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City of Glens Falls GREATER GLENS FALLS DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION May 11, 2006 MEETING MINUTES A regular meeting of the Greater Glens Falls Development Corporation members was held at 7:30 AM on Thursday, May 11, 2006 in Mayor’s Conference Room, City Hall, 42 Ridge Street, Glens Falls, NY 12801. Present: Mayor Leroy Akins, Chairman Robert Regan, and Commissioner Daniel Hazewski Absent: Commissioners Paul McPhillips and Lois Robinson. Also Present: Attorney Mark Noordsy; Tom Ross, Loftus & Ross; Thomas Donohue and Jacqueline Squadere, Community Development; Todd Feigenbaum, Economic Development; Peter Wohl, ARBI; Jim Thatcher, Avalon Assoc.; Robert Murray and William Tompkins, Shelter Planning & Dev. and The Post Star. Chairman Regan brought the meeting to order. He stated the first item is approval of the minutes of the April, 2006 meeting. RESOLUTION NO. 41 On the motion of Mayor Akins, seconded by Commissioner Hazewski all voting affirmatively, it was RESOLVED THAT, the Greater Glens Falls Development Corporation hereby accepts the minutes of the April, 2006 meeting. The next item on the agenda is bills to be paid: Fitzgerald Morris, City of Glens Falls, Post-Star, Bartlett Pontiff, Edwards Williams, Loftus Ross, Avalon Assoc., Barton & Loguidice PC, Clough Harbour Assoc., Cool Insuring, and WCEDC. Commissioner Hazewski stated with regards to the bill from Clough Harbour and the Brownfields – when is that reimbursed – is that at the end of the project? Mr. Thatcher replied quarterly – they would be submitting it. RESOLUTION NO. 42 On the motion of Commissioner Hazewski, seconded by Chairman Regan, all voting affirmatively, it was RESOLVED THAT, the Greater Glens Falls Development Corporation hereby approves payment of the following bills to: Fitzgerald Morris Baker & Firth, $1,498.50 and $1,543.00; City of Glens Falls, $73.06; Bartlett Pontiff, $2, 361.35; Edwards, Williams, McManus et al, $975.00; Loftus Ross, $535.00; Avalon Pg. 2 L.D.C. 05/11/06 Assoc., $270.00; Barton & Loguidice PC, $4,196.18; Clough Harbour Assoc., $445.00; Cool Insuring, $1,659.00 and WCEDC, $10,000 (1/3 of NDC contract). The next item on the agenda is the Updated Financial Statement. Mayor Akins asked if there was anything new on receivables? Mr. Ross replied yes, Northern Broadcasting paid off in full. There are a few things to discuss in executive session. RESOLUTION NO. 43 On The motion of Mayor Akins, seconded by Commissioner Hazewski, all voting affirmatively, it was RESOLVED THAT, the Greater Glens Falls Development Corporation hereby accepts the Updated Financial Statement. OLD BUSINESS Peter Wohl addressed the Board on the Adirondack Technology Accelerator Center. He stated with regards to the Brownfield work – the work plan that was submitted by Barton & Lojuidice came back with some comments from the DEC. Barton & Lojuidice has addressed those issues and resubmitted it to the local representative and are awaiting approval. In the interim the Brownfields and remediation work has begun. As of yesterday they began the asbestos survey. The preliminary feedback on that is the asbestos issues are not as significant as they could be or expected. At this point all they have seen so far is wrapping on some pipes. They also did some lead paint testing, but will need to do further testing to see how significant that is. He stated they discussed at the last meeting the issues they were facing with their architectural agreement and got approval from this Board to rescind the offer if an agreement could not be reached. It could not be reached. Working with Shelter Planning, they rewrote the RFP, put out a public notice on it, sent the RFP to over 25 firms in the region and held a walk through of the site. The deadline for proposals is 5/15. They’ve assembled a review team and hope to have a recommendation for the Board after interviews, by 5/25. He’d like to ask for a special session of the Board to take a vote on the recommendation. With respect to the State Historic Preservation Office, he spoke with Jim Warren there about the status of the determination and was told they hadn’t received some of the last correspondences. Thanks to the crack staff of the City every response sent had a receipt tagged to it so they have the people and the date it was signed for. Thy re-sent the information and photos of the site. Todd Feigenbaum and Rob Ritter have set up a meeting on Monday with a local representative from SHPPO to help educate them in the process. There is another grant they had out there – the Wired Buildings Grant, which they needed an extension on. He spoke with ESD and has a verbal commitment to extend the grant until March, 2008. There is a letter here that needs to be signed by the Chairman of this Board, to that affect. Mayor Akins asked what the grant is for? Pg. 3 L.D.C. 05/11/06 Mr. Wohl replied it’s $75,000 to help offset the cost of wiring the building to the technology level they want. It’s a matching grant, so they will have to spend that amount of money to be reimbursed. Mr. Feigenbaum added that it’s for phones, computers, modems, etc. Mr. Wohl stated with regards to the construction timeline, they have an extension from EDA until 9/24 to begin construction. Preliminary feedback from some of the architects is that is an extremely tight timeframe and they’re not sure it can be met. They’ll have to track this closely. If they can’t meet it they can always go back to EDA for another extension, but they don’t want to do that unless the case is strong and we’ve at least shown progress. He stated he’s currently engaged in a marketing effort with the Chamber of Commerce in an event called the Thinkubator, which will be held on 6/8. They’ll be gathering the entrepreneurial climate of the region – they’re asking anyone with an idea, to come and meet at the Chamber offices and with a panel, discuss the idea. They’ll also follow up with these folks to identify potential incubator clients as well as assist folks in developing their business. Mr. Tompkins stated he’s been receiving the comments from the architects – the timeframe is a very important issue. That’s one reason for having a special meeting. The time to ask for an extension is after you have an architect on board and they’ve given us a schedule. Commissioner Hazewski asked for a clarification – they’ve been delayed by SHPPO for a long time. They’ve been delayed by an architect who wasn’t competent to do the job for a long time now. The site is not a historic building and it’s not in a historic district. He doesn’t understand why they’re dealing with SHPPO. Mr. Tompkins replied that SHPPO has the right to review anything that is eligible for inclusion on the list, whether it is or not. That’s a federal law, if there is federal money involved. The EDA money triggers a SHPPO review and they have a very broad net that they cast. Mr. Feigenbaum stated they hope to find out more on Monday. They took a couple of people who are experts on dealing with SHPPO and historic sites to see the site and they were appalled. They couldn’t believe SHPPO had gotten involved with this. Mr. Murray stated he can second that – it clearly should never have been included as a SHPPO issue. Now that it is we’ll need some very tactful people to work that through. After further discussion, a special meeting of the Board was scheduled for May 25, 2006 at 7:30 PM in the Mayor’s Conference Room. Mr. Murray stated with regards to the Northway Business Park, he spoke with the archeological people. They got the contract and are scheduling a crew to come up here. They assured him they have no problem meeting SHPPO requirements. Mr. Feigenbaum stated that they need to finalize the branding for the Park. The Board has seen some designs from Trampoline. Pg. 4 L.D.C. 05/11/06 He suggests they authorize the Mayor to finalize that, move forward and get Trampoline to do some brochures for us. EDC’s real estate person, John Wheatley is willing to work with us to market “Tech Meadows”. They also need a new sign – a bigger sign with updated information on there. Chairman Regan asked if a decision had been made on the logo? Commissioner Hazewski replied he hadn’t seen it. Mr. Feigenbaum stated he’s seen it and will just have them get going. He’’ try to get them to create a FAQ sheet or brochure – something to give to CEG. Commissioner Hazewski pointed out that’s Phase 2 of the project – deliverables, which isn’t budgeted for. Mr. Murray stated that they need to look at Trampoline’s contract with the LDC. They should make a final presentation to their client as to what it is they’re doing with the balance of the money. He doesn’t know where they are on that but there is a specific scope of work and contract. It’s up to Trampoline, before they give the LDC a bill for the balance of it that they keep the LDC up to speed. Commissioner Hazewski stated he has a copy of the contract, but not with him. They’re done with Phase One, which was all the meetings and developing the logo. Phase 2 is the deliverables – USB flash things and a brochure – that’s not approved or budgeted for. Mr. Feigenbaum stated he would get back to Trampoline. He thinks they can scale that back. He doesn’t know that a lot of those things are necessary. He’ll talk to them and get them to come in with a firm presentation. Chairman Regan asked if the Board wants them to come to the next meeting and wrap it up or do they just want do it administratively? Mr. Feigenbaum replied that administratively makes more sense. Trampoline is getting frustrated and it’s been drawn out. Commissioner Hazewski stated they allocated $10,000 for the development of the design, that’s it. There are no deliverables in that. So for a brochure, the second piece, it went up to about $50,000.That’s where you cut and paste as to what you want or don’t want. Mr. Feigenbaum stated he would see if they can work up a revised implementation program that he thinks can be more economical, but still do what we need it to do and bring it back to the Board. Commissioner Hazewski stated he doesn’t think the finances are the key – you don’t want to rush to fruition of a project and have it done incorrectly. He thinks if he were from the CEG and taking this to Germany, he’d probably want a flash/USB port thing. If we’re trying to portray high tech you want to be high tech. It’s silly not to spend up front money to present the product in the best light. He would rather not rush through it. Pg. 5 L.D.C. 05/11/06 He definitely agrees on the logo – he doesn’t care what it is as long as they have it, then they need to fine hone what they want to present, and do it right the first time. Mr. Murray stated you also have $10,000 from NiMo if you spend $20,000. Mayor Akins stated if they’re going to Germany, or any other country, it should be in those languages. Commissioner Hazewski stated he thinks they all agree that the logo is a done deal, right? So they can move forward on that. The Board agreed with Commissioner Hazewski. Tom Donohue addressed the Board. He stated with regards to the revolving loan program, program income money is starting to impact on the Community Development Block Grant budget. Mrs. Squadere stated right now they have over $500,000 in their program income account. In talking with Jill Casey from HUD, it doesn’t impact them right now, but it will because they’re not doing anything with that money. We’re not making any loans with that money. In their yearly report they get criticized by HUD for sitting on all that money. It’s been three years since they’ve given out a loan. She noted that Della was local money. Mr. Tompkins stated with HUD’s timeliness report they are measuring the CDBG program on their rate of expenditure. At a period of time they say do you have more than 1.5 times your annual allocation unspent and if you do why would we give you more money? They’re going to cut it back in the long run. With the annual appropriation that we get we’re doing a good job, but the other money sitting there is a problem. He thinks what the answer is either they try to generate additional loans out of the revolving loan fund or we find some other activity that we’re doing that is a low/mod activity and therefore qualifies for the use of the money. Commissioner Hazewski stated weren’t we trying to reclassify that money, so it wasn’t low/mod? Mr. Donohue stated according to Jill Casey that is impossible. That is for low/mod benefit and that’s where it will remain. Mr. Tompkins stated that isn’t totally the information. There are rules about defederalizing, and he has someone at the State who is going to give him those rules, because they affect other programs they have. They’ll look at those and give the Board a definite answer. They’re getting conflicting stories. There are rules, so it must be possible. Mr. Feigenbaum stated they need to do some marketing that this loan program exists. He’s finding that a lot of businesses in town don’t know about it. He suggested doing outreach to people starting or expanding businesses. Pg. 6 L.D.C. 05/11/06 Commissioner Hazewski explained to Mr. Feigenbaum that historically the problem has been people don’t qualify for these loans, so therefore we go into other pots. It’s not that we’re not doing loans, but they don’t qualify for low/mod because of number of jobs or the area that the project is being developed. He would ask for definitive information on what that money actually consists of – how much is interest, and at this point in time it’s probably all interest and what we can do with it. Mr. Donohue stated one of the things Kevin McLaughlin from NDC recommended was to reach out to our banks and ask them if they have any people coming in who are looking for financing on projects that do qualify and have the banks work with us. Offer them loans from our program, rather than from the bank. Chairman Regan asked if they could use that money for infrastructure in low/mod income census tracts – sidewalks, etc.? Mr. Tompkins replied no, not the way it’s set up. He stated further that the big difference now as compared to 10 years ago is bank money is available and cheap and comes with no strings attached. All the activities that are CDBG eligible, this money can be used for. Commissioner Hazewski asked if the incubator site qualifies geographically? Chairman Regan stated the Mayor wants to spruce up South Street. Mr. Tompkins not as it is - it’s no longer a blighted area. Another strategy is to redo a blight determination. They’d have to have a Blight Study, going building by building, have a blight determination, identify what activities caused the blight, then you can remedy them. Mayor Akins stated they’re working on some of that over there now. Chairman Regan stated when they were originally discussing the incubator idea, they thought once they fix up that building, they might as well fix up the infrastructure on Elm Street – they had seen another city where that had spread. With what the Mayor wants to do on South Street, it’s a great opportunity. Mr. Murray stated in the beginning our conservative attitude was to get the money, get it into the LDC and CDBG money comes every year – spend that. Keep the local money here, make the best deal you can, but always keep money. That philosophy has run up against a rule now that says you have to spend it. Now HUD is saying if we don’t do something with that money they’re going to cut the CDBG allocation. They’ve never had that problem before. Now it’s either make more loans, market the loan program, talking with the banks and the BID would be a way to make a couple of loans. They could also look at how they might actually spend some of the money, which is at odds with that. Chairman Regan stated if you take a blighted area like Elm and South Street and with a couple of years’ allocation, throw the money at the infrastructure – that’s there forever, or use it for the hotel project. Pg. 7 L.D.C. 05/11/06 Mr. Feigenbaum stated they’ve already taken the HUD rep on a tour of South Street. Attorney Noordsy stated with regards to the Wireless Communities project, he’s worked up a contract, which is ready to be approved by the Board. He, Mr. Feigenbaum, Alan VanTassel and Attorney Mary Beth Slavin, worked on that the last month. The contract is ready to be signed to get the project going. There are some details Alan would like to talk about, with regards to cash flow. He has a solution to that, if the Board is so inclined. Alan Van Tassel addressed the Board. He stated the grant called for a $60,000 private sector contribution, with this group putting up the $60,000, which is reimbursable. It doesn’t clearly spell out how that money is disbursed. There are a couple of different ways you can do it. He suggested they submit invoices and those invoices be paid back to them. The grant calls for some of the infrastructure equipment to be purchased in advance. He asked if they should submit invoices for that equipment in chunks? Do they bill for the labor that’s covered under the grant initiative in arrears? Attorney Noordsy stated it’s a $120,000 project. There is a grant for $60,000. So Glens Falls Technology would be putting in $60,000 and the LDC would be putting in $60,000 and getting that reimbursed by way of the grant. The grant won’t cover attorneys’ fees. There is a provision in the contract for the attorney fees the LDC will incur to be paid back over three years by Glens Falls Technology. Commissioner Hazewski stated the LDC fronts the $60,000 and gets it back, right? Attorney Noordsy replied yes. Mr. VanTassel stated they’ve already put up $54,000 of that $60,000 and are in the process of incurring expenses for the infrastructure and are anxious to move forward on approving this. The grant was approved mid-February. Attorney Noordsy stated the Board’s normal procedure for payment is once per month. Glens Falls Technology is looking to see if that can be done quicker. He stated that in order to comply with the Public Authority Accountability Act the Board needs a CEO or an Executive Director and a CFO, who are not members of the Board. They’d discussed the possibility of that being Todd and Tom Ross as CFO. He doesn’t have all the new by-laws, and documents ready, they’re being worked on, but they could go ahead and make the appointment of those two officers. Then give Todd as CEO or Executive Director the ability to implement the wishes of the Board, to implement projects approved by the Board and payments for projects that are approved by the Board, without having to wait for the monthly meeting. He’s still need to get two signatures. The Board would give him that authority, to implement their decisions. RESOLUTION NO. 44 On the motion of Commissioner Hazewski, seconded by Mayor Akins, all voting affirmatively, it was Pg. 8 L.D.C. 05/11/06 RESOLVED THAT, the Greater Glens Falls Development Corporation hereby approves the appointment of Thomas Ross as Chief Financial Officer, to look over the financial affairs of the Board, subject to the supervision of the Board and the Board’s Treasurer. RESOLUTION NO. 45 On the motion of Commissioner Hazewski, seconded by Mayor Akins, all voting affirmatively, it was RESOLVED THAT, the Greater Glens Falls Development Corporation hereby appoints Todd Feigenbaum as Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer, to implement decisions of the Board and to move projects forward that have been approved by the Board. RESOLUTION NO. 46 On the motion of Commissioner Hazewski, seconded by Mayor Akins, all voting affirmatively, excepting Chairman Regan, who abstained, it was RESOLVED THAT, the Greater Glens Falls Development Corporation hereby approves entering into a contract with Glens Falls Technology with regards to the Wired Communities project, and authorize Todd Feigenbaum, with regards to that project, to approve invoices as they come through and subsequent payments, without having to wait for a Board meeting. NEW BUSINESS Mr. Murray stated the LDC was the successful applicant for a Main Street Grant – the first one, three years ago. It took them until early 2006 to get a contract. They have it now. They’ve talked to the 7 property owners identified in the grant. Two have moved along very well, the rest have letters and notices from him that they need to move ahead. The one that’s moved the farthest is Judy Pontiff, Achenbach’s. She’s proposed to change the façade on the front of her building – removing the entire first floor storefront, entrance, façade, windows, doors, and exterior material completely, replacing with new. The store entrance is now recessed deeply, it will be moved out to Glen Street and recessed only two feet. On either side of the entrance she will have copper roofs over each window. They submitted the information to SHPPO and after submitting a revised description of the materials to be used, they approved it. The grant is through the HCR and is 50% of the cost of façade improvements, not to exceed $10,000. The cost for what she wants to do will be in excess of $37,000. He asked the Board to pass a resolution approving a grant for Achenbach’s, under the Main Street grant, not to exceed 50% of the cost or $10,000. She will still have to get Planning Board approval, but will be able to sign a contract with the contractor, knowing she’ll get $10,000 from the LDC, which will be reimbursed to the LDC. She pays the bills, gives them to them and is reimbursed. They don’t advance her the money. RESOLUTION NO. 47 Pg. 9 L.D.C. 05/11/06 On the motion of Chairman Regan, seconded by Commissioner Hazewski, all voting affirmatively, it was RESOLVED THAT, the Greater Glens Falls Development Corporation hereby approves a grant to Achenbach’s, under the Main Street Grant program, not to exceed $10,000 for façade improvements. Mr. Donovan asked the status of the other 5 properties for that grant. Mr. Murray stated each of those owners worked with Bob Joy’s office to some degree. Some aren’t willing to put the money into their facades. They haven’t contacted him. He plans to knock on the doors of those 5 properties with Tom and ask if they’re going to move forward or not. RESOLUTION NO. 48 On the motion of Mayor Akins, seconded by Commissioner Hazewski, all voting affirmatively, it was RESOLVED THAT, the Greater Glens Falls Development Corporation hereby adjourns to executive session. Upon the Board’s return to regular session, with no further business, the meeting was adjourned.
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