Utility line inventory due to start

Council rejected an agreement creating a CIC.
CORTLAND -- An engineering firm will begin to conduct an inventory later this month of the city's sanitary and storm systems to determine where the lines are located.
San Francisco-based URS Corp. will be paid $253,899 for the computerized work approved by city council Tuesday night.
Mark J. Buchenic, URS water resource manager, said the project should be completed by June 2006.
Although some residents questioned the cost, Councilman Michael Hillman explained that when the idea was first discussed two years ago, the price was estimated at between $250,000 and $300,000.
The inventory is needed, Councilwoman Deidre Petrosky said, because the city only has paper maps stored away, some of which are missing.
Buchenic said the inventory will determine where the lines are located, their composition, and their depth. It will be the city's responsibility to maintain the inventory when the lines are repaired and new ones installed.
City leaders have come under criticism by residents because their home basements are flooded during heavy rains.
Residents Gerald Bayus and Karen Reel told lawmakers they believe the inventory should be delayed and some of the money used to rectify the flooded basement problem.
Hillman said the inventory will be used to determine what is causing the flooding so it can be corrected properly.
Finance Director Francis Moyer said $200,000 of the project cost will be paid by the sanitary sewer fund and the balance from the general fund.
CIC plan
In other business, council defeated a proposal made by Mayor Curt Moll to establish an agreement with the Cortland Improvement Corp. to maintain business in the community and attract others. Hillman was the sole lawmaker to support the issue.
Reel said it's not known what a CIC would cost the city and charged that the proposed 10-member board would be made up of "the good old boys."
Some lawmakers expressed concern that the city would lose control of the nonprofit agency and that city resources would be used without their approval.
Moll argued that the CIC could not receive any city money without council's approval.
"I have to back out of it," Moll said after the meeting. "The city can't be involved with it [CIC] without the agreement."
Also during the meeting, council approved a measure that would allow the hiring of a full-time patrol officer rather than a captain to replace Capt. Stanley Lancey, who resigned in August.
Moll has said he wanted to amend the police staffing regulation to allow the department to hire a full-time patrol officer rather than a captain. There was only one captain allowed by the ordinance.
Lancey resigned after he was found guilty of an impaired-driving charge after prescription narcotics were found in his system. He had run over three mailboxes along state Route 46. He was fined $250 and ordered to attend a driver intervention program.

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