said.

If anything, Karasek noted, the college should have rented the space for one dollar.

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