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, October 15, 2013
I. CALL TO ORDER
Chairman Steingart called to order the reconvened meeting of the County of Sullivan Industrial Development Agency at approximately 10:02 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 Sandy Shaddock
Edward Sykes Suzanne Loughlin
Staff Present- Staff Absent-
Jennifer C.S. Brylinski, Exec. Director None
Jen Flad, VP Business Development
Walter F. Garigliano, Esq., Agency Legal Counsel
Tara Lewis, Garigliano Law Offices
Gene Benson, SC Legislature
Ari Strauss, Monticello Motor Club
Michael Zarin, EPT Concord II, LLC
Shawn Griffin, Harris Beach LLC
Adam Cassidy, Veria Lifestyle Inc.
Gary Silver, Veria Lifestyle Inc.
Dan Hust, SC Democrat
III. OLD BUSINESS
Attorney Garigliano handed out a resolution regarding EPT Concord II, LLC (now known as EPR). He introduced Michael Zarin, an attorney representing EPR. Attorney Garigliano explained that three applications were filed relative to the Concord project: a master development application to take title to the entire site and install infrastructure for site development; an application from Monticello Raceway Management, Inc. for a casino and golf project; and an application by EPR on behalf of a water park operator to be named later. Today we are only dealing with the master application for site work and utilities on the 1735 acre site. He reminded the Board that this project desires some assurance that the Agency will not make policy changes that impede the project for a period of ten years. Chairman Steingart has worked with the project to develop language to this effect, and this assurance will depend on the project meeting certain job creation goals. Attorney Garigliano and Chairman Steingart emphasized that these goals are relevant only in the event that IDA policies change in the future. If that happens, the project will be assured that it will retain benefits so long as it meets these employment goals. There will be different and unrelated job creation targets in the agent agreement, as with any other project, and there will be clawback provisions as with any other agent agreement. These targets have not yet been developed, because the Agency and the project are not yet at the stage of negotiating an agent agreement. Chairman Steingart added that it is reasonable for every project to be assured in writing that if Agency policy changes within some specified time period, the project will not lose benefits so long as it meets particular targets.
Attorney Zarin briefly updated the Board on the project, stating that it is moving forward and two recent lawsuits against the project have been dismissed. The project is now working out a water supply agreement and negotiating approvals from the NYS Department of Transportation.
Mr. Rieber made a motion to approve the resolution authorizing the Agency to execute agreements relating to the master development of the EPT Concord II, LLC project. The motion was seconded by Mr. Sykes, the Board voted and the resolution was unanimously approved.
Chariman Steingart introduced Shawn Griffin of Harris Beach, LLC. Mr. Griffin represents the Agency with respect to the Monticello Motor Club and Veria Lifestyle Inc. projects. Harris Beach will be working to compile and synthesize the many ethics codes to which the Board is subject, and will help to clarify the requirements of these codes for Board members.
Chairman Steingart began the discussion of Jefferson Devleopment Partners, LLC/ Monticello Motor Club project and the inducement resolution before the Board today. Chairman Steingart disclosed that the Monticello Motor Club is a client representing a very small percentage of his business. Mr. Sykes disclosed that the Monticello Motor Club is a tenant at the Southern Tier Title Company building, and that Mr. Sykes owns a portion of Southern Tier Title Company. Mr. Griffin stated that these disclosures are absolutely appropriate and are the only action that the Board members are legally required to take. Members are also welcome to recuse themselves from discussions and voting, and exit the room during the vote, to avoid the appearance of a conflict. Garigliano asked for clarification regarding whether Mr. Sykes and Mr. Steingart should recuse himself from voting, and Mr. Griffin replied that, if there is a quorum without these two votes, then recusal is fine and further makes the point that they are avoiding the appearance of a conflict.
Mr. Griffin described the project, which is owned by Jefferson Development Partners, LLC, on behalf of the Monticello Motor Club. The party that will undertake the new improvements is Monticello Motor Club. The Agency has had a lease/leaseback engagement with them before, and has provided sales tax exemptions. This is a continuation of the development plan. The Agency will go back into a lease/leaseback agreement with Jefferson Development Partners, LLC and the Monticello Motor Club through 2015.
Ari Strauss, representing the project, gave a summary of current project status. The project recently received approvals on its ten year vision and plan. Since the project began in 2008, over 66 full-time equivalent jobs have been created, and project intends to double that number over the next ten years. The three components of the project before the Board today are the construction of two garage buildings, a karting track, and a bridge. As membership grows, the Monticello Motor Club will continue to fully develop its ten year vision.
Mr. Griffin clarified that the current proposal is for sales tax exemption only, and does not include mortgage tax exemption or property tax exemption. Finally, Mr. Griffin stated that this is a commercial, rather than a recreational, project as defined by statute. Any aspects of the project that are recreational in nature (meaning those that involve spectator seating, parking and related recreational aspects) will not receive a sales tax exemption. The assistance is under $100,000, so no public hearing is required. SEQR has been done.
Mr. Rieber made a motion to approve the inducement resolution accepting the project application, making a determination under SEQR and describing the financial assistance being contemplated with respect to the Monticello Motor Club/ Jefferson Development Partners, LLC project. The motion was seconded by Mr. White, the Board voted and the resolution was approved with Chairman Steingart and Mr. Sykes recusing themselves from voting for the reasons described above.
Chairman Steingart began a discussion of the Veria Lifestyle, Inc. project. He introduced Gary Silver, attorney for the project and Adam Cassidy, who is representing Veria Lifestyle Inc. Mr. Silver described the project, which will be a destination wellness resort. When fully developed, there will be approximately 265 guest rooms, accommodating about 1000 guests. Approximately 330 full time equivalent jobs will be created. Guests will receive comprehensive health evaluations, wellness counseling, and various related amenities. The applicant intends to invest approximately 90 million dollars throughout the course of the project. However, under the current application before the Board, the applicant is simply seeking a master development agreement and sales tax exemption of approximately $88,000.00 through a standard lease/leaseback arrangement. This current project phase includes the purchase of the Kutsher’s property (approximately 1310 acres), and the construction, demolition and reconstruction of various structures, infrastructure and fixtures. The applicant is also seeking a commitment that the IDA’s relevant uniform tax exempt policies remain in place for ten years.
Mr. Griffin added that the applicant has not yet purchased the property but is now a contract vendee with a right to buy the site next month. The assurances regarding the IDA’s tax abatement programs will be negotiated in the coming weeks. Today’s resolution is intended to allow the company to act as agent of the IDA, so that demolition can begin immediately, to eliminate dangerous conditions at the project site. In this instance, there is an exemption for SEQR review under state law, to allow for emergency demolition. It is Mr. Griffin’s opinion that the IDA and the Public Services Commission (PSC) are the two involved agencies, and the PSC will be notified of the project. The PSC is likely an involved agency because there will be a change in ownership of the water company. There will be a public hearing before the final resolution is introduced next month. In essence, this resolution will allow the company to begin some emergency demolition to begin now, with the permission of the current owners. Next month, following a public hearing there will be more formal, definitive action under the final resolution, which will approve a more formal agreement and trigger the UTEP under a PILOT agreement.
Mr. Alport disclosed that he has no relationship with the applicant, but has been a major vendor to Kutsher’s. Mr. Griffin advised that this disclosure is absolutely appropriate, but that there is no legal reason why Mr. Alport cannot vote on this resolution. Mr. Rieber disclosed that he conducted an appraisal on the subject property. Because this appraisal is binding on both parties, he recused himself from discussion of the project.
Chairman Steingart asked for a motion on this resolution, to open discussion. Mr. Sykes made a resolution, and the resolution was seconded by Mr. Gold. Chairman Steingart noted that it is good news that this developer is looking to make an investment in clearing the property prior to obtaining title, and signifies their commitment.
Ms. Brylinski noted that the tentative public hearing date for this project will be Wednesday, November 6, 2013 at 2:00 pm at the Town of Thompson Town Hall.
There being no further discussion on the resolution, Chairman Steingart asked for a vote. The Board voted and the resolution was approved with Mr. Rieber recusing himself for the reason described above. Chairman Steingart welcomed Mr. Cassidy and Veria Lifestyle, Inc. to Sullivan County and wished them good luck. Mr. Cassidy thanked the Board for their time.
On a motion by Mr. Sykes and seconded by Mr. Barbuti, at approximately 10:35 am the meeting was adjourned.
IDA VP, Business Development