Meeting Minutes

June 10, 2015

Present:             Ray Gillen, Bob Wall, Sharon Jordan, Bill Chapman, Robert Dieterich, Bob Mantello, and Karen Zalewski-Wildzunas

Absent:              Brad Lewis, Neil Golub and John Mallozzi

Others:           Jayme Lahut, Jim Callander, David Hogenkamp and an audience of 3

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 May 20, 2015 meeting minutes; seconded by Mr. Wall and approved.

2.       Treasurer’s Report: Mr. Wall reviewed the Treasurer’s Report for the period ending May 31, 2015, which was distributed prior to the meeting. He noted that sales tax revenue was lower than budgeted. Operating expenses were only slightly higher than budgeted primarily due to an upgrade to the office server. Predevelopment expenses were below budget. Cash on hand totaled $6.93 million. Following brief discussion, Mrs. Zalewski-Wildzunas moved to accept the Treasurer’s Report; seconded by Mr. Dieterich and approved.

3.       Lower Union Street Project: Resolution 971-15 — Adopt the General Project Plan

In 2014, Metroplex allocated $1,400,000 in tax-exempt bond proceeds for a second phase of the downtown fix-up program (Phase 2) with the goal of keeping downtown more pedestrian friendly. The Union Street project will utilize a portion of those funds, allocating $991,000 to be matched by $820,000 by the City of Schenectady, to mill and pave lower Union Street as well as install new curbs, sidewalks, streetlights and street amenities from Erie Blvd. to Lafayette Street / Park Place as well as Yates Street.  Ms. Jordan moved Resolution 971-15; seconded by Mrs. Zalewski-Wildzunas. After discussion, Resolution 971-15 was approved.

4.       Lower Union Street Project: Resolution 972-15 —  Award Paving Contract

Resolution 972-15 authorized retaining Callanan Industries Inc. of Schenectady as the lowest qualified bidder for the project.  Three firms submitted bids with Callanan Industries bid of $1,691,000 being the lowest, which was also below the engineer’s estimate. Work will be completed by the end of summer. Ms. Jordan moved Resolution 972-15; seconded by Mrs. Zalewski-Wildzunas. Following discussion, Resolution 972-15 was approved.

5.       823 Eastern Avenue Façade Project: Resolution 973-15 — Adopt the General Project Plan

The former RAS Furniture Building at 823 Eastern Avenue has sat vacant due to unpaid taxes for over 10 years.  Schenectady resident, Mark Leszczynski, owner-operator of several funeral parlors in the area, including 819 Eastern Avenue,  is prepared to purchase the properties from the City, invest $75,000 for façade and other exterior improvements, including lighting, landscaping, storefront windows, repainting as needed, and repairing and repointing the masonry facade.  Metroplex’s participation involves a dollar-for-dollar matching grant of up to $75,000 to restore the façade and improve the vacant lot. Mrs. Zalewski-Wildzunas moved Resolution 973-15; seconded by Ms. Jordan and approved.

6.       Lakshmi Associates, Inc. Relocation Project: Resolution 974-15 — Adopt the General Project Plan

In conjunction with DePaul housing project on Albany Street, a $14 million housing project, Metroplex has facilitated relocation of a specialty goods store from 780 Albany Street to 852 State Street. Lakshmi Associates will acquire the building, undertake modest repairs and install a small commercial kitchen to expand its operations with greater selection of prepared foods. The total project cost will be $175,000 with a $50,000 Metroplex grant to offset costs of relocation, renovations and acquisition. Mrs. Zalewski-Wildzunas moved Resolution 974-15; seconded by Ms. Jordan and approved.

7.       Robinson Block Redevelopment Project: Resolution 975-15 — Application for Grant Funding

Resolution 975-15 authorized Metroplex to apply to the Brownfield Redevelopment program through National Grid in support of the redevelopment project that is critical to revitalization efforts on lower State Street.  The National Grid grant can offset costs associated with environmental conditions, demolition and asbestos abatement. Resolution 975-15 was moved by Mrs. Zalewski-Wildzunas; seconded by Ms. Jordan and approved.

8.       Robinson Block Redevelopment Project: Resolution 976-15 — Adopt General Project Plan

The project represents an anchor project at the key intersection of State Street and Erie Blvd. with 105 market-rate apartments, ground floor retail, and on-site parking. The resolution sells three (3) Metroplex-owned properties for $268,000 to the development team of Cohoes-based Prime Companies and Schenectady-based Highbridge Development; adds the former Bi-Mor at 232 State Street; and Metroplex holds a subordinated $328,000 loan.  Metroplex financial assistance included a $250,000 façade grant, and an assignment of the $1.2 million NYS grant to address soil conditions. Resolution 976-15 was moved by Mrs. Zalewski-Wildzunas; seconded by Ms. Jordan.  Following discussion about the project, Resolution 976-15 was approved.

9.       Glenville Town Center Lighting Project: Resolution 977-15 — Adopt General Project Plan

The Town of Glenville has proposed retrofitting existing roadway lighting on Route 50 and extending sidewalks on both sides of the thoroughfare. The $1.38 million project is financed by Town of Glenville bonding ($406,250), NYS DOT ($825,000), private contributions ($50,000) and Metroplex grant of up to $90,000.  Resolution 977-15 was moved by Mr.  Dieterich; seconded by Mr. Chapman. Following discussion Resolution 977-15 was approved.

Public Comment — Diane Hart, Niskayuna resident, commented on the Glenville Project and expressed her support for a similar project in the vicinity of the Niskayuna Co-Op.

Board Comment
: Mr. Gillen updated the Board on the new investment in the Rotterdam Mall and several other projects.

Adjournment: Mrs. Zalewski-Wildzunas moved to adjourn, seconded by Ms. Jordan. The meeting was adjourned at 6:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Jayme B. Lahut
Executive Director