COUNTY OF SULLIVAN INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY
One Cablevision Center
Ferndale, New York 12734
(845) 295-2603 – telephone
(845) 295-2604 – fax
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
I. CALL TO ORDER
Secretary Sykes called to order the regular meeting of the County of Sullivan Industrial Development Agency at approximately 10:06 am., which was held in the Legislative Committee Room at the Sullivan County Government Center, Monticello, New York.
II. ROLL CALL
Members Present- Members Absent-
Edward Sykes Ira Steingart
Sandy Shaddock Sean Rieber
Staff Present- Staff Absent-
Jennifer C.S. Brylinski, Exec. Director None
Jen Flad, VP Business Development
Allan C. Scott, ALSCO Management, Inc. /Consultant /IDA CEO
Walter F. Garigliano, Esq., Agency Legal Counsel
Scott Samuelson, SC Legislature
Cora Edwards, SC Legislature
Gene Benson, SC Legislature
III. APPROVAL OF MEETING MINUTES
Mr. Barbuti made a motion to approve the minutes of the December 10, 2013 regular meeting, the December 18, 2013 special meeting, and the January 14, 2014 regular meeting. The motion was seconded by Ms. Shaddock, the Board voted and the motion was unanimously passed.
IV. BILLS AND COMMUNICATIONS
Ms. Loughlin made a motion to approve the revised schedule of payments. Mr. Barbuti seconded the motion. Mr. Barbuti noted the recent bill from Sullivan County Paving, and remarked that a good deal of work has occurred at the red meat facility site and progress is well underway. The Board voted and the motion was unanimously passed.
V. DIRECTORS REPORTS
Ms. Brylinski reported that she and Ms. Flad attended the annual conference of the New York State Economic Development Council in January, and they both plan to attend another EDC conference in May. These events provide a good opportunity for continuing education, professional development and networking with other IDAs.
She continued that February is a busy time for agency and program administration. IDA staff is currently collecting PILOT payments and disbursing payments to the taxing jurisdictions. Ms. Brylinski is also gathering and reporting information to the Authorities Budget Office using the PARIS system. The IDA’s annual audit is also coming up in February.
Regarding the red meat facility, she stated that a request for proposals was issued in January, for design of the building. Four proposals were received. Attorney Garigliano added that two proposals were within the anticipated price range, and very close to one another in cost. He stated that it is his opinion, and Glenn Smith’s opinion, that either of these firms are reputable and would do a good job. One of these two has an office in Sullivan County, and the other does not. There was some discussion of whether the Board can choose the local firm even though this firm’s proposal is the higher of the two. Ms. Brylinski will contact the funding agency to find out whether this is an adequate reason for not choosing the lowest cost proposal. Board members expressed a desire to interview these two candidates, and to have the full board present for interviews.
Mr. Scott reported that he continues to work with current and potential future projects as well as with SUNY Sullivan regarding the Start Up New York program. He continues to attend Town of Thompson meetings regarding the Veria Lifestyle project. He and Ms. Flad plan to make a presentation to the Town of Liberty Town Board regarding IDA policies and projects next week. Finally, he noted that in December he and Ms. Flad visited Theowins, LLC at the Catskill Brewery.
Ms. Flad continued that the project includes a brewery, lab space and tasting room, and the owners plan for a soft opening in the spring. She described the current and future plans for developing high-quality craft beers, and bringing attention to the sustainable use of resources that go into the brewing process (water, agricultural products, as well as solar energy and other sustainable measures).
In accordance with PARIS requirements, Ms. Brylinski requested Board action on certain agenda items. Because Chairman Steingart is not in attendance, and because there are two vacant seats, she advised that the annual review and approval of IDA officers and committee members be tabled for the present time. Legislative Chairman Samuelson stated that he anticipates that board vacancies will be filled within the next two weeks. Legislator Edwards asked whether the Board has any requirements or preferences regarding Board membership. Ms. Brylinski advised that she has a list of requirements, which she will forward to the legislators. Mr. Barbuti inquired whether there is anything in the by-laws that gives Board members some responsibility or input into the process. There was some discussion regarding this, and Ms. Brylinski stated that according to the establishing law (GML Section 906) it is ultimately a decision for the County Legislature. Board members advised that membership is a good deal of work, and often requires hours of document review and meeting preparation. Various attendees also discussed the importance of impartiality among Board members, who must come to the Board without a particular political or personal agenda.
Next, Ms. Brylinski advised that the ABO requires that the Board review three of its policies annually: disposition of real property guidelines, investment policy and procurement policy. There are no changes in these policies since last year. Ms. Loughlin made a motion to approve these three policies. The motion was seconded by Mr. White. The Board voted and the motion was unanimously passed.
On the subject of board documents, Board members discussed the possibility of eliminating paper agenda packets and other paper correspondence, and setting up a website to host all necessary documents for Board member review. Members favored this idea so staff will work on moving to a paperless system to the greatest extent practicable.
Finally, under ABO requirements, the Board must review its mission statement each year, and approve its performance measurements. The members agreed that the IDA mission statement remains accurate and correct. Regarding the IDA performance measurements, Ms. Brylinski advised that there are various questions to be answered. She asked, and the Board answered affirmatively, each of the following questions: Have the board members acknowledged that they have read and understood the mission statement? Do the Board members affirm its membership, board, committee, and management structure? Has the Agency complied with the Public Authorities Accountability Act? Does the Agency conduct business in an environment that fosters transparency? Does the Agency install and uphold high ethical conduct within the entire organization? Because the Board members answered yes to each of these questions, Ms. Brylinski can now report to the ABO that the Board has conducted its annual review of performance measurements.
Attorney Garigliano passed out a resolution authorizing an extension of the sales tax exemption period for Catskill Stills, Ltd. dba Dancing Cat Distillery and Redford LLC. Construction is ongoing, and remaining items include a 1,000 square foot deck, an addition to the barrel house, a new metal roof on the gallery building, and additional landscaping and stonework. Ms. Shaddock asked when the original approval was granted. Attorney Garigliano replied that the original approval was granted in early 2009. Ms. Shaddock asked whether all of the proposed activities were part of the original project, and Attorney Garigliano replied that except for the new roof, all activities were part of the original project. He continued that in the fall of 2009 the Board amended its agreement with the company, approving the rebuilding of the gallery building, and this is part of that amended PILOT. Board members discussed whether this should be the last extension for this project, and Attorney Garigliano advised that if that is the case, the Agency should inform the company when we give the extension. Secretary Sykes requested a motion to approve the resolution extending the sales tax exemption period through December 31, 2014. Ms. Shaddock made a motion, which was seconded by Mr. Barbuti. The Board voted and the resolution was unanimously approved.
Ms. Brylinski advised that the PILOT payment for the Villa Roma Resort and Conference Center, Inc., would exceed the taxes for 2014. The next agenda item is a resolution to amend the PILOT to rectify this, but there is no voting quorum so the resolution will be tabled until a quorum is present.
Attorney Garigliano passed out a resolution regarding EPT Concord II, LLC and EPR Concord II, LP. He advised that when the Board approved the EPT Concord II project, the company requested and the Agency granted the company the right to convey all or part of the 1,735 acre site. The company indicated that they would transfer some part of the site to a related entity, and this was authorized in the leaseback agreement provided that they notify the Agency, which they have now done, and that the company and the Agency enter into an omnibus amendment to the project documents. This amendment will ensure that the PILOT payment is divided between the two owners after the transfer of part of the site to EPR Concord II, LP. The deed has already been recorded. The amendment to the project documents will make both entities jointly and severally liable, and amend the PILOT. Secretary Sykes asked for a motion on the resolution. Mr. White made a motion, which was seconded by Ms. Loughlin. The Board voted and the resolution was unanimously approved.
Ms. Brylinski advised that the ABO requires that the Board members discuss their self evaluation forms. This can be done in private session under the law. Board members decided to table this discussion until the reconvened meeting, so that more Board members can be present.
IV. ADJOURNMENT (RECESS)
Secretary Sykes asked for public comment. Ken Walter made a comment regarding IDA tax abatements. He commented that tax breaks to large companies shift the burden to other residents. On a motion made by Mr. White, and seconded by Mr. Barbuti, at approximately 10:57 am the meeting was recessed until 11:00 am on Wednesday, February 12 at the Southern Tier Title Building in Monticello.
IDA VP, Business Development