WATERLOO — If approved by the Seneca County Board of Supervisors tonight, everyone entering the county office building on DiPronio Drive must have a temperature check and answer COVID screening questions.
That expands a Dec. 22 board policy that requires only county employees have a temperature check and the screening questions.
The new policy will first go to the board’s personnel committee tonight. If a majority of the five-member panel approves, it will go to the full, 14-member board later in the meeting for a final vote.
The current policy requires all employees, whether they have symptoms or not, have their temperature checked and be asked to attest that they have not had symptoms, knowingly come into contact with anyone testing positive for COVID-19 or tested positive themselves for COVID in the previous 14 days before the start of their shift in the county building.
Noting that state guidelines have since changed and may continue to change, personnel officer and interim risk manager Christopher Wagner suggested “that in order to truly mitigate the spread of COVID-19 to Seneca County employees, it is in the best interests for the county to have all individuals entering the county office building to undergo a temperature check and attest about COVID symptoms before being allowed to enter the building.”
The proposed new policy states that if the thermometer emits a green light, that person will be allowed entry. If a red light is shown, that person will not be allowed entry.
In a related matter, the board will consider amending the mission and scope of the COVID response committee established in 2020.
Originally, the 15-member committee’s purpose was to enhance the communication and coordination of the pandemic response in the county. Board members noted in January that the initial need for education and enforcement has diminished. The board’s public health committee will consider amending the mission, saying the committee has the potential to play a greater role in the oversight and guidance of the testing and vaccination process, while still being a liaison with the board and the community.
If the committee approves the new mission, it will go to the full board tonight.
In other agenda items tonight, supervisors will:
• Tourism — Consider adopting a new Seneca County Tourism and Economic Development Community Grant Program. It would allow local governments and non-profit organizations to apply for funds from the county to use for tourism and economic development projects approved by the board.
Money for the grants will come from the county’s 3% room occupancy tax revenue that remains after the county provides the Seneca County Chamber of Commerce with its annual budget allocation as the county’s official tourism promotion agency.
Areas the grants can be used for include community celebrations, arts and culture events, promotion and marketing programs and capital improvements. The grants range from $1,500 to $5,000 and other applications not in these four categories also can be considered.
• Sewer use law amendments — Possibly consider introduction of a new local law to amend Local Law 3-2019, the Seneca County Sewer Use Law. The proposed local law would allow exceptions to mandatory connections. The amended law would allow for a property owner, under certain circumstances, to disconnect from a public sewer if it can be proven that they can connect to a private wastewater disposal system reviewed and approved by the county Health Department.
• Criminal justice advisory board — Will consider introduction of a new local law adopting revised bylaws for the criminal justice advisory board and repealing Local Law 5-2007. The new law calls for establishing a 24-member board, defining who the members must be and specifying duties and powers.
The board also will also consider adopting the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office Police Reform and Reinvention Plan, a requirement of the state under an executive order. The plan, developed with stakeholder input, deals with such thing as use of force policies, procedures and ways to promote community engagement to foster respect, fairness and legitimacy and bars any racial bias and disproportionate policing of communities of color.
• Cannons — Consider awarding a contract to Steen Cannons & Ordinance Works of Ashland, Ky., for $34,405 for replacement of carriages with replica Civil War-era No. 2 field artillery gun carriages to match the cannon barrels in Civil War-era cannons that are in county-owned LaFayette Park on West Main Street in Waterloo.
• Tourism reserve — Consider creating an occupancy tax reserve fund. It would call for the transfer of $28,014.86 from the general fund balance to the occupancy tax tourism reserve to be used for tourism promotion activities, based on applications approved by the Board of Supervisors.