Present: Ray Gillen, Brad Lewis, Bob Wall, Sharon Jordan, Bill Chapman, Karen Zalewski-Wildzunas, Neil Golub, and John Mallozzi
Absent: Bob Mantello
Others: Jayme Lahut, Jim Callander, David Hogenkamp and an 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 February 11, 2015 meeting minutes; seconded by Mrs. Zalewski-Wildzunas and approved (Mr. Lewis was absent).
2. Treasurer’s Report: Mr. Wall stated that the Fiscal Audit Committee received a presentation from Robert Kristel, CPA, on the 2014 year-end financial statements, which was distributed prior to the meeting. Highlights from the report included a meaningful increase in sales tax receipts over the prior year results and operating expenses stayed in-line with the previous year. Following a brief discussion, Mrs. Zalewski-Wildzunas moved to accept the Treasurer’s Report; seconded by Mr. Chapman and approved (Mr. Lewis was absent).
3. Mazzone Hospitality Project (Village of Scotia): Resolution 942-15 — SEQRA Negative Declaration
Resolution 942-15 designated the project as an Unlisted Action pursuant to SEQRA with no significant effect on the environment. The action involved the redevelopment and reuse of 25 Mohawk Avenue in the Village of Scotia in to a 20,100 square foot mixed-use building. Mrs. Zalewski-Wildzunas moved Resolution 942-15; seconded by Ms. Jordan and approved.
4. Mazzone Hospitality Project (Village of Scotia): Resolution 943-15 — Adopt the General Project Plan
Metroplex was instrumental in demolishing the former McDonalds restaurant, later facilitated the environmental cleanup of the site, and then sold the vacant land Mohawk Avenue, LLC, an affiliated entity of Mazzone Hospitality in 2014. Mazzone will construct a 20,100 square feet mixed-use building with retail and office space fronting on Mohawk Avenue. The public hearing was held on February 26, 2015 and no oral or written comments were received. Resolution 943-15 authorized a partial exemption from taxes. Mr. Golub moved Resolution 943-15; seconded by Ms. Jordan. Following discussion, Resolution 943-15 was approved.
5. Mohawk Harbor Project: Resolution 944-15 — Adopt the General Project Plan
With the completion of the state-mandated environmental review process, the Mohawk Harbor developer, Maxon Alco Holdings LLC, has applied for certain exemptions associated with site preparation, infrastructure improvements and related pre-construction activities. The public hearing was held on the project February 26, 2015 and no written or oral comments were received. Resolution 944-15 extended the existing real-property tax exemption and provided an exemption from sales and use taxes limited to site preparation. Mrs. Zalewski-Wildzunas moved Resolution 944-15; seconded by Mr. Lewis and approved following discussion.
6. Robinson Block Redevelopment Project: Resolution 945-15 — Designation as SEQRA Lead Agency
A 101-unit housing project has been proposed for the former Robinson and Olender furniture store properties on lower State Street. Metroplex also was awarded a $1.2 million grant from Empire State Development to assist in the site redevelopment. Prior to securing the necessary local and state approvals, Resolution 945-15 authorized notifying other involved agencies seeking designation as SEQRA lead agency to perform a coordinated environmental review. Mr. Wall moved Resolution 945-15; seconded by Mr. Lewis and approved following brief discussion.
7. Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation: Resolution 946-15 — Adopt the General Project Plan
The action involved making a $160,650 grant in support of DSIC’s cleaning and beautification activities to keep the downtown clean, neat and safe 7-days a week. Metroplex’s participation remains unchanged from last year. DSIC has supplemented the program with additional funding from the increase in the assessments that they have experienced due to the revival of downtown. Ms. Jordan moved Resolution 946-15; seconded by Mrs. Zalewski-Wildzunas. After discussion about DSIC’s activities, Resolution 946-15 was approved.
8. 242 Broadway Mixed-use Project: Resolution 947-15 — Hold a Public Hearing
The project involves the construction of a 4-story 70,300 square foot mixed-use building with the ground floor dedicated for offices and three floors containing 39 apartments with adjoining parking. Resolution 947-15 authorized a public hearing on the project with respect to the Metroplex’s proposed involvement in the project, which includes the sale of a 2,448 square foot parcel, a partial exemption from taxes and a $225,000 grant for eligible construction expenses. Mr. Lewis moved Resolution 947-15; seconded by Mr. Golub. After discussion, Resolution 947-15 was approved.
9. 2015 Bond Refunding: Resolution 948-15 — Hold a Public Hearing
At its February 26 meeting, the Fiscal Audit Committee recommended refunding Series 2005A, Series 2005B and Series 2006 Bonds totaling approximately $22,000,000. Historically low interest rates will create meaningful savings of the Authorities cash resources. Resolution 948-15 authorized holding a statutorily-mandated public hearing with respect to refunding the bonds prior to maturity of the outstanding principal amounts. Ms. Jordan moved Resolution 948-15; seconded by Mr. Wall. Following discussion, Resolution 948-15 was approved.
10. Policy Compliance
The Governance Committee, chaired by Ms. Jordan, undertook an annual review of all policies and ABO compliance issues. The Fiscal Audit Committee, chaired by Mr. Wall, reviewed the Investment Policy. The Committees recommended the adoption of each of the following actions:
- Resolution 949-15 adopted the 2015 Mission Statement and 2014 performance measures report. The resolution was moved by Ms. Jordan, seconded by Mr. Lewis and approved.
- Resolution 950-15 reauthorized the amended Investment Policy and adopted the 2014 investment report, which was moved by Ms. Jordan, seconded by Mr. Lewis and approved.
- Resolution 951-15 reauthorized the amended Real Property Disposition Policy, adopted the 2014 property report and designated the Executive Director as the real property compliance officer. Resolution 951-15 was moved by Ms. Jordan, seconded by Mr. Lewis and approved.
- Resolution 952-15 reauthorized the amended Procurement Guidelines, which was moved by Ms. Jordan and seconded by Ms. Zalewski-Wildzunas. Following discussion, Resolution 952-15 was approved with seven ayes and one nay (Mr. Chapman).
- Resolution 953-15 adopted the 2015 Master Goal Plan for Minority/Women-owned Business Enterprises; moved by Ms. Jordan, seconded by Mr. Lewis and approved.
- Resolution 954-15 reauthorized the amended Guidelines for the Sale and Reporting of Bonds and Notes, which was moved by Ms. Jordan, seconded by Mr. Lewis and approved.
- Resolution 955-15 reauthorized the Financial Assistance Administration Policy. Resolution 955-15 was moved by Ms. Jordan, seconded by Mr. Lewis and approved.
- Resolution 956-15 reauthorized the Authority’s Personnel Policies. Resolution 956-15 was moved by Ms. Jordan, seconded by Mr. Lewis and approved.
- Resolution 957-15 reauthorized the charters for the Governance Committee and Fiscal Audit Committee, which was moved by Ms. Jordan, seconded by Mr. Lewis and approved.
Colleen Merays, Assistant Director or the Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation, thanked the Board for its continued financial assistance, support and collaboration with the downtown clean-up program for 2015.
Richard Gabree, Assistant Manager at the Niskayuna Co-op, spoke about the Co-op’s interest in seeing pedestrian improvements to the section of Nott Street that fronts the Co-op Plaza commercial district.
Elmer Bertsch, Orchard Park Drive, Niskayuna resident, spoke about certain provisions contained in the Metroplex statute.
Board Comment: Mr. Gillen noted that the County unemployment rate has dropped to 5.6%, the tenth lowest in New York State. Mr. Gillen noted that he presented the 2014 Metroplex annual report to the County Legislature in February and the report is posted on the Authority’s website and available to the public at www.schenectadymetroplex.org.
Adjournment: Mrs. Zalewski-Wildzunas moved to adjourn, seconded by Mr. Lewis. The meeting was adjourned at 6:40 p.m.
Jayme B. Lahut