COUNTY OF SULLIVAN INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY
One Cablevision Center
Ferndale, New York 12734
(845) 295-2603 – telephone
(845) 295-2604 – fax
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
I. CALL TO ORDER
Chairman Steingart called to order the regular meeting of the County of Sullivan Industrial Development Agency at approximately 10:04 A.M., which was held in the Legislative Committee Room at the Sullivan County Government Center, Monticello, New York.
II. ROLL CALL
Members Present- Members Absent-
Ira Steingart Harold Gold
Staff Present- Staff Absent-
Jennifer C.S. Brylinski, Exec. Director None
Jen Flad, VP Business Development
Tara Lewis, Garigliano Law Offices
Barbara Garigliano, Garigliano Law Offices
Jill Weyer, SC Planning & Environmental Management
Gene Benson, SC Legislature
Cora Edwards, SC Legislature
Kathy LaBuda, SC Legislature
Sam Yasgur, County Attorney
Ira Cohen, County Treasurer
Mark Blanchard, Harris Beach PLLC
Shawn Griffin, Harris Beach PLLC
Gary Silver, Stoloff & Silver LLP
Greg Sandor, CCE Sullivan County
Dan Hust, SC Democrat
Chris Valdez, Times Herald-Record
Please be advised that not all attendees were present for the entire meeting
III. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Mr. Barbuti made a motion to approve the minutes of the October 8, 2013 regular meeting. Mr. Sykes seconded the motion. Ms. Shaddock requested that the minutes be amended to reflect her attendance. Mr. Rieber requested that the minutes be amended to reflect that he abstained from the vote on the food hub option agreement because the property owner is a longtime client, though not a client with respect to the food hub project. At this point a discussion began regarding Board member disclosures, abstentions and recusals. Mr. Griffin requested a motion to enter a closed attorney/client privileged session to discuss these questions, as permitted by the Civil Practice Law and Rules.
Mr. Sykes made a motion to enter into a closed attorney/client privileged session, the motion was seconded by Mr. Alport, and the Board entered a closed session at approximately 10:09 am.
On a motion by Mr. Barbuti, and seconded by Ms. Loughlin, the Board came out of closed session at approximately 10:46 am.
Mr. Griffin explained to those present that the closed session was intended to clarify some points regarding disclosures, abstentions and recusals. The governing statute identifies certain prohibited interests, which preclude an individual from being on the Board. Beyond those prohibited interests, Board members may take further actions to avoid an appearance of conflict, including mere disclosure; disclosure with abstention, meaning that a member can participate in the discussion but abstains from voting; or disclosure and recusal, meaning that a member leaves the room during any discussion of a particular matter and does not vote on the matter. The statute does not mention disclosure or abstention, which are techniques that have been developed since the statute was adopted in 1964. Mr. Griffin stated that the statute defines prohibited conflicts very narrowly, and refers to a pecuniary or material benefit. If this Board provides benefits to a particular company, the Board members must not benefit financially in exchange. Generally this means that Board members must not be directors, officers or shareholders of a company receiving IDA benefits. If there is no pecuniary or material benefit, then there is no prohibited conflict. It is his opinion that there is nothing to prohibit Board members from being vendors to companies that might receive IDA benefits. However, a board member must not promise a company that he/ she will vote for the company’s project, in exchange for being hired by the company to provide goods or services.
Mr. Barbuti made a motion to approve the minutes of the October 8, 2013 meeting as amended. Mr. Sykes seconded the motion, the Board voted and the motion was carried with Chairman Steingart abstaining because he was not present at the October 8 meeting.
Mr. Barbuti made a motion to approve the minutes of the October 15, 2013 reconvened meeting. Mr. Sykes seconded the motion, the Board voted and the motion was unanimously carried.
IV. BILLS AND COMMUNICATIONS
Mr. Barbuti made a motion to approve the revised schedule of payments, the motion was seconded by Ms. Loughlin, the Board voted and the motion was unanimously carried.
V. DIRECTORS’ REPORTS
Ms. Brylinski stated that there has been much progress on the red meat facility site work. She advised Board members that the IDA expects to receive an application regarding Davos in the near future, and a public hearing will be scheduled. She requested that Board members complete and return their board evaluation packets, as required by the Public Authorities Accountability Act, at their earliest convenience. She will also send these forms to SCFC members. Finally, Ms. Brylinski advised that Mr. Gold will be stepping down from the Boards of the IDA and SCFC at the end of 2013, and remarked that he has been a tremendous asset to the IDA since he joined the Board in 1996.
VI. OLD BUSINESS
Ms. Brylinski stated that the public hearing concerning the Veria Lifestyle project was held on November 6, and that all of the comments received were positive. She asked Mr. Griffin what the next steps are. He replied that the resolution before the Board today issues a negative declaration under SEQR, states that the project is a tourism destination project, affirms that the sales tax abatement is less than $100,000, and authorizes IDA benefits in connection with acquisition, demolition and infrastructure work. Under SEQR this is a Type I action because it exceeds 100 acres. The Public Services Commission had been notified of the IDA’s intent to declare lead agency status, but there has been no response. He is unaware of any other agencies that are involved agencies with respect to this action. Upon reviewing the project, it is Mr. Griffin’s opinion that this action should be issued a negative declaration under SEQR.
There was some discussion regarding the SEQR form, and Attorneys Griffin and Silver clarified the DEC requirements for filling out the form. It was determined that the form is complete.
Mr. Griffin reminded the Board that this resolution does not authorize any new construction. The project sponsor will appear before the Town Planning Board, which will probably take lead agency status on the construction project. Mr. Silver added that Veria will appear before the Town of Thompson Planning Board on November 13. Ultimately Veria will return to the IDA Board seeking approval and benefits for the construction via another resolution.
Board members discussed the cost-benefit analysis and some stated that it is very thorough.
Mr. Sykes disclosed that Southern Tier Title Company will do some title work in connection with the project. Mr. Rieber disclosed that he provided an appraisal of the property, and that he will abstain from voting on this resolution.
Ms. Loughlin made a motion to approve the resolution. Mr. Sykes seconded the resolution, the Board voted and the resolution was approved with Mr. Rieber abstaining for the reason described above.
VII. NEW BUSINESS
Mr. Griffin explained the resolution regarding Centre One Development, LLC. This resolution concerns a change of ownership. The project ownership will be transferred from Centre One Development, LLC to Center One Holdings, LLC. Mr. Barbuti made a motion to approve the resolution. The motion was seconded by Mr. Rieber, the Board voted and the resolution was unanimously approved.
Chairman Steingart asked if there was any public comment. There being none, on a motion made by Mr. Barbuti and seconded by Ms. Shaddock, the meeting was adjourned at approximately 11:03 am.
IDA VP, Business Development