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February 5, 2014

 

City OKs new Internet, phone provider

Aldermen also approve new police liability insurance contract, table SPCA contract

By STEVEN HOWE
Staff Reporter
showe@cortlandstandardnews.net

The city will have a new phone and internet service provider and police professional liability insurance following approval by the Common Council at its Tuesday meeting.
But aldermen tabled a dog control contract with the Cortland Community Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for a second time.
The council unanimously approved moving $49,121.60 from the contingency account to cover this year’s cost of the liability insurance, which will also cover the city’s K-9 unit when it becomes available in the spring.
The rate for the liability insurance has remained relatively flat in the past five years and he expects that should continue moving ahead, said Stephen Franco, the president of Bailey Place Insurance, which will be providing the coverage.
Police Chief F. Michael Catalano said that the police department has been without the insurance for more than seven years. According to Franco, Cortland is the only municipality in the state that does not have the insurance.
The city also unanimously approved hiring Finger Lakes Technologies Group for phone and internet services. Making the switch will cost the city $9,551 for new equipment and installation costs, in addition to $5,104.83 in monthly charges.
Finger Lakes Technologies Group is running fiber optic cable to every building the city uses as part of the arrangement designed to improve service after phone outages under current provider Verizon.
The council tabled the SPCA dog control contract for a second time. Alderman Tom Michales (R-8th Ward) proposed a language change before the contract was submitted to the shelter, which would require it pick up abandoned domestic pets but the SPCA refused to agree to the changes.
Alderman Ken Dye (D-3rd Ward) proposed tabling the resolution until the second meeting in February.
The current contract with the SPCA runs out in March but the shelter has received payment for dog control services in January and will for February as well.
Alderman Clifton Dutcher (R-5th Ward) said he has been looking into the topic and was in support of approving the contract for another year before addressing the concerns about stray cats that have held up approval.
“Under the agriculture laws of New York state, you have to have a dog control officer on the rolls, period,” Dutcher said. “We as a city council have the responsibility to have this in place and have it done.”
Alderman Katy Silliman (D-2nd Ward) said that the council isn’t asking the SPCA to control cats they way it does dogs but would like to see a better response to abandoned animals.
“People who see cats that are neglected, nobody is looking after them and they’re worried about them, those are the cats they expect the shelter to go after,” Silliman said. “We’re not expecting the shelter to go after every cat that’s loose on the streets.”

 

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