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Highlights of the November 5th, 2020 meeting of the Tompkins County Legislature

Final Draft State Route 13 Corridor Study Presented to Legislature

The Tompkins County Department of Planning and Sustainability and the Ithaca-Tompkins County Transportation Council conducted a corridor study of State Router 13 from Warren Road in Lansing to the Village of Dryden. Consultants completing the study shared a presentation highlighting key learnings and recommendations from the study. Intersections along the corridor with high crash rates were studied and resulting recommended strategies with a 10 year planning horizon were shared. Preliminary strategies presented included intersection enhancements, transit improvements, bicycle and pedestrian accommodations, and zoning recommendations. Commissioner of Planning and Sustainability Katie Borgella stated that “it is in our best interest to maintain the functionality and safety of this corridor.” Legislator Mike Lane (D-Dryden) commented on the prudence of the study and the advocating that will be needed to receive State funding for the recommended improvements. 

The study’s steering committee engaged the public through over 1,500 survey responses, interviews, and public comment periods. The final draft of the corridor study can be found here:

Among Other Business

The Legislature heard an update on the local COVID-19 pandemic response from County Administrator Jason Molino and Public Health Director Frank Kruppa. Data was shared on the County’s supported community testing program, including that the County has supported over 4,600 individuals seeking a test. Molino reported that slides detailing Tompkins County’s COVID-related expenses were shared by New York State Association of Counties representatives with New York State Budget Director Robert Mujica to help explain the impact that the pandemic has had on mid-sized Counties. A comprehensive document outlining the Tompkins County’s COVID-19 response can be found here. Contacts: Jason Molino, Tompkins County Administrator, 607-274-5551; Frank Kruppa, Tompkins County Public Health Director, 607-274-6674

Finance Director Rick Snyder shared a report on the 2020 budget’s contingency fund. The contingent balance has been overspent due to unexpected COVID-19 expenses, and additional funds would be needed from the fund balance to make up the difference. Snyder shared that policies are being put in place to closely monitor contingency asks and expenditures through the end of 2020. Contingency funds have been used to support COVID-19 response including the community testing program.

Proclamations were read acknowledging Indigenous People’s Day, Veterans Day, and in appreciation of home-health aides in Tompkins County.

Legislators congratulated their colleague, Anna Kelles (D-Ithaca) for being elected to the New York State Assembly. Chairwoman McBean-Clairborne (D-Ithaca) stated her confidence that “Tompkins County will be well represented in the Assembly.”