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					ANNUAL REPORT OF THE COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR FOR 2007 A retrospective observation of my activities and responsibilities as Allegany County Administrator in 2007 reveal my involvement in numerous matters of significance to Allegany County, its citizenry and its government. Along with several others, we continue to strive toward the goal of developing the delivery of water and wastewater infrastructure to the general vicinity of the intersection of New York State Route 19 and Interstate 86 in Belvidere. Toward this end, by the close of 2007 I had reached general agreement on the term and conditions of the acquisition of property upon which a water storage tank and supply means would be located. In addition, I oversaw the development of Intermmunicipal Agreements between the County and the Town of Friendship which will effect the delivery of potable water and sewage treatment services by the Town on behalf of the water and sewer districts. These Agreements will also compensate the Town of Friendship for maintenance services of both systems utilizing Town of Friendship employees. In the summer, the County entered into a Contract with LaBella Associates of Rochester New York to begin preparation of final design of both systems. It is anticipated that in 2008 the County will seek approval of the water and sewer district from the New York State Comptroller, will more actively market the Crossroads area for development and will pursue acquisitions of both grant funding and low-interest loans to finance construction of the systems. We are several steps closer toward bringing this project to fruition and it is seen by many, myself included, as having a major positive impact on the future economic health of the County. A great deal of my attention and efforts during 2007 were focused on the task of addressing the local responsibility of bringing the County into compliance with the Court Facilities Capital Plan Act of 1987 which requires county governments in New York State to provide safe and sufficient accommodations to the officers and staff of the local judiciary. Working closely with the Court Facilities and County Space Needs Committee along with LaBella Associates of Rochester, New York, several options designed to address compliance were developed including the construction of a new facility, an addition to the existing Courthouse and total renovation of the existing Courthouse after which the entire building would be dedicated to judicial use. After having coordinated and participated in numerous meetings with officials from the New York State Office of Court Administration and LaBella architectural professionals the Court Facilities and County Space Needs Committee selected the option of pursuing an addition to the rear of the existing Courthouse. By the end of 2007 LaBella staff had prepared vary preliminary schematics of a Courthouse addition which will be further refined and presented to the New York State Court Facilities Review Board for approval. It is my expectation that should this project and its attendant funding be approved by the Board of Legislators, construction of the addition will commence in 2009. In my capacity as County Budget Officer we initiated the 2008 County Budget process in June by meeting with department heads. Along with Deputy Budget Officer and County Treasurer Terri Ross, we worked very closely with the Budget Committee throughout the summer months in compiling a Tentative Budget which was released at the send of September and called for a modest increase in the tax levy equaling 3.4%. The 2008 County Budget marked, for the first time in four years, the ability to replace two County bridges utilizing moneys placed in the County Budget as opposed to financing these projects through the issuance of debt. While this may seem an

insignificant occurance to some I consider it a major financial accomplishment and a sign of stability for the County’s financial condition in years to come. During 2007 I was also embroiled in two rather controversial issues which indirectly affect county government. As some are aware, I serve as Chairman of the Southern Tier Extension Railroad Authority (STERA) which is a state legislatively created public authority which owns the former Conrail rail line from Chautauqua County east to Hornell. In the summer, the Authority had an opportunity to acquire assets and rail running from Portville, New York to Machias Junction, New York. These assets were owned by the Norfolk-Southern Rail Corporation and Norfolk-Southern was interested in releasing ownership to the Rail Authority who was then free to subcontract for operation and maintenance of the line. The members of the Board of Directors of the Rail Authority (which include County Legislators Karl Kruger and Timothy O’Grady) voted unanimously to acquire the assets for one dollar ($1.00). Controversy erupted over the fact that Norfolk-Southern was paying property taxes on their assets and once the property was conveyed to the Rail Authority those tax payments would cease due to the fact the Rail Authority is exempt from the payment of property tax on its’ assets. In the end, Norfolk-Southern agreed to pay 50% of the town, county, city, village and school taxes for 2008 and will be liable for property tax payments when it resumes ownership of the line in 2016. The other issue which flew under the radar but would have had a significant impact on the Office of Employment and Training pertained to a desire by the Executive Director of the Cattaraugus-Allegany Workforce Investment Board, along with the Chairman of the Workforce Investment Board, to minimize the involvement of our Employment and Training Office in delivering job training services to both clientele and local employees. During the latter part of 2007, these individuals strongly endorsed the concept of contracting with not-for-profit corporations for the delivery of these training services which had historically been delivered in Allegany and Cattaraugus counties by staff of both Employment and Training Offices. The Cattaraugus County Administrator and I are both strongly opposed to this concept and, at least for the time being, appear to have quelled this proposal. When not involved in the activities listed above, my days were spent attending to the normal and typical duties of a County Administrator. These include meeting or speaking with any and all of our 24 department heads for the purpose of providing guidance or advice in keeping with the policies set forth by the Board of Legislators. I counsel, I encourage, I scold and I conjole. When not trying to keep a lid on the place, I attend meetings of all Standing Committees and Board meetings. It is in these forums where the work of our government gets done and I view it as my responsibility to assure that, procedurally, legislative initiatives move forward until they are either adopted or defeated. In closing, I wish my friend and former County Attorney Daniel Guiney all the best in his well-earned retirement after 27 years of service to this County. I also note with sadness the passing of Dr. Gary Ogden who left us in January, 2007 after serving for eight years as our Public Health Director. Respectfully Submitted, John E. Margeson


				
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