Yates County and Schuyler County Legislators approved resolutions Aug. 13 that will allow the two counties to share a Director of Public Health and Deputy Director of Public Health.

Yates County District 1 Legislator Elden Morrison voted against the resolution creating a pilot program through June 30, 2020. Legislators also created a Deputy Director of Public Health position, appointed the current Supervising Public Health Nurse, Sara Christensen, to the position at a salary of $65,966, and abolished her current post as Supervising Public Health Nurse.

Yates County Legislative Chairman Douglas Paddock explains the agreement was developed after Schuyler County officials learned of the pending retirement of Schuyler County Public Health Director Marcia Kasprzyk, RN.

Yates County Public Health Director Deb Minor will provide oversight of the departments in both counties, and Schuyler County will reimburse Yates County a portion of the cost of the two positions. 

Paddock explains that New York State Public Health Law allows the State Commissioner of Health to approve the hiring of a single county health officer for up to three counties, as long as the total population for such counties is less than 150,000. 

Other business at the Aug. 13 Yates County  Legislature meeting included:

Travel Blog Conference: The Yates County legislature will use $12,500 in reserve occupancy tax revenues to help pay for a Travel Blog Exchange Conference that is being hosted in the Corning and Finger Lakes Region Sept. 11 - 13.

The county’s Tourism Advisory Committee recommended the county make the contribution from its reserve fund which has a balance of more than $70,000 for additional promotion of tourism this year.

The TBEX Conference will bring over 700 travel bloggers to the Finger Lakes region, according to Yates County Chamber of Commerce CEO Jessica Bacher, who also gave a quarterly presentation about tourism promotion in Yates County.

• PROBATION STAFF: Legislators agreed to fill a vacant probation assistant position at a rate of $17.70 per hour, and to create and fill an additional probation officer position at an hourly rate of $25.46 per hour.

• GRANT: Legislators authorized Legislative Chairman Douglas Paddock to sign an agreement with the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York for a $100,000 grant for the purchase of a mini rubber track excavator.

• VINE VALLEY BOAT LAUNCH: Paddock was authorized to sign documents to accept a grant of $41,597 for construction of a boat launch facility at Vine Valley. The county highway department will begin work on the project after Labor Day.

• LETTERS OF SUPPORT: Legislators ratified letters of support that had been sent in July for two grant applications. Both grant applications were due by July 27 and letters of support were needed by July 25. Paddock sent letters of support for the two projects, also sending them to legislators for review. The two projects are a proposed sanitary sewer extension project in the town of Jerusalem and a proposed 300 seat banquet/conference center addition to the Hampton Inn. Morrison attempted to separate support for the two projects into two resolutions, but his motion lost, only receiving support from Terry Button (District 2), Ed Bronson (District 1), and Carlie Chilson (District 3). Morrison abstained from voting on the original motion. Earlier this year, the Government Operations Committee agreed that the legislative chairman could issue letters of support after providing them for review to other legislators via email in advance.