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Genesee County Legislature approves contract with Orchard Park safety firm

BATAVIA – Filling a gap in its self-insured workers compensation plan, the Genesee County Legislature approved a contract Wednesday night with an Orchard Park firm to provide safety consultant services.

The Legislature, acting on the recommendation of a request-for-proposal review committee headed by Assistant County Manager Matthew Landers, voted to enter into a one-year agreement, with four one-year renewal options, with Occupational Safety and Environmental Associates, Inc.

The contract calls for safety consultant services at a rate of $115 per hour for 300 hours for a total of $34,500, effective Feb. 1 through the end of the year. Requested services used beyond the 300 hours also will be billed at $115 per hour.

“We had three firms submit responses to the RFP, with Occupational Safety & Environmental Associates as the unanimous choice,” Landers said.

“All three respondents gave thoughtful responses and did a nice job in the interview, but the consensus was that OSEA could hit the ground running and improve the safety efforts for Genesee County and all of the participants in the county’s workers compensation plan.”

Landers said the county’s current plan does not have a contract with a safety consultant or have a safety officer on staff.

The agreement with OSEA will provide the approximately 4,000 people covered by the plan with comprehensive safety and training programs, including departmental standards for the protection of employees, the public use of municipal-owned properties and facilities and safety training.

Other aspects of the contract include building and work site inspections and the implementation of work practices to comply with standards set by Public Employee Safety and Health (PESH) Act, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and other state and federal safety and insurance regulations.

Genesee County’s self-insured workers compensation plan covers the county employees as well as the 13 towns, six villages and seven school districts in the county, Batavia Housing Authority, Genesee Community College, Richmond Library and all of the volunteer fire departments in the county.

The Legislature also voted to establish a capital fund for the design phase of a project to replace the River Street bridge over Tonawanda Creek in the city of Batavia. The cost of the design phase is $211,000 – with federal aid of $168,800 and local a local match from 1 percent sales tax of $42,200.

“The design process is necessary for us to proceed, and next year we should be able to secure funding for construction,” said Legislator Edward DeJaneiro.

The total project cost of $2.3 million will be paid by federal (80 percent) and local (20 percent) funds.

In other developments, the Legislature:

• Accepted a $196,000 grant from Homeland Security and Emergency Services in conjunction with Monroe, Orleans, Wyoming and Livingston counties to facilitate regional services related to hazmat policies and equipment.

• Reappointed Dennis Phelps of Basom to the Genesee County Soil & Water Conservation Board through Dec. 31, 2017.