Meeting Minutes

December 14, 2011

Present:             Ray Gillen, Brad Lewis, Sharon Jordan, Bob Mantello, Janet Hutchison, Bob Wall and Karen Zalewski-Wildzunas

Absent:              Neil Golub, Bill Chapman, and John Mallozzi

Others:              Jayme Lahut, Jim Callander and audience of 4

Call to Order:    Mr. Gillen called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.

1.            Approval of Minutes: Ms. Jordan moved adoption of the November 9, 2011 meeting minutes; seconded by Mr. Mantello and approved.   

2.            Treasurer’s Report: Mr. Wall reviewed the Treasurer’s Report ending November 30, 2011, which was distributed prior to the meeting, noted that sales tax receipts exceed budget by about $226,000 while operating expenses are under budget. Cash on hand totaled $1.9 million. Mr. Lewis moved acceptance of the Treasurer’s Report; seconded by Mrs. Hutchison and approved.

3.            AAA Northway Relocation Project: Resolution 733-11 — SEQRA / No Significant Impact on the Environment

The project involves relocating AAA Northway’s call center and regional headquarters from 112 Railroad Avenue and 10 State Street to downtown Schenectady, where AAA identified 10,965 square feet of rental space on the 3rd floor. The project includes Metroplex’s purchase of AAA’s property. The environmental review classified as an Unlisted Action under SEQRA.  Mr. Lewis moved Resolution 733-11; seconded by Mrs. Zalewski-Wildzunas.  Following discussion about potential reuses of AAA’s existing properties, Resolution 733-11 was approved.

4.            AAA Northway Relocation Project: Resolution 734-11 — Adopt the General Project Plan

With 146,000 members in 10 counties, AAA Northway employs 100+ people with 45 stationed at its offices on 112 Railroad Avenue. Metroplex’s participation involved investing $138,000 to purchase the land and building at 112-114 Railroad Avenue and 10 State Street and a $84,000 moving/relocation grant. Mrs. Zalewski-Wildzunas moved Resolution 734-11; seconded by Ms. Jordan. Resolution 734-11 was unanimously approved.

5.            Gateway Park Grant Project: Resolution 735-11 — Adopt the General Project Plan

The Capital District Transportation Committee (CDTC) awarded a planning grant to the City of Schenectady for the redesign of Liberty Park on lower State Street. The City’s Department of Development and CDTC will interview and retail design consultants and manage the study, which is estimated to cost $70,000. Resolution 735-11 authorized $20,000 in matching funds. Mr. Gillen made a presentation on transforming the park, which acts as a key gateway to downtown, adjacent to the Stockade District and close to several construction projects underway. Ms. Jordan moved Resolution 735-11; seconded by Mr. Capovani. Following discussion, Resolution 735-11 was approved.

6.      DHA Properties, LLC Project: Resolution 736-11 — Adopt the General Project Plan

Schenectady-based DHA Properties, LLC, a commercial real estate development company, purchased the two-story, 10,000 square foot former Planned Parenthood property at 414 Union Street. Plans call for renovating the first floor as commercial space housing DHA Holding, Inc. executive offices and its affiliated Innogen Business Incubator; the second floor will contain five apartments. Metroplex is providing a $30,000 façade grant. Mr. Lewis moved Resolution 736-11; seconded by Mrs. Hutchison and unanimously approved.

7.      Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation: Resolution 737-11 — Adopt the General Project Plan

Metroplex participation involved a $178,500 grant for downtown cleanup and beautification services and activities. DSIC provides services seven days a week plus hanging flower baskets, maintaining tree beds and caring for landscaped areas. Ms. Jordan moved Resolution 737-11; seconded by Mr. Mantello. Following discussion about the annual assistance to DSIC, Resolution 737-11 was approved with Mrs. Hutchison abstaining.

8.      Draper School Redevelopment / Disabled American Veteran’s Housing Project: Resolution 738-11 — Amend the General Project Plan

One year ago the Board approved a $50,000 grant and a partial exemption from real property taxes for up to 4 months contingent upon the Disabled American Veterans taking possession of the former Draper School in Rotterdam. Now that the dissolution of the Charter School in nearly completed, DAV seeks to extend the duration of the partial exemption from taxes through March 1, 2013 allowing sufficient time for Schenectady County to resolve outstanding tax issues. Mrs. Zalewski-Wildzunas moved Resolution 738-11; seconded by Mr. Lewis. Discussion followed about securing title with DAV and obtaining site control following the County tax foreclosure. Resolution 738-11 was unanimously approved.

9.      Downtown Parking Project: Resolution 738-11: Modify and Adopt the Parking Budget

The 2012 parking budget reflects modestly increasing revenues (about 1%) and a decline in expenses from current levels. Parking usage continued to climb in 2011 with a 29% increase in visitor parking and 6% rise in permit-holders. Visitor parking doubled in less than four years. The Fiscal Audit Committee recommended approval of the FY-2012 parking budget.  Mr. Mantello moved Resolution 738-11; seconded by Mr. Lewis. Discussion followed about the costs of operating parking facilities. Resolution 738-11 was  unanimously approved.

10.        Management Services Agreement: Resolution 739-11 — Reauthorize Management Services Agreements

Resolution 739-11 authorized entering into new management services agreements with the City IDA,  County IDA, Rotterdam IDA and the Schenectady County Capital Resource Corporation and modifying the compensation for services from a flat rate monthly fee (now $2,000 apiece) to paying 30 percent of fees collected at closing. This was discussed at prior budget meetings. Ms. Jordan moved Resolution 739-11; seconded by Mr. Wall and approved.

10.    Professional Services Contract: Resolution 743-11 — Accounting Services Contract

Resolution 743-11 authorized a $48,000 contract with Robert L. Kristel, CPA, P.C. for on-call accounting services, preparing quarterly review statements and year-end financials, bond reporting and assisting with the annual audit. Ms. Jordan moved Resolution 743-11; seconded by Mrs. Zalewski-Wildzunas and unanimously approved.

11.     Professional Services Contract: Resolution 741-11: Auditing Services

Resolution 744-11authorized entering into a one year contract with BST & Co. LLP for preparing the 2011 comprehensive audit as required by the Metroplex enabling statute. The price was fixed at $15,400, which is the same as 2010. Staff intends to procure auditing services next summer. Ms. Jordan moved Resolution 741-11; seconded by Mr. Mantello and   approved.

12.    Professional Services Contract: Resolution 742-11: Parking Lot Maintenance

Last year the Authority awarded a 3-year contract for maintaining and clearing Metroplex parking facilities from snow and debris awarded to Schenectady-based Pachucki Trucking Co. For the second year of the contract, remuneration remained unchanged as 2011: $144,000 per annum plus a heavy snow removal stipend of $100 per truck load and refuse removal on a time and materials basis. Mrs. Hutchison moved Resolution 742-11; seconded by Mr. Mantello and approved.                 

13.    Public Comment — Jim Salengo, Executive Director of the Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation (DSIC), thanked the Board for its financial support and listed the successes of the program. 

14.    Board Comment — Ray Gillen reported on the recent grants for sewer at the Airport Business Park in Glenville, a $479,000 Alco waterfront grant, and the $4 million Restore NY Award for Alco.

15.    Adjournment — Mrs. Zalewski-Wildzunas moved to adjourn; seconded by Ms. Jordan.  The meeting adjourned at 7:05 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Jayme B. Lahut
Executive Director