COUNTY OF SULLIVAN INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY
One Cablevision Center
Ferndale, New York 12734
(845) 295-2603 – telephone
(845) 295-2604 – fax
REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
I. CALL TO ORDER
Chairman Steingart called to order the special meeting of the County of Sullivan Industrial Development Agency at approximately 10:01 am, held in the Legislative Hearing Room at the Sullivan County Government Center, Monticello, New York.
II. ROLL CALL
Members Present- Members Absent-
Ira Steingart Sandy Shaddock
Carol Roig Charlie Barbuti
Edward Sykes (arrived 10:03 am)
Staff Present- Staff Absent-
Jennifer C.S. Brylinski, Exec. Director None
Jen Flad, VP Business Development
Steve White, Agency CEO
Walter F. Garigliano, Esq., Agency Legal Counsel
Tara Lewis, Garigliano Law Offices
Scott Samuelson, Chairman, SC Legislature
Stephen Stuart, SC Office of Sustainable Energy
Dan Hust, SC Democrat
III. APPROVAL OF MEETING MINUTES
Mr. Siegel moved to approve the minutes of the October 14, 2014 regular meeting, and the October 24 and October 30 special meetings. Ms. Loughlin seconded the motion, the Board voted and the minutes of the three meetings were unanimously approved.
IV. BILLS AND COMMUNICATIONS
Ms. Loughlin made a motion to approve the revised schedule of payments. Mr. Siegel seconded the motion, the Board voted and the revised schedule of payments was unanimously approved.
Ms. Brylinski stated that the Board can expect a bill for the red meat building before the December meeting, and that the contractor has requested that the payment be expedited. Mr. Rieber made a motion to approve the payment, in accordance with the contract between the Agency and the contractor, and upon delivery of the building and approval by Glenn Smith. Mr. Siegel seconded the motion, the Board voted and the motion was unanimously approved.
Attorney Garigliano advised that the Agency has distributed the outstanding PILOT payment from RSS Realty LLC/ S&S Waverly LLC, and our services in connection with that project are complete.
V. DIRECTORS’ REPORTS
Jennifer C.S. Brylinski, Executive Director
Ms. Brylinski advised that staff has begun to request and collect employment information in connection with the 2015 PILOT program. Staff is also working to send out the first PILOT bills, which are due December 15. She added that the Agency budget was submitted to New York State on time. Regarding the food hub project, Ginsberg’s Foods has been making option payments on the Bridgeville building, and the firm is continuing to evaluate the site.
Ms. Flad asked whether the Board wishes to remove Mr. Scott as a signer on Agency bank accounts and certificates of deposit, and add Mr. White, who was appointed Agency CEO effective November 1, 2014. The Board agreed that Mr. Scott will no longer have signing authority on any accounts, and Mr. White will have signing authority on all accounts. Ms. Flad noted that currently signing authority is given to individuals, not offices. Attorney Garigliano advised that signing authority should be tied to specific offices. The Board discussed having five signers on all Agency accounts, and granting signing authority on all accounts to the persons holding the following offices: Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, and Secretary. Mr. Rieber made a motion to set a policy that the five signers on all Agency accounts shall be Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, and Secretary, and to adopt each bank’s pro forma signing resolution giving the persons holding these offices signing authority on all Agency accounts. Mr. Sykes seconded the motion, the Board voted and the motion was unanimously approved. Ms. Flad advised that she will follow up with Mr. Steingart (Chairman), Mr. White (CEO), Mr. Barbuti (Treasurer), Ms. Shaddock (Assistant Treasurer) and Ms. Loughlin (Secretary) to complete any necessary paperwork.
VI. NEW BUSINESS
Ms. Brylinski referred to the summary of Mechanical/Plumbing and Electric bids for the red meat facility project. She noted that the low bidder on the electric portion is Port Jervis Electric. Attorney Garigliano continued that the Port Jervis Electric bid is $54,321 plus the cost of paying NYSEG, which is currently unknown. Board members agreed that Glenn Smith will move forward with the contract with Port Jervis Electric. The Board then discussed the lone plumbing bid, which is far in excess of internal estimates. It was determined that cost and time considerations make it infeasible to rebid the plumbing work. Attorney Garigliano advised that if the Board rejects the bid and declines to undertake any plumbing work, the Agency will be unable to harvest the entire $800,000 EDA grant. However, the Agency has exceeded the total project budget, and if it undertakes any plumbing work, it will go farther over budget. To minimize expenditures in excess of the budget, but fully utilize the EDA grant, he suggested that Glenn Smith negotiate with the bidder for limited work including bringing a service line from the existing Village water main into the building, and terminating it inside the building. He continued that Glenn Smith’s contract authorizes him to do this, and the Board agreed with this approach.
Mr. Steingart referred the Board to the resolution before them today, recommending the appointment of Paul B. Guenther as a member of the Agency Board. He reminded the Board that New York State statute required Mr. White to step down from the Board when he was appointed Agency CEO, effective November 1. He stated that the County Legislature appoints members to the Agency Board, and that previous Legislatures have made Board appointments on the recommendation of the Agency. The current Legislature has screened Board applicants its party caucuses, and more recently in public interviews. Chairman Steingart stressed the importance of the Agency in making the most of the economic possibilities that casino development will bring, and stressed that Mr. Guenther has unmatched experience to make this Board even stronger. He noted that he has invited Mr. Guenther to meet with the legislators this Thursday. He stated that the resolution will help to show the legislators that the entire Board supports Mr. Guenther’s appointment. Ms. Loughlin made a motion to discuss the resolution, and the motion was seconded by Mr. Rieber. Ms. Loughlin cited Mr. Guenther’s work with Paine Webber, the New York Philharmonic, Frontier and other boards, and noted that this experience will help us to work with the large projects that are before us. Mr. Sykes added that it is difficult to imagine any opposition. Mr. Rieber noted that Mr. Guenther’s professional network lends credibility to our Board, especially at a time when Sullivan County is re-emerging as a business and cultural destination. Mr. Siegel added that he hopes the Legislature understands not only the Board’s support for Mr. Guenther’s appointment, but also its excitement at the prospect that he will bring new and valuable skills and expertise to round out the Board. Following this discussion, the Board voted and the resolution was unanimously approved.
Attorney Garigliano began a discussion of the Griffin American Healthcare REIT II project. He reminded the Board that in 2013 Crystal Run Health Care sold all of its real property, including its facility at Rock Hill, to Griffin American Healthcare. Griffin American will now merge with NorthStar Realty Finance Corp. Both companies’ shareholders have approved the merger, and they expect regulatory approval in the coming days, with a scheduled closing date of December 1, 2014. As part of the merger, the new entity will borrow 2.6 million dollars, to be secured by various health care facilities, including the Rock Hill facility. This facility has a value of approximately 27 million dollars, and the Agency will be asked to execute a mortgage in this amount. Griffin American will be a much smaller component of the new company than NorthStar, and the Agency will be asked to consent to this change in control. This is provided for in the Agency’s leaseback agreement with Griffin American. He asked if the Board would reconvene this meeting to consider and vote on an authorizing resolution. The Board agreed to reconvene at 3:00 pm on Tuesday, November 25. Attorney Garigliano noted that the company has requested a mortgage tax exemption, and that he informed them that they must show some new investment or job creation to qualify for this abatement, consistent with the Agency’s Uniform Tax Exemption Policy. Board members briefly discussed this and determined that there is no basis for granting a mortgage tax abatement.
Chairman Steingart asked for public comment.
Star Hesse thanked the Board for meeting in the committee room, where the public can better hear the discussion. She asked the Agency to reach out to animal welfare approved groups in soliciting bids for all aspects of the red meat facility project.
Ken Walter asked that Board agenda packets be posted online. He also commented that bidding on federal contracts is difficult for small businesses, who struggle to comply with the required paperwork. He passed out a newspaper article concerning tax cuts.
Legislative Chairman Scott Samuelson thanked the Board and Attorney Garigliano for their work in general, and noted in particular that the Agency’s work has been fundamental to the success of County’s efforts to date. He also thanked the Board for their support of Paul Guenther as a prospective new Board member, and stated that Mr. Guenther would be an extraordinary asset.
Mr. White noted that he has been visiting various current and potential Agency projects, as well as municipal and agency representatives from around the County.
Mr. Sykes stated that Riverside Remedies Rx Corp. pharmacy opens tomorrow. A ribbon cutting will be held at a later date. Ms. Brylinski will notify the Board when the ribbon cutting is scheduled.
Board members briefly discussed the casino effort, and noted that the Board will need to discuss future outreach efforts if no decision is made by November 21. Members suggested that more casino proponents write and submit editorials to news outlets. A new radio ad could also be helpful after Thanksgiving.
On a motion made by Mr. Siegel and seconded by Mr. Rieber, at approximately 10:56 am the meeting was recessed until Tuesday, November 25, 2014, 3:00 PM in this same room.
IDA VP, Business Development