More staff for the DA, more fuel sales for the airport

By ANNEMARIE SCHUETZ
Posted 10/19/21

MONTICELLO, NY — There’s nothing like a feeling of progress amid the gloom. Read on for an account of the Sullivan County committee meetings from Thursday, October 14.

Resolution …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

More staff for the DA, more fuel sales for the airport

Posted

MONTICELLO, NY — There’s nothing like a feeling of progress amid the gloom. Read on for an account of the Sullivan County committee meetings from Thursday, October 14.

Resolution solution?

It took a while to get there. First, the human resources committee had to work through interruptions, a different resolution from the one members (and the DA herself) were expecting, explanations for the presence of the new resolution, and so on and so forth. You can go listen via the county’s meeting portal.

Here’s the short version: Galligan had asked for a “package deal” with a return to 2019 ADA staffing levels now, plus two support staff to be added to the 2022 budget. Cost of living adjustments would not be considered raises.

The resolution that appeared on the agenda might have been different. (Galligan’s resolution was not available to the public.) “It’s sliced up and diced up and is not what we spoke about… why is it so drastically different?” asked legislator Nadia Rajsz.

Committee chair Alan Sorensen said that he wanted a resolution that could be used as a discussion item. It would not be voted on until the full legislature meeting on October 21.  

Amid expressed concern that the resolution that will appear next week would not be the one they approved that day, the five members of the committee approved the Galligan resolution, 5-0.

It’s not just you

The double-whammy of worker shortages and supply chain problems affects municipalities too. Deputy Public Works Commissioner Mark Witkowski warned the public works committee that the annual readying of plow trucks for winter use is coming along slowly. Not only is the department short-staffed, but there are items needed for the trucks, and those are in whatever black hole is hiding such things these days.

“There are parts on order and they’re not coming in,” said Witkowski. “That’s going to be a big challenge for us.” For example, they’ve been trying to get a manifold for weeks, he said.

“I don’t see this changing going forward,” said committee chair Joe Perrello. Prices are going up, and it might be more expensive if there’s an immediate need for an item. “I see it happening in my business.”

“Prices are going up, stock is low; it’s a struggle to get things in,” said Witkowski.

Fuel up

Airport fuel sales have hit $355,000 for the year, reported Jim Arnott, superintendent of the Sullivan County International Airport. That’s “a little more than $100,000 ahead of last year.” Fuel sales, which are a major funding source for the airport, are on track to equal or exceed 2019 numbers.

Much of that might be due to the increased use of charter planes for business. That’s up 15 percent, Arnott said.

It’s all about the pandemic. “Businesses and individuals are finding that… charter traffic is the way to go.” The airport has seen a 16.5 percent increase in charter traffic, Arnott said.

Everybody wants something

And that something is often money. The county recently got a bid back on a grant-funded project to rehab a five-bay hangar, and that bid came in $30,000 over the grant. That would be on top of an additional $30,000 the county has to kick in toward the grant.

“The problem is the labor market,” said legislator George Conklin. “All costs are up. You’re up against that timing.”

But wait, there’s more! A project to replace the fuel farm at the airport was taken on by American Petroleum; the company has asked for a $200,000 down payment (50 percent of the total) from the county.

“We have to be cautious,” Perrello said. “I think there will be a lot of strange things going forward.”

“Is 50 percent a typical ask?” inquired legislator Mike Brooks.

“This is the first time,” said Ed McAndrew, public works commissioner.

The matter was tabled. “Good choice, guys,” Perrello said.

Comments

No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here