Shared highway superintendent in Yates, Schuyler hits bumpy road

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express

A plan to share a highway superintendent position between Yates and Schuyler Counties has hit some bumps in the road.

Yates County has not signed an agreement to provide highway superintendent services to Schuyler County. Yates County Legislators had planned to approve an agreement in late January, after Schuyler County approved the plan for David Hartman to oversee highway operations in both counties. But the Yates County board withdrew the resolution after learning it would expose the county to additional liability. They are seeking assistance from Sen. Tom O’Mara and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano to work out those issues.

Monday evening, Schuyler County legislators rescinded their previous resolutions, and agreed to open a search for a county highway superintendent. Schuyler County officials are continuing to seek state legislation supporting the shared position.

The proposal to share the position grew out of discussions between the two counties during the Shared Services Study conducted by consulting firm CGR. The scuttled plan included additional salary for Hartman and the Deputy Highway Superintendents in both counties.

The counties received a $50,000 grant to study the options.

Monday afternoon, Yates County legislators reappointed David Hartman to the position of Yates County Highway Superintendent through Jan. 9, 2019.

Other business at the March 9 Yates County Legislature meeting included:

• SAFE Act: The legislature approved a resolution calling for the repeal or defunding of the SAFE Act of 2013. Dennis noted this was the third such resolution that has been adopted.

• Hearing on Fireworks: The legislature will hold a public hearing at 1:05 p.m. April 13 in the legislative chambers to hear comments about Local Law 1-15, allowing for common safe items, such as sparkling devices, party poppers and snappers, to be excluded from the dangerous fireworks definitions.

• Shared Services: Dennis set a public meeting to report on the outcome of the shared services study for 7 p.m. March 25 in the legislative chambers. The Schuyler County legislature will hold a similar meeting at 6:30 p.m. March 24 in the Schuyler County Human Services Complex, Route 14, Montour Falls.

• Award: Christopher O’Brien, of the New York State Sheriff’s Institute presented the Sheriff’s Grover Cleveland Award to Sheriff Ron Spike.

• Meeting Times: Legislative board meetings for May through September will be held at 6 p.m. on Mondays in the legislative chambers.