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For some, blizzard is not over

By Dan Hust
MONTICELLO — March 9, 2010 — The February 25-26 blizzard is not over for Sullivan County Public Safety Commissioner Dick Martinkovic.
He told legislators last week that he’s still collecting statistics from townships and villages about their storm response.
Martinkovic is specifically seeking the costs incurred by these municipalities, which he will forward to the state so that it can ask FEMA for possible reimbursement.
Save for some communications issues between MobileMedic and the county when a state of emergency was declared (which MobileMedic owner Albee Bockman said caused some problems in emergency services response), Martinkovic said the county weathered the storm well.
And those issues with MobileMedic, he promised, will be worked out with Bockman and other representatives of local EMS agencies so that problems don’t reoccur.
Regardless, EMS workers were very busy during the blizzard. E-911 Coordinator Alex Rau told legislators that his staff logged 1,400 calls and made 654 dispatches on Thursday and Friday.
“That’s about double our average,” he said – adding that most dispatchers worked long hours despite having lost electric at their own homes. “So my hat is off to them.”

Fanslau appeals for disaster declaration

MONTICELLO — On Friday, County Manager David Fanslau issued a letter to Governor David A. Paterson requesting that the governor issue a State declaration and request a federal disaster declaration related to the Blizzard of 2010 that affected Sullivan County the last week of February.
“During the course of 72 hours, some areas of our County realized snow accumulations in excess of 4.5 feet, and as a result extensive resources had to be expended in order to ensure the safety and comfort of our citizens” wrote Fanslau.
“Last weekend, February 26-28, approximately 120 members of Sullivan County’s snow removal crews put in up to 50 hours of overtime in 3 days. As a result of the storm, the County, Towns and Villages have spent a total of $439,000 to date in cleanup efforts, which far exceeds our County’s cost threshold of $242,000 to receive emergency aid,” Fanslau added.
“The Hudson Valley as a whole received severe damage and power outages from the Blizzard of 2010, and the cost of cleanup for this storm is not a cost that our County can afford during such difficult economic times. I implore you to do whatever is within your power to issue the State Declaration of Emergency and to secure federal aid for the local municipalities that we serve,” concluded Fanslau.

Energy audits may be ordered

By Dan Hust
MONTICELLO — Sullivan County may soon be spending $25,500 to conduct comprehensive energy audits of county facilities.
The audits will actually cost about $51,000, but half of that amount will come from the FlexTech Program through NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority).
Wendel Energy Services, which has already conducted such audits at the Health and Family Services Complex in Liberty, will do the same at the Government Center and its annex in Monticello, plus the Adult Care Center in Liberty.
The resolution, unanimously approved by legislators in the Sustainability Committee on Thursday, states that the energy efficiency projects Wendel identified at the Health and Family Services Complex “do not provide for a reasonable payback period,” so these new audits were ordered to “provide greater opportunities for savings.”
The full Legislature must vote on the resolution on March 18 before it becomes official.

Legislature to grill SCCC prez regarding windmill financing

By Dan Hust
MONTICELLO — County Legislator Alan Sorensen confirmed last week that Sullivan County Community College officials will be attending a special meeting of the Government Services Committee, which he chairs.
On March 16 at 11:30 a.m. at the Government Center, Sorensen is expecting to see SCCC President Mamie Howard Golladay and several longtime board members at the meeting, which is open to the public.
They’re expected to discuss the implications of the college’s agreement with Atlantic Energy Solutions to install a traditional wind turbine at the Loch Sheldrake campus.
That agreement has turned to litigation, as SCCC is alleging the company is withholding $1.5 million in private funding it was given to purchase the windmill.
No windmill has been bought, and the project is currently stalled, if not dead.
County officials are worried taxpayers will now be on the hook for that money, and they have sent a total of 40 questions for Golladay and board members to answer.

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