The Herkimer County Legislature awarded contracts for renovation work at the Herkimer County Community College cafeteria and Alumni Hall during a meeting Wednesday.
The contract for general construction was awarded to HR Beebe, of Utica, for $599,000; for heating ventilating and air conditioning, Giruzzi Plumbing and Heating, Inc., Utica, $215,000; and for plumbing, Schmalz Mechanical Contractors, of Utica, $80,950.
The HCCC Board of Trustees received bids for the project and presented its recommendations to the county Legislature.
The Legislature voted last fall to establish the $1 million project, half of which will be paid for by state funds and the other half with funds coming from the Faculty Student Association with proceeds from its food service contractor. No additional funding is being requested from the county. Nicholas Laino, vice president for administration and finance at HCCC, said at that time work on the project would be done during the summer months. He said the college cafeteria was built around 1970 and the needs have changed since then. There are currently 625 students in campus housing who are required to purchase a college meal plan in addition to commuters who also use the cafeteria.
The project will allow the college to accommodate increased usage of the facilities by students, create easier access to the cafeteria by allowing a better flow of traffic and provide for the installation of air conditioning to the area as well as Alumni Hall and provide for some minor renovations to Alumni Hall.
The Legislature also approved a resolution setting a public hearing on the tentative budget for HCCC for 2013 - 2014 for July 3 at 1:30 p.m. in the Legislators' chambers.
Summer youth employment
The Legislature had voted last month to award the contract for bus service for the 2013 summer youth employment program to Birnie Bus Service, of Rome. Buses transport the youths to Old Forge for summer jobs. At Wednesday's meeting, the Legislature approved a resolution increasing the maximum number of bus trips from 120 to 132. A clause that would have charged each youth $1 per day for transportation was eliminated.
Legislator Helen Rose, D - Herkimer, said she hoped there would be discussion on the issue before the matter comes up again next year. She also suggested it would not be unreasonable for the business people who are benefiting from the program to help with transportation costs. It was pointed out, however, that Lewis County offers the same service and the business community could choose to bring in more workers from there instead.
The Legislature also voted to amend the budget for 2013 to reflect TANF summer youth funds received from New York state.
Birnie Bus Service was awarded a contract in the amount of $540,170 to provide preschool transportation services for the Public Health Education of Handicapped Children's Program for the period from July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2014. The contract would be adjusted if the requested number of daily runs exceeds 14, and based on the price of diesel fuel.
Page 2 of 2 - In other business, the Legislature:
• Appropriated $33,400 from the contingency fund to pay a special prosecutor after District Attorney Jeffrey Carpenter recused himself from the case involving an incident at Fiberdyne.
• Approved two temporary staffing changes in the county Board of Elections office for training purposes. Both will be for up to 19 _ hours per week. The period for one will be from July 15 through Aug. 30 and the other from Nov. 18 to 29.
• Authorized the renewal of the contract between the county and the New York State Department of Health for Herkimer County HealthNet.
• Approved the reappointment of Kathleen Eisenhut, of Mohawk, to the Herkimer County Ethics Board for a term to expire April 1, 2016. Chairman of the Legislature Vincent Bono, R - Schuyler, nominated Eisenhut. Legislator Gary Hartman, D - Herkimer, proposed an amendment to name Don Bronson to the Ethics Board, but the amendment was defeated by a vote of 11 to 6. Rose said in the past three individuals were appointed to the board, one by the majority leader, one by the minority leader and one by the chairman of the Legislature. She was troubled by the fact that Bronson, who was the minority leader's choice, was not approved by the Legislature when the matter came up at an earlier meeting.