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Seneca supervisors debate issues in committee

Tuesday’s Seneca County Board of Supervisors Committee meetings were not short on debate. While there were significantly fewer items on the agenda for this month’s standing committee meetings, it didn’t prevent a healthy dialogue from breaking out on a number of occasions. While the supervisors received their usual updates on some ongoing issues, like the heroin crisis in Seneca County, as well as the status of some hiring projects within the county – a handful of other issues polarized the room.Police radio goes dark in Seneca CountyThe first item involved Seneca County Sheriff Timothy Luce addressing a concern raised by Fayette Supervisor Cindy Garlick-Lorenzetti. Residents have noticed a change in the content being shared on the police radio. In the past, police activity was broadcasted across a public format, which allowed for anyone with a police radio, or scanner to access the stream.According to Luce, two key changes in the system have caused this problem. First, a transition from analog to a digital signal, which caused a change on the technical end. Then a secondary problem, which hinges around the police radio traffic being encrypted to ensure the safety of officers. While Luce explained that his efforts to make these lines public have been unsuccessful, he doesn’t see any harm in returning these radio feeds to a public status.One solution proposed by the supervisors, which will require further research by members of the board – involved maintaining the analog service, which is technically only maintained now as a backup to the digital system. The supervisors discussed the cost of maintaining something that isn’t a necessity, but mostly agreed that it was a good way for the community to stay connected with things that were happening in their neighborhoods and towns.Water TestingWater testing in streams that cross the Seneca Meadows Landfill property was debated, as a number of bids were returned to the board. The Environmental Affairs Committee had asked for County Manager John Sheppard to solicit bids to have a gauntlet of water testing done to ensure that the bodies of water leaving Seneca Meadows are safe. While specifics of what would be tested were not discussed, Supervisors Churchill and Lorenzetti both wanted to see the bids. While Sheppard was prepared to provide a recommendation, the committee decided that they would review the bids individually to ensure that the best selection was made. The supervisors will receive physical copies of the bids, which will be reviewed and acted on at the next series of standing committee meetings, slated for July. While the supervisors on the Environmental Affairs Committee did eventually agree on an outcome, there was some intense debate about the viability of reviewing every bid.April Landfill ResolutionIn April, the Seneca County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution appropriating $100,000 to combatting the proposed trash trains from New York City, which has since been resolved. A move to walk back that resolution was put forward Sheppard. However, members of the Environmental Affairs Committee decided that the resolution, as passed, still had valid cause due to the fact that it was non-specific to New York City trash by rail. The resolution passed in April left open to utilizing those funds to fight trash by rail from any community, which was the sticking point for those sitting on the committee. Churchill explained that instead of acting in the moment, he would rather see the board hold a special session, where representatives from Knauf Shaw LLP can be present to walk the board through other legal options as they move forward.That action would likely be held in executive session.Changes to River Road and Packwood RoadChanges could be coming to River Road and Packwood Road in Seneca County. The board discussed what changes could be implemented on River Road, where speed and a blind corner has caused some concern among residents and supervisors. The proposed change would involve two potential moves, which would lower the speed limit to 30 or 35 mph, if it gained state approval, while also moving back a fence along the old Kingdom Inn, which blocks line of sight when coming off of Kingdom Road.Packwood Road was also the center of a lot of debate. However, while a weight limit was discussed – it was unclear whether Seneca County could act, given that it may be a backup route, as an alternative to State Route 14 and 5&20.

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