Meeting Minutes

June 15, 2011

Present:             Ray Gillen, Sharon Jordan, Neil Golub, Bob Mantello, John Mallozzi, Bill Chapman and Karen Zalewski-Wildzunas

Absent:              Bob Wall, Ed Capovani and Janet Hutchison

Others:              Jayme Lahut, Jim Callander and Scott Cietek 

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

1.      Approval of Minutes:    Mr. Mantello moved adoption of the April 29, 2011 meeting minutes; seconded by Ms. Jordan and approved.   

2.      Treasurer’s Report:  Jayme Lahut reviewed the Treasurer’s Report ending May 31, 2011 which was distributed prior to the meeting. He noted that sales tax receipts increased and revenues were on target with budget, while the expenses are slightly over budget through five months. Cash on hand was $2,331,000. Mr. Golub moved acceptance of the Treasurer’s Report; seconded by Ms. Jordan and approved.

3.      Transfinder Corporation Relocation Project: Resolution 711-11 — Adopt SEQRA Resolution

The environmental review of the Transfinder project clearly fell with the parameters of the original Proctors Block Findings Statement adopted by the Board in November 2003. The building at 440 State Street is historically significant. When Proctors accepted a $150,000 Heritage Area grant for the building about ten years ago, the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) imposed certain deed restrictions requiring, among other things, adherence to federal preservation standards. Metroplex and Proctors convinced OPRHP to lift the requirement in order for Transfinder to acquire and renovate the building, while preserving the historically significant facade and expand the space to 26,000 square feet. Consequently the SEQRA resolution amends to prior Findings Statement and Resolution 711-11 determined that the project does not result in any significant adverse environmental impacts.  Mr. Golub moved Resolution 711-11; seconded by Mrs. Zalewski-Wildzunas. Following discussion about OPRHP and SEQRA, Resolution 711-11was approved.

4.      Transfinder Corporation Relocation Project: Resolution 712-11 — Adopt the General Project Plan

Founded in 1988 and headquartered in Schenectady, Transfinder Corporation applies MapInfo’s industry-leading mapping technology and database management to deliver superior transportation and logistics management solutions.  The company’s products allow school districts to manage bus routes, provide safe and efficient student transportation, and access a wealth of critical district information. Owned by Antonio Civitella, a Schenectady native, the company has more than doubled its sales in the past three years and has outgrown its leased space at 120 Erie Blvd. Plans call for demolishing a portion of the structure at 440 State Street and enlarging the building to 26,000 square feet for consolidating and expanding the company’s corporate headquarters. The total project cost is $4.2 million. Metroplex participation includes a $150,000 project renovation grant, a $60,000 façade grant and a partial exemption from real property taxes until March 1, 2012.  Mr. Mantello moved Resolution 712-11; seconded by Mrs. Zalewski-Wildzunas. Discussion followed and Mr. Gillen showed a rendering of the facility.  Resolution 712-11 was unanimously approved.

5.      Proctor’s Theatre Project:  Resolution 713-11— Amend the General Project Plan

Resolution 713-11 facilitated the Transfinder transaction by amending a promissory note with Proctors and revising the loan repayment schedule. Proctors originally borrowed $600,000 from Metroplex for construction in 2007, and repaid $300,000. When Transfinder acquires 440 State Street, Proctors then repays $150,000 to Metroplex that will then be used to repay OPRHP for Heritgae Area grant to Proctors thereby removing the deed restrictions on 440 State Street. Ms. Jordan moved Resolution 713-11; seconded by Mr. Chapman.  Following discussion, Resolution 713-11 was unanimously approved.

6.      Schenectady Heritage Visitor Center Project: Resolution 714-11 — Adopt the General Project Plan

Resolution 714-11 advances $220,000 in funding for a new Visitor Center located at Proctors.  In turn, a $180,000 DOT Scenic Byway Grant secured by the City will reduce the outlay upon project completion. The Visitor Center will feature exhibit panels highlighting local history, digital and video displays, a retractable stage for occasional live events, and promote Schenectady County tourism. Work will be completed by mid-July. Total project cost of $220,000 included the DOT funding plus Metroplex participation matching funds. Ms. Jordan moved Resolution 714-11; seconded by Mrs. Zalewski-Wildzunas.  Following discussion, Resolution 714-11 was approved.

7.      Clinton’s Ditch Expansion Project: Resolution 715-11 — Determination of No Significance on the Environment / SEQRA Negative Declaration

Clinton’s Ditch project involved constructing a 2,250 square foot addition for an expanded kitchen, upgraded service area, reconfigured lavatories, handicap accessibility, and more seating and banquet space. The site of a former City firehouse, the new structure’s façade will emulate features of the old firehouse including an overhead door that opens to the street during pleasant weather.  Resolution 715-11 addressed the state-mandated environmental review by classifying the project as an Unlisted Action and having no significant effect on the environment. Mrs. Zalewski-Wildzunas moved Resolution 715-11; seconded by Ms. Jordan and approved.

8.      Clinton’s Ditch Expansion Project:  Resolution 716-11 — Adopt the General Project Plan

Metroplex participation involved making a $30,000 façade grant in support of the notable exterior design and forgiving the outstanding balance (about $31,000) of its $50,000 loan for the original renovation in 2005. Mrs. Zalewski-Wildzunas moved Resolution 716-11; seconded by Mr. Mantello. Discussion followed and Resolution 716-11 was unanimously approved.

9.      Downtown Parking Project:  Resolution 717-11 — Award Parking Management Contract

In April, Metroplex disseminated a Request for Qualifications to a dozen parking management companies doing business in NYS. Three proposals were received from Laz Parking, Republic Parking (Worcester, MA) and SP Plus Municipal Services, a division of Standard Parking (New York, NY).  With the concurrence of the Fiscal Audit Committee, a multi-year contract was negotiated with Laz Parking for the on-going management and operation of the downtown parking system. Key provisions included a Five-year term with two-year renewal; compensation remains effectively unchanged (annual fee of $80,000 with an incentive of 8 percent of gross revenues not to exceed an additional $80,000 per year), and annual operating expenses based upon the Metroplex budget. Mr. Golub moved Resolution 717-11; seconded by Mr. Chapman. Brief discussion followed and Resolution 717-11 was unanimously approved.

10.    Program Management Services:  Resolution 718-11 — Renew Contract with T. Wilson & Associates, LLC

In 2009, the Board retained T Wilson & Associates for a threeyear term following an RFP procurement to assist Metroplex staff with coordinating construction and renovation projects taking place in downtown and in Schenectady County.  The current year contract expired on April 30. The third year of the contract was negotiated for $8,000 per month. Ms. Jordan moved Resolution 718-11; seconded by Mr. Chapman and unanimously approved.

11.    Public Comment:  None

12.    Board Comment:   General discussion among the members followed.

13.     Adjournment —   Mr. Golub moved to adjourn; seconded by Mrs. Zalewski-Wildzunas. The meeting adjourned at 6:55 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Jayme B. Lahut
Executive Director