COUNTY OF SULLIVAN INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY
One Cablevision Center
Ferndale, New York 12734
(845) 295-2603 – telephone
(845) 295-2604 – fax
RECONVENED MEETING MINUTES
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
I. CALL TO ORDER
Chairman Steingart called to order the reconvened meeting of the County of Sullivan Industrial Development Agency at approximately 10:04 am, held in the Legislative Committee Room at the Sullivan County Government Center, Monticello, New York.
II. ROLL CALL
Members Present- Members Absent-
Ira Steingart None
Sandy Shaddock (exited the meeting at 10:30)
Suzanne Loughlin (exited the meeting at 11:20)
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
Tara Lewis, Garigliano Law Offices
Not all attendees were present for the entire meeting.
Attorney Garigliano requested that the Board enter Executive Session to discuss pending litigation with regard to Frontier Insurance.
Mr. White made a motion to go into executive session, the motion was seconded by Ms. Shaddock, the Board voted and the motion was carried with Ms. Loughlin abstaining.
Attorney Garigliano reminded the Board that Ms. Loughlin had previously disclosed her past involvement with Frontier, and had recused herself from any discussion of this matter. Ms. Loughlin left the room and was not present during the Executive Session. The Board went into executive session at approximately 10:05 am.
On a motion made by Ms. Shaddock, seconded by Mr. Barbuti, the Board came out of executive session at approximately 10:21 am. At this point Ms. Loughlin returned to the meeting.
III. APPROVAL OF MEETING MINUTES
Mr. Rieber made a motion to approve the minutes of the February 11, 2014 regular meeting, the February 12, 2014 reconvened meeting, and the March 11, 2014 regular meeting. The motion was seconded by Mr. White, the Board voted and the motion was unanimously carried.
IV. BILLS AND COMMUNICATIONS
Mr. Sykes made a motion to approve the revised schedule of payments. Mr. Rieber seconded the motion. The Board voted and the motion was unanimously carried.
V. DIRECTORS REPORTS
Ms. Brylinski advised the Board that she, Attorney Garigliano, Glenn Smith and Jen Flad met with Peter Cirillo to discuss the design of the red meat facility. Attorney Garigliano passed out a basic design and indicated some final changes that will be made regarding door placement. An additional door will enable customers to pick up fresh, not frozen, meat from a processed product cooler. This is in compliance with USDA regulations and based on research into other, similar slaughterhouse designs. He continued that he will meet with Mr. Cirillo again on March 19th to continue refining the design and discuss freezer and cooler options. Ms. Brylinski added that the vacant space on the plan is for the operator to utilize as needed to customize the plant to his or her specific operational needs. Attorney Garigliano noted that, once the final design is received, the construction bid packet will be developed. Construction will likely be bid in four separate contracts– general construction, electrical, plumbing and HVAC, and coolers and freezers.
Ms. Brylinski also advised that USDA has recommended that the Agency submit an RBEG application for funding to fill the funding gap in the food hub project. Attorney Garigliano mentioned that the Board might wish to consider asking the County Legislature to fill this funding gap, as part of today’s New Business.
Mr. Scott reported that he continues to meet with current and potential IDA tax abatement projects. He has also identified and worked with two potential revolving loan applicants. He meets regularly with Attorney Garigliano to amend current project documents at the direction of the Board. He and Ms. Flad made a presentation at the March meeting of the Town of Liberty Town Board, and this was very favorably received. He added that one Councilman noted the general perception among residents that the IDA only assists large projects. This provided an excellent opportunity for Ms. Flad and him to describe the forms of assistance available to small businesses, and reinforce the importance of small businesses to the IDA and the entire County.
He continued that he has been meeting with Sutphen East, a current project that has been considering moving away from Sullivan County. He has done a great deal of work, in cooperation with other local agencies, to identify strategies and incentives to keep Sutphen here in Sullivan County.
With respect to Mr. Scott’s presentation at the Liberty Town Board meeting, Mr. Barbuti acknowledged that misperceptions about the IDA persist among local residents and leaders. Board members agreed that it takes a great deal of time and effort to overcome these misperceptions.
Chairman Steingart advised that he is in regular contact with Wilson Elser, the IDA’s Government Affairs Counsel, and that he would like to disseminate information from them to Board members. Attorney Garigliano continued that he, Mr. White, Mr. Rieber and Mr. Steingart will meet with Wilson Elser in the coming weeks, and they will discuss the flow of information among other things. He noted that some communications from Wilson Elser will contain protected legal advice, while others will contain information more appropriate for distribution and public knowledge. It was decided that in the meantime, Chairman Steingart will review all communications and forward them to Ms. Brylinski for dissemination to the Board if appropriate.
Please note that Ms. Shaddock left the meeting before New Business commenced, and did not take part in any of the votes described below.
Attorney Garigliano passed out a resolution authorizing the first quarter payment to the Partnership for Economic Development. Mr. Sykes made a motion to approve the resolution, and the motion was seconded by Mr. White. Chairman Steingart noted that the IDA has a seat on the Partnership Board, but that this seat has not been filled for some time. He advised the Board that he intends to either fill that position himself, or designate another member to fill the position. The Board voted and the resolution was passed with Ms. Loughlin abstaining because she currently serves on the Board of the Partnership.
Attorney Garigliano passed out a resolution authorizing an extension of the sales tax exemption period for Theowins, LLC, Catskill Brewery, LLC and Global Natural Foods, Inc. from April 1, 2014 through and including September 30, 2014. Mr. Rieber made a motion, which was seconded by Mr. Barbuti. The Board voted and the resolution was unanimously passed.
Attorney Garigliano stated that at the last meeting, the Board authorized him to work with Mr. Rieber to develop a PILOT payment plan for Poley Paving Corporation and Brynn Dyl, LLC. Today he presented the Board with a resolution authorizing six installment payments to be paid monthly from April 1, 2014 through September 1, 2014, to total the 2014 PILOT amount of $32,698.71. The resolution also authorizes a PILOT mortgage, which would be held in escrow. If the company fails to make a payment, the Agency can record the PILOT mortgage and take a lien position on the building. Once the PILOT has been fully paid, the Board may wish to consider another resolution requiring continued monthly payments, as security for the 2015 PILOT. In this way, between the months of October 2014 and March 2015, the company would pay approximately the full amount of the 2015 PILOT. This is not a part of the resolution before the Board today. On a motion by Ms. Loughlin, and seconded by Mr. Sykes, the board voted and the resolution was passed with Mr. Barbuti abstaining because he is the Town of Liberty Supervisor and this project is located within the Town of Liberty.
Attorney Garigliano continued with a discussion of 457 Equities. At the February 28 meeting, the Board authorized installment payments of the 2015 PILOT. He noted that it has come to his attention that the resolution passed a few years ago authorized an omnibus amendment to the project documents, including an amendment to the PILOT that allows for installment payments in all future years. So, no new resolution is necessary. He will work with Ms. Flad to compute the 2015 PILOT security payments going forward.
Finally, he noted that at the February 28 meeting the Board authorized him to work with Paul Carlucci on the elimination of the security requirement in the Villa Roma Resort and Conference Center PILOT. Today he passed out a resolution that suspends the security requirement, but does not eliminate the requirement. In this way, if the company fails to pay their PILOT, the Agency can simply re-implement the security requirement rather than being forced to decide between keeping the project with no consequences to the company, or terminating it altogether. On a motion by Mr. Rieber, seconded by Mr. Barbuti, the Board voted and the resolution was passed with Mr. Sykes abstaining because he is the Town of Delaware Supervisor and the project is located within the Town of Delaware.
Attorney Garigliano stated that he expects the Agency will receive at least three applications from entities pursuing casino development projects in the near future. These include Louis Capelli’s Concord proposal, the Foxwoods proposal, the Trading Cove proposal and perhaps others. In addition to these, the Board already has a pending application from Monticello Raceway Management (MRMI), Inc., which has been approved by the Board but has not yet closed. He noted that Chairman Steingart has instructed him to ensure that all applicants are treated equally with respect to benefits packages offered. To help him prepare for meetings with prospective developers, he asked the Board what they would like to do with those projects that are not selected by the Gaming Commission for casino development. With respect to the MRMI project, he reminded the Board that they had executed a master development agreement with MRMI’s partner EPT Concord II, LLC, but to date the agreement for MRMI’s casino project has not been executed. This allows for the master developer work to continue regardless of whether MRMI is chosen to develop the casino. This same process could be a model for Foxwoods, since the project site (the former Grossingers Resort) is large and could be developed with or without a casino. This might be less suitable for others that are located on small sites.
He asked whether the Board will want to terminate any projects that are not selected for casino development, or allow them to continue. Mr. Rieber noted that the Agency’s Tourism Destination policy is excellent and very aggressive. He expressed a concern that there is a risk of offering such generous tax benefits to projects that might not develop anything if they are not selected for casino development. Members discussed whether it is possible or prudent to enact any policy changes to deal with this risk. They also discussed whether such a change would send a message that Sullivan County does not welcome casino development, and whether it would decrease the likelihood that projects want to locate here. Attorney Garigliano suggested that all applications could be packaged and evaluated using a global cost-benefit analysis. They could all be moved through a single process and be offered the same benefits if they meet all of the Agency’s criteria. This would be dependent on whether all of them are large enough to be eligible for the Destination Resort UTEP, which is the most aggressive policy we have. Members discussed the benefit differences between Destination Resort policy, which is for larger projects, and the Tourism Destination policy, which is for smaller projects. Mr. Barbuti emphasized that casino development is a priority for the IDA and the County, and that our UTEPs are designed to bring such development to the County. He expressed the importance of all agencies being fully committed to casino development, in order to realize this goal. Chairman Steingart and others also discussed the payments that the State will make to the taxing jurisdictions that are selected as casino locations, so this issue is important to them as well. There was discussion of whether these payments would offset potential school tax increases, and the constant rise in school taxes due to population loss, in contrast to increases as a result of population increases related to casino development.
Chairman Steingart asked each member and the Board arrived at a consensus in support of offering tax benefits to prospective casino projects based on our existing UTEPs.
Noting that agricultural economic development projects are a key priority of the County Legislature, Mr. Rieber made a motion to authorize Chairman Steingart to request funding for the food hub from the Sullivan County Legislature. Ms. Loughlin seconded the motion, the Board voted and the motion was unanimously passed.
Chairman Steingart asked the Board and others present for public comment. There being none, on a motion made by Mr. Sykes and seconded by Mr. White, at approximately 11:22 am the meeting was adjourned.
IDA VP, Business Development