The silence of the metal plate

And more news from Sullivan County

By ANNEMARIE SCHUETZ
Posted 9/14/21

MONTICELLO, NY — People living near the railroad tracks in Callicoon probably agree with legislator George Conklin.

He congratulated public works commissioner Ed McAndrew on the repairs to …

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The silence of the metal plate

And more news from Sullivan County

Posted

MONTICELLO, NY — People living near the railroad tracks in Callicoon probably agree with legislator George Conklin.

He congratulated public works commissioner Ed McAndrew on the repairs to the heavily used track crossing.

“I’ve gotten more compliments on that, about what a nice job they did and how quickly they did it,” Conklin said at the September 9 public works committee meeting. “It made such a difference in that intersection. It was a first-class job.”

It all worked out, McAndrew said. The Bridge 241 repair project had a delay so the county could send crews out to Callicoon.

“I actually liked the sound when you went over the metal plate,” said Joe Perrello, who is notably not the legislator for that district. (Conklin is).

A somewhat accurate rendition of the crossing-the-metal-plate noise was then provided. Callicoon residents have become familiar with it in recent months.

Of course, they will not hear it again, because the problem was fixed.

Perrello liked the sound, an unidentified person said, “because he does work on cars.”

Garbage in

Trash collection is up 25 percent, Mark Witkowski, deputy public works commissioner, reported. In 2019, the county produced 53,000 tons of trash. That dropped to 49,000 in 2020, but rose sharply to 61,000 in 2021. (And there are still four months to go.)

Hopefully, Witkowski said, things will settle down. “August is only up 15 percent so we’re starting to see a slowdown.”

Recycling out

Good news on that front, though. The county generated 389 tons of single-stream recycling, for which they get $9 a ton.

And the cardboard report is even better. “We generated 144 tons of cardboard,” Witkowski said, “and we get $150 a ton… Recycling is coming back.”

Time to get rid of those paint cans

Household hazardous waste collection will hopefully happen this fall, Witkowski said. “We just need approval from the DEC [Department of Environmental Conservation].”

Care center to offer signing bonuses

The need for staff is so critical at the Care Center at Sunset Lake, the county’s nursing home, that Sullivan plans to offer signing bonuses of varying sizes to bring in new workers.

The bonuses, listed on a resolution introduced at the human resources committee, range from a total of $4,500 for a full-time R.N. to $1,000 for a part-time certified nursing assistant. The money would be paid out over six months, a sixth of the total each time.

The situation has been so bad that current staff members have offered to work extra shifts to make sure patients are cared for.

The resolution would give any staff who do so an extra $75 per full eight-hour shift, on top of their regular pay.

It also offers staff who refer new hires a bonus. The new hire would need to complete a term of service before the bonus is paid to the staff member who referred them.

The initial resolution was amended to eliminate a requirement that the new hire put in six months of continuous service to obtain the bonus, deputy county attorney Tom Cawley said.

This would be a trial one-year program, beginning September 16 and ending September 16, 2022.

“I support the amended resolution,” said Lou Setren in public comment. Infinite Care Management, he said, is doing this to attract quality people and retain staff. “These are the kind of incentives we need to be offering… for other frontline workers. It’s a good step forward but it’s only a first step.”

The measure passed unanimously at the human resources committee meeting on September 9. It will now go to the full legislature for a final vote on September 16.

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