COUNTY OF SULLIVAN INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY
One Cablevision Center
Ferndale, New York 12734
(845) 295-2603 – telephone
(845) 295-2604 – fax
SPECIAL MEETING MINUTES
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
I. CALL TO ORDER
Chairman Steingart called to order the special meeting of the County of Sullivan Industrial Development Agency at approximately 9:30 A.M., which was held in the Legislative Committee Room at the Sullivan County Government Center, Monticello, New York. All requirements for a Special Meeting had been met.
II. ROLL CALL
Members Present- Members Absent-
Ira Steingart Suzanne Loughlin
Staff Present- Staff Absent-
Jennifer C.S. Brylinski, Exec. Director None
Allan C. Scott, ALSCO Management, Inc. /Consultant /IDA CEO
Walter F. Garigliano, Esq., Agency Legal Counsel
Tara Lewis, Garigliano Law Offices
Scott Samuelson, Chairman County Legislator
Alan Sorensen, County Legislator
Kitty Vetter, County Legislator
Gene Benson, County Legislator
Cindy Gieger, County Legislator
Joshua Potosek, Acting Sullivan County Manager
Sam Yasgur, County Attorney
Steve Vegliante, Esq., Project Counsel
Victor Whitman, Times Herald-Record
Eli Ruiz, Sullivan County Democrat
III. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
IV. BILLS AND COMMUNICATIONS
V. EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS’ REPORTS
Prior to the start of Old Business, Chairman Steingart explained the reason for the meeting and commented about an email he received from several of the County Legislators regarding the EPT Concord II project and related applications. Chairman Steingart stated that a public hearing on the Concord project was conducted last week and the IDA Board was ready to start making its decisions at this meeting.
VI. OLD BUSINESS
Mr. Garigliano handed out to the Board the SEQRA Determination Resolution regarding the combined EPR Properties, EPT Concord II, LLC, and the Monticello Raceway Management, Inc. projects. He explained some minor changes to the resolution. Mr. Garigliano stated that the project is continuing to move forward this week with financing, and a preliminary approval from the Town of Thompson is anticipated the first week of April. The Agency was an “Involved Agency” during the SERQA review by the Town of Thompson but the Town is the “Lead Agency”. On a motion by Mr. Sykes, seconded by Mr. Alport, the Board voted and the resolution was unanimously passed.
Mr. Garigliano handed out to the Board an Inducement Resolution for the EPT Concord II project. An inducement resolution is the first resolution of two for final approval. The project qualifies by meeting the Agency’s requirements and authorizes counsel to negotiate with the applicant for the PILOT. Bond amounts are maximum amounts and might not be used to capacity or at all. These bonds would be conduit bonds and are not a burden on the County. The project would receive the benefits of the General Abatement Policy. On a motion by Mr. Rieber, seconded by Mr. White, the Board voted and the resolution was unanimously passed.
Mr. Garigliano handed out to the Board an Inducement Resolution for the Monticello Raceway Management, Inc. project. The project would receive the benefits of the Destination Resort Abatement Policy. Mr. Garigliano explained to the Board that the amount of the bond issuance cap would have to be changed in the resolution from $365 million to $200 million. On a motion by Mr. White, seconded by Mr. Alport, the Board voted and unanimously approved the amendment to the resolution. A quick history of the tourism policies of the Agency ensued. On a motion by Ms. Shaddock, seconded by Mr. Sykes, the Board voted and the amended resolution was unanimously passed.
Mr. Garigliano handed out to the Board an Inducement Resolution for the EPR Properties project. The project would receive the benefits of the Destination Resort Abatement Policy. The project proposes a water park, a resort hotel, multi-use facilities, and related amenities. The project is currently selecting a partner for this project. On a motion by Ms. Shaddock, seconded by Mr. Gold, the Board voted and the resolution was unanimously passed.
Ms. Shaddock made a comment about the Great Wolf Lodge / Water Park which opened in 2005 and the positive benefits it has given to the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania.
Chairman Steingart opened the meeting to public comment.
Mr. Samuelson stated that a majority of the legislators support the Concord projects and the IDA.
Ms. Gieger commented that although the legislators support the projects, many would like more information about the cost/benefit analysis and the project as a whole before the IDA approves the applications. Ms. Gieger felt that the project is complicated and she would like assurance that the County would be held harmless. She also stated that not enough discussion has taken place.
Mr. Sorensen stated that he forwarded copies of the cost/benefit to other legislators for their review. He would like to see the County Legislators and Department Heads have sufficient time to review and comment on the applications.
Chairman Steingart commented that the applications were reviewed at many different levels, from town to County to IDA. He would like the County to concentrate on the positive benefits of the project.
Mr. Garigliano stated that the Town of Thompson was the lead agency in the local review process, and that review included socio-economic consequences. The process by the Town lasted a year, and included County involvement and other public hearings, and that process is now concluded.
Mr. Vegliante briefly explained the process of the Town review, and thanked the IDA for its support.
Mr. Colavito commented that he appreciates the process and the public hearings, but public impression is that it was rushed. He felt that the assessment of the property is critical in the PILOT, and so far he says that the Town Assessor has not been involved in the discussion. Mr. Colavito wanted to know what portion of new employment because of the project will go on public assistance – this will be an added burden on the County. He looked at the cost/benefit analysis and had some questions about the numbers. He felt that the analysis emphasized State benefit, not local benefit, and questioned how many employees will come from Sullivan County. He questioned why the 485-b numbers are taken out of the cost equation, and he saw some inconsistencies in the cost/benefit spread sheet.
Mr. Rieber said that at this point talking to the Town Assessor is premature. The final finished product must be considered when coming up with a project assessment to be used in the PILOT. He reminded those present that construction workers will be union jobs, and that this is a great project that will help the County.
Mr. Garigliano commented that the assessment will be worked out with the Town, the IDA, and the applicant, but first the final detailed plans are needed to make the determination. Mr. Garigliano further explained how some of the numbers in the cost/benefit are determined. He also stated that the key to success is a combination of luck and preparation.
Ms. Shaddock stated that possibly in future applications a Community Benefit Agreement might be considered.
Mr. Gold wanted to remind those present that project assessment numbers have always been worked out with the local assessor.
Mr. Barbuti said that the Legislators should stand behind the policies of the IDA. If they have a problem with a policy they can bring it to the Board’s attention at a time when policy amendments are being considered.
Mr. Benson stated that the Legislators appointed the IDA Board and the Legislators should have faith in the board to make the right decisions.
Ken Walter handed out a spreadsheet of his analysis of the Concord cost/benefit analysis to the IDA Board members. He felt if his calculations were used instead of the IDA’s numbers, the impact to the County financially would be softened. He said he’s not changing the PILOT just redistributing money.
Mr. Litchman stated that he was not against the project, but against the level of assistance. He questioned the actual benefits and suggested changing the benefit schedule and IDA’s negotiation abilities.
There being no further Board or public comment, the Board went into Executive Session to discuss a Personnel Matter at 11:05 A.M., on a motion by Mr. White, seconded by Ms. Shaddock, and passed unanimously by the Board.
On a motion by Mr. Barbuti, seconded by Mr. Rieber, and passed unanimously by the Board, the Board came out of Executive Session at 11:15 A.M.
VII. NEW BUSINESS
Chairman Steingart questioned the Board and those present if there were any further questions or comments. There being none, on a motion by Mr. Barbuti, seconded by Mr. Rieber, the Board voted and the meeting was adjourned at approximately 11:16 A.M.
Jennifer CS Brylinski