Shared highway superintendent action delayed

Gwen Chamberlain

Yates County Highway Superintendent David Hartman will become responsible for overseeing the maintenance of county highways in Schuyler County, but not quite yet.

Last week, Schuyler County officials approved an agreement to pay Yates County $50,000 to share the position from Jan. 28 to Dec. 31 in anticipation that Yates County Legislators would approve the agreement as well.

But the resolution was withdrawn from the agenda of a special meeting in Yates County Jan. 29 after discussion in executive session. Yates County Administrator Sarah Purdy says she has no doubt the agreement will ultimately be approved, but there are some details that need to be worked out first.

Another resolution approved in Schuyler County Jan. 28 authorized the appointment of Hartman to the Schuyler County Highway Superintendent position from Jan. 28 to Dec. 31, 2017.

Purdy said she could not be more specific about the details, since they were discussed in a closed session.

Two resolutions were withdrawn in Yates County. The first authorized Chairman Timothy Dennis to execute the agreement with Schuyler County Chairman Dennis Fagan. According to the Yates County resolution, the agreement would be in effect through December 2015, while Schuyler County’s approved resolution says the agreement would be in effect through December 2017.

The second Yates County resolution will increase the salaries of the Highway Superintendent to $87,000, and of the Deputy Highway Superintendent, who will take on more responsibilities in Yates County, to $64,160. The Yates County Highway Superintendent’s salary current salary is $76,283 and the Deputy’s is $59,160.

In Schuyler County, legislators approved a $5,000 salary increase for the Deputy Highway Superintendent.

The concept of sharing the superintendent’s responsibilities has its roots in the shared services study underway between the two counties. Schuyler County Highway Superintendent Greg Matthews retired from the position Jan. 23.

In a similar action last week, Yates County Legislators appointed Cliff Boyce, Schuyler County’s Director of Weights and Measures to the same position in Yates County effective Jan. 30. One of the final 2014 resolutions approved by the Yates County legislators authorized an intermunicipal agreement between the counties for sharing the service.

Schuyler County Legislators also approved a resolution Jan. 28 seeking special state legislation allowing the two counties to share the Highway Superintendent position.

By the Numbers:

Yates County Highway Department:

Twenty-seven full-time employees and two temporary employees are in charge of the upkeep of 180 miles of road and 40 bridges.

Schuyler County Highway Department:

Eighteen employees are in charge of the upkeep of 121.37 miles of road and 49 bridges.