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LYONS (Aug 6 10) – Three days after the passage of the state budget, Wayne County officials are beginning to assess how much pain they’ll feel as a result of state cost-cutting.

According to County Administrator James Marquette, the county will receive $600,000 less in state funding, with officials still checking other portions of the budget. In comments he made at the supervisors’ Finance Committee meeting today, Marquette said the Certified Home Health Aide (CHHA) program will likely lose $24,000 in funding, tourism programs will lose $63,000, probation will see $30,000 less, but the Department of Social Services takes the biggest hit, with a $447,000 shortfall.

The supervisors continue to look at ways to save money and deal with the new realities in state and federal funding. For instance, they have scheduled a special meeting for Aug. 17 to discuss – again – the county recycling program. Supervisor Kim Park (Wolcott) also noted that discussions on the county hosting the CHHA should be forthcoming. These are two areas where the county is looking for cost savings.

A program that could save $1.5 million – an early retirement incentive program targeted for 10 job titles – was okayed by the Finance Committee and will be acted on at the monthly Board of Supervisors meeting on Monday. In eight of the 12 positions affected, the job would be eliminated if the incumbent chooses the retirement offer (an extra month of service credit for every year worked, up to 36 months).

Other items the committee sent to the board for Monday’s 10 a.m. meeting, which will be held in the “entertainment row” tent at the Wayne County Fair:

New Mental Health Positions – The county Mental Health Department will add two

full-time positions and eight part-time positions, the move driven by an IRS audit that showed some positions were being handled by contractors who should have been employees. Converting the positions to employees, said Marquette, will cost $290,980.

To be hired full-time: a psychiatric nurse practitioner and a staff psychiatrist. Part-time hires: a staff psychiatrist/medical director, four staff psychiatrists, a physician, a psychologist, and a social worker.

“We can make some organizational changes, gently, if people decide to participate,” said Marquette.

Supervisor Ken Lauderdale (Savannah) asked if these new hires and other new employees coming on board were burdening the Human Resources Department to the point where it was understaffed.

“We’re beyond the tipping point,” answered Marquette. “The problem is there are a lot of things we’re not attending to that we should be.” He explained that the new employees didn’t add much to the work load of Human Resources, but other issues affecting employees in general needed to be addressed, and that would require more help in the department.

Workers’ Compensation Plan Rates – The county is self-insured for workers’ compensation claims, with each municipality and some separate entities paying into the insurance pool. The amount billed is based on three factors – 25 percent on salaries of the workers’ group, 50 percent on claims experience, and 25 percent on the assessed value of the municipality or entity.

The bills going out (and amounts) are: Arcadia ($36,369), Butler ($7,462), Clyde ($12,317), Galen ($12,135), Huron ($19,025), Town of Lyons ($24,117), Village of Lyons ($19,953), Macedon ($418,987), Marion ($18,496), Newark ($178,059), Ontario ($73,705), Town of Palmyra ($23,795), Village of Palmyra ($13,689), Red Creek ($1,867), Rose ($9,149), Savannah ($20,726), Town of Sodus ($46,757), Village of Sodus ($6,174), Village of Sodus Point ($23,178), Walworth ($47,434), Williamson ($39,936), Town of Wolcott ($15,063), Village of Wolcott ($7,903), WayneCAP ($59,131), WCWSA ($8,328), Wayne County Historical Society ($500), Macedon Library ($1,145).

Supervisor Bill Hammond (Macedon) noted that his town’s library was on the list for the first time and he urged other supervisors to check with their libraries to make sure employees are covered for workers’ compensation.

Dog Licenses – Hammond said the state Ag & Markets department is no longer doing dog licenses – it’s now up to individual municipalities. He said towns need to enact local laws, buy dog tags, keep records and collect fees (some of which goes to the state).

“Instead of one agency fairly efficiently administering this, you’re all going to more efficiently administer this,” said Marquette.

Hammond warned his colleagues to budget for the influx of fees and expenses the change will bring. Marquette said towns needed to put aside funds in case of a claim (like a dog killing livestock). Hammond added, “You’ll have to establish a trust fund.”

One quirk of the change is that town assessors will now have the task of putting a value on livestock damage. “Our assessors will have to become MEs (medical examiners) for animals,” said Marquette.

Voting Machines – The committee wrestled with what to do with about 30 mechanical voting machines that have been made obsolete that no one wants. School districts have been given machines for their use, and will be urged to take an extra machine to set aside for parts, and whatever machines are left may be offered to anyone who will take them (for scrap).


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