County, towns join in imaging contract

Gwen Chamberlain

Beginning this spring, new aerial photographs will of Yates County properties will be taken to update digital images used for mapping, real property, local government and emergency services.

At last week’s regular meeting, the county legislature approved an agreement with Pictometry, a Rochester firm, for a three-year agreement to provide imagery.

The county will make a down payment of $21,635.17 for the service. According to Patricia Brede, director of Real Property Tax Service for Yates County, the total cost of the three-year contract is $129,811.

All nine towns in the county have agreed to help pay for the service. Yates County will pay 60 percent of the cost with the towns picking up 40 percent of the cost ($26,100 for the county and $17,400 for the towns this year). The service’s costs will be applied to the real property tax service and dispatching portions of the county budget.

The images and data are used by town assessors and the county real property service workers as well as by law enforcement, fire and ambulance.

Other business at the Feb. 18 regular meeting of the legislature included:

• POSITIONS: The legislators unanimously agreed to fill an emergency services dispatcher position that is vacant due to a resignation, and a social welfare examiner position that is vacant after a worker was promoted to a senior social welfare examiner position which was vacated by a retirement.

• SOIL & WATER: Yates Soil & Water Conservation District: Jim Balyszak, district manager, gave a presentation on the agency’s work. The Yates County district is coming up on its 75th anniversary, making it the second oldest in New York State. The agency’s five full time staff work on private and public land, providing technical assistance in a variety of water quality projects involved with development, highways, agriculture, invasive species, stormwater management and more.

• MERCY FLIGHT: Colleen Gleason and Dwayne May of Mercy Flight presented information about the services provided by the air medical services company based in Canandaigua. Gleason said one of the reasons they were making the presentation was to raise concerns about pending competition from a for-profit air ambulance service coming to the area within a matter of months. She said the care per transport provided by Mercy Flight typically costs 40 percent less than care and transport provided by an out-of-state, for-profit service.

• TOURISM PROMOTION AGENCY: The legislature unanimously approved appointing the Yates County Chamber of Commerce at the county’s Tourism Promotion Agency. As TPA, the chamber is authorized to apply for and distribute tourism promotion funds on behalf of the county.

• MORTGAGE TAX: The legislators unanimously agreed to seek home rule legislation from the state legislature in order to renew a 2011 local law that increased the mortgage tax by 0.25 percent. This action seeks to maintain the increase.

• CLEAN WATER ACT: The legislators unanimously approved a resolution urging the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Corps of Engineers to withdraw draft document that identified waterways to be protected by the Clean Water Act. The draft included ditches, seeps, wet areas, and isolated man-made ponds without oversight by local governments.