Monday, April 12, 2021 - 10:30 AM



Ike Tyler, Chairperson

Roy Holzer, Vice-Chairperson


Chairman Tyler called this Economic Development/Planning/Publicity Meeting to order at 10:35 am with the following Supervisors in attendance: Clayton Barber, Archie Depo, Stephanie DeZalia, Shaun Gillilland, Joe Giordano, Charlie Harrington, Roy Holzer, Ken Hughes, Steve McNally, Jim Monty, Jay Rand, Tom Scozzafava, Jeff Subra, Ike Tyler, Joe Pete Wilson and Davina Winemiller. Robin DeLoria and Noel Merrihew had been previously excused.


Department Heads present: Dan Palmer, Mike Mascarenas, Anna Reynolds and Jim Dougan. Dan Manning was absent.


Deputies present: Dina Garvey


Also present: James Seeley and Mary Goldnik - Cornell Cooperative Extension, Jim McKenna and Mary Jane Lawrence - ROOST, Bruce Misarski - Housing Assistance Program and Jody Olcott - IDA. Aurora McCaffery - Essex County Historian was previously excused.


TYLER: Iíll call this Economic Development/Planning meeting to order.

Iíll have the Industrial Development, Carol Calabrese, Jodyís here, Hi Jody.





The first item on the agenda was Industrial Development was Jody Olcottt reporting as follows:


OLCOTT: Good morning, we submitted our monthly report, if you have any questions.


TYLER: Any questions for Jody? Have a fun day.


OLCOTT: Yup, you too.





††††††††††† The next item on the agenda was Community Resources with Anna Reynolds reporting as follows:


REYNOLDS: Hello, I have many resolutions today. A resolution authorizing a budget amendment in the Community Resources Department, increasing revenues and appropriations for the Jay Community Center in the amount of $74,891.57 and that is from the Governorís Office of Storm Recovery.


TYLER: Resolution from Mr. Holzer, second? Mr. Monty



Holzer, Monty


TYLER: Any discussion? All in favor signify by saying aye. Opposed?


REYNOLDS: Another resolution, resolution authorizing a budget amendment to increase revenues and appropriations in the amount of $150,263.00, for the Gulf Brook - Phase 2 project.


TYLER: Got a resolution? Mr. Hughes. A second? Mrs. DeZalia



Hughes, DeZalia


TYLER: Any comments, concerns? All in favor, signify by saying aye? Any opposed?


REYNOLDS: The third resolution, authorizing a budget amendment, increasing revenues and appropriations in the amount of $748,996.15 for the East Branch of the AuSable River Project, also GOSR funded.


TYLER: Mr. Hughes, motion. Second? Mr. Monty.



Hughes, Monty


TYLER: Discussion?


MONTY: Are these all projects that weíre discussed through DPW?


PALMER: Yeah, this is just the funding that we already talked about, but yeah.


MONTY: Thank you


SCOZZAFAVA: Is this FEMA funding?


PALMER: No, this is State GOSR funds.


REYNOLDS: Yeah, The Governorís Office of Storm Recovery. It was the funding allocated from Hurricane Irene. I think we got about, one to one and half years left on these. If everything goes to plan.


TYLER: All in favor, signify by saying aye? Opposed? Carried.


REYNOLDS: Final of my resolutions, a budget amendment to increase revenues and appropriations in the amount of $1,454,133.79, the Gulf Brook 3 project.


TYLER: Mr. Holzer, first, second, Mr. Monty.



Holzer, Monty


TYLER: Discussion? Being none, all in favor, signify by saying aye? Opposed? Carried


REYNOLDS: The next one on the list, please disregard, Jim did this through his department budget.

And then the final one would be a resolution authorizing a budget amendment to increase revenues and appropriations in the amount of $60,465.96 for the Cleaner Greener NYSERDA project. The project is completed, weíre just closing it out.


TYLER: Motion? Mr. Hughes. A second? Mr. Rand



Hughes, Rand


TYLER: All in favor signify by saying aye? Opposed? Carried


REYNOLDS: There are two referrals today. The first one is from the Town of Ticonderoga, Pivot Solar. A Tier 3 on roughly 50 acres over 3 parcels, itís a light industrial district, a solar array. The referral is to apply for a conditional permit. Thereís no impact to the Ticonderoga Commerce Park, no impact to County property and therefore a letter of no impact is recommended.


TYLER: Can we get a resolution on that referral, please?


PALMER: Resolution of a letter of no impact.


TYLER: Mr. Holzer, second, Mr. Hughes






††††††††††† The following motion was made by Supervisor Holzer.


††††††††††† Where, the Essex County Planning Board has considered the following GML 239 referrals at its regular meeting on April 12, 2021.


REFERRAL††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† PROPOSED ACTION

Town of Ticonderoga - Pivot Solar†††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† special/conditional permit†† ††††††††††† †††††††††††

Whereas, none of the referred, proposed actions directly impacts a county road or county property.


††††††††††† Be It adopted by the Essex County Planning Board that no recommendation or comment on the said referral shall be or hereby is made, and the respective referring bodies may take such final action as they deem appropriate.


††††††††††† This motion was seconded by Supervisor Hughes and passed on a vote of 8 in favor, none opposed and one absent.


TYLER: Any more discussion?


HOLZER: So, Joe is your, is the Town of Ticonderoga okay with all of this?


GIORDANO: This is going through the Planning Board, as we speak.


HOLZER: Okay, so right now you have no comment on that?




PALMER: See the way this works, just to remind people, especially new supervisors, as a County Board we had to have a County Planning Board and some of these issues, regardless of how the Town Planning Board feels, itself, it has to go through our Planning Board, which is this Committee and you either have a comment or not or conditions, if it affects something specifically related to the County, County Road, County Project or something like that.


HOLZER: So, no town issues would be taken into consideration by the Supervisors?


PALMER: No, typically thatís not your role. Your role would be here, as a Planning Board is to determine whether there would be any impact at the County level, which you would have a comment for.


HOLZER: So, I am assuming then when Anna presents it us to on behalf of the County Planning Committee that theyíre signing off on this?


PALMER: Yeah, theyíre indicating, working with both Jim and Anna, they look at it and see if it has any impact to the County, if it doesnít they recommend a letter of no impact and thatís, essentially ends to Countyís Planning role.


HOLZER: Okay, thank you.


TYLER: Any further comment?


WINEMILLER: Does your town have regulations regarding solar panels at this time?






GIORDANO: I think weíre the only town that has anything.


WINEMILLER: I know, thatís why Iím asking.


GIORDANO: I donít want to interrupt this resolution, but I can share with you afterwards.


WINEMILLER: Okay, thank you.


TYLER: All in favor, signify by saying aye. Opposed? Carried


REYNOLDS: The last one is from the Town of Chesterfield, the Port Kent Development Campground. Theyíre adding 8 campsites to the existing campground off of NYS Route 373, it triggers a 239M, because of a special permit off of a State Highway. There is no impact to County property, so therefore a letter of no impact of recommended.


TYLER: Can we get a motion of no impact to the County? Mr. Hughes. Second? Mr. Holzer





††††††††††† The following motion was made by Supervisor Hughes.


††††††††††† Where, the Essex County Planning Board has considered the following GML 239 referrals at its regular meeting on April 12, 2021.


REFERRAL††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† PROPOSED ACTION

Town of Chesterfield - Port Kent Development, Inc.††††††† ††††††††††† special permit††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††


Whereas, none of the referred, proposed actions directly impacts a county road or county property.


††††††††††† Be It adopted by the Essex County Planning Board that no recommendation or comment on the said referral shall be or hereby is made, and the respective referring bodies may take such final action as they deem appropriate.


††††††††††† This motion was seconded by Supervisor Holzer and passed on a vote of 8 in favor, none opposed and one absent.


TYLER: Any more discussion? All in favor signify by saying aye. Opposed?


PALMER: And just for your information, Roy. These resolutions, essentially stop here. You will never see these go on to the Full Board. This is the Planning Board, the Economic Development is the Planning Board.


HOLZER: Thank you


TYLER: Anything else, Anna?


GIORDANO: A show of hands, how many towns are looking to developing solar? Okay, so I know for the Town of Ticonderoga is was a pretty Herculean task to kind of get into this, especially, because of the Town of Ticonderoga Zoning and Site Plan Review which was developed in the Ď70s and Ď80s, over the years it had been amended so many times that it was not even functional, really. So, we went through a whole process of trying to make that work before and like a lot of towns, with a lot of issues we face here, a lot of time people just want to push things through and then it doesnít really serve anyoneís benefit for your community, So, the Town kind of pushed back and said we have to do what is in the best interest of the constituents in order to help come up with a plan for solar that really works well for not only property owners, but also the rest of the public. So, long story short is Iím working with Anna, Community Resources, working with NYSERDA, working with other agencies, Cornell Cooperative Extension and some of the others, Ags and Markets and other people who have really the best interest in making sure that we come up with holistic approaches for allowing solar. You know, supporting the Governorís plans for solar in the future and increasing the renewalable energy, but also being mindful that Essex County has a large agricultural economy and we donít want to jeopardize that. Ticonderoga has done a good job of getting that started, we kind of worked it back to where it needs to be, but nowhere near where Iíd like it to be. We didnít make it to the comprehensive plan, simply because, you know, itís a big undertaking and a lot of officials donít have a lot of time to be able to get into it and if you donít have the support of your community it kind of becomes one of those things. Davina, to your question and I am really just trying to work with Community Resources to develop, kind of a template and weíre also working with the IDA to develop PILOT agreements with those, so thatís not another undertaking that the Towns have to take on, itís another resource that most towns donít have, even Ticonderoga being a larger town, doesnít really have the resources to take on PILOTS. This is our third solar project, and we have solar projects coming up in our towns. So, I just wanted to share, Iíd like to put something together with Anna in Community Resources and other agencies and come back here and give some presentations and really kind of get people to give the Supervisors a really strong understanding of how you can take the lessons that we learned and not have to, you know, make the same mistakes and really build something robust for your communities. So, thank you.


HOLZER: Well, itís more of a comment. Anna, thank you for responding to my email. So, last week the State of New York made a big announcement about how individual towns would be able to get up to $10,000.00 for septic systems. So, Iím getting all excited, thinking Iíve got plenty of places along the AuSable River that could qualify for something like this, only to find out that the grantís already spoken for, it only involves two towns in Essex County and you know, itís typical State of New York to make these big press releases, because I had calls from people, saying, oh we can get up to $10,000.00 for a new septic system. No, not so fast, but you know theyíre making it sound like itís a brand new grant. Itís not a brand new grant, you know, actually the State should think about paying for some of the grants that theyíve already committed to, before they start announcing all these new gimmes.Wilmington weíre owed, like almost $500,000.00 for a dam project that was done over 2 years ago and submitted to DASNY and New York State that weíre still waiting for and I know the Countyís waiting for a lot of money. I guess my point is, that we shouldnít be embracing all these new grants or even advertising them until we know the details. Thatís all Iím going to say.


TYLER: Thank you sir.


MCNALLY: Yes, Iím not on this committee, but Iíd like to address Anna. There was a Human Services Committee this morning, there was some talk about electric charging stations for vehicles across the County. Iíve been working with Anna at your office and there was some programs through NYSERDA, but I believe, maybe, this is something that would fit into your department well, Countywide, open up the opportunity for the County to start using EVs, maybe address, instead of addressing on a per town, maybe this is something that you could do on a Countywide basis, to get County charging stations at all municipalities it might be easier, it would be easier for us Supervisors to share, but if you could look at that, that would be great.


REYNOLDS: Yeah, I would love looking at that. Iím sure we meet some of the criteria at the county level. It might be easier for us to just start it up.


MCNALLY: Your department has been wonderful, so thank you very much.


TYLER: Thank you, any other comments. Thank you Anna.


REYNOLDS: Thank you




††††††††††† The next item on the agenda was the Historian, Aurora McCaffrey having been previously excused and no report was given.




††††††††††† The next item on the agenda was Cornell Cooperative Extension, with James Seeley reporting as follows:


TYLER: Mr. Seeley is here with a report.


SEELEY: Good morning, my name in James Seeley and I am the interim director of CCE Essex, with me today I have Mary Goldnik, our new communications coordinator for Cornell in Essex County. She will be sharing several programs that she is promoting, which could have an impact on our economic development. So, sheís going to pass that around.


GOLDNIK: Hi everyone, so nice to meet you all. My background is in communications and marketing and Iíve been working with CCE Essex for several months, Iíve been working with them on a contract basis until January when I came on a full time basis, made possible by a USDA grant that we received. My goal is to support the agricultural programs that we do and our Adirondack Harvest Program. My goal is to boost the success that our team has had in the past with increased availability of information and supporting our agricultural based businesses.

Iím sending some information around to you all right now. Iím not going through each bullet point, but I just want to share some of the exciting projects that were working on, as possible with these new grants. We, last year, planned a virtual Adirondack Harvest Festival, along with the COVID regulations and this year weíre hoping to do something a little bit more in person and on-line, but we had over 2,000 participants and we reached almost 40,000 people in the region. That was really significant. Our website;, weíre working on making a really strong comprehensive research for people to find local agricultural products, local foods and because of the efforts that weíve done to improve our website, we have people using it almost 50,000 times a year.

Weíre working really hard to grow our reach with information, education about why itís economically, environmentally and socially important for people to support agriculture in their communities. So, weíre working hard to get information to people about how to use their nutrition incentives, locally. Essex County has some of the most opportunities for people to use SNAP or food stamp dollars for food. So, weíre just trying to be the connection between those farmers and the community members.

I am happy to take any questions.


GILLILLAND: So, every year weíve been doing, for a few years, Essex County Agricultural Day; which is the final Monday of July. Are you going to take that on?


GOLDNIK: I donít know anything about that, but I will work on that.


GILLILLAND: The other thing I would like to say is the County is hiring a Fairgrounds Events Coordinator to work to coordinate throughout the County for maybe County events and promote the fairgrounds. So, weíre in process of hiring for that, I believe, Jim?



GILLILLAND: So, I encourage you to use brainpower with that person.


GOLDNIK: Yeah, I am sure we will be working together.


TYLER: Anything else?


GOLDNIK: Thank you, thank you all for your support.


TYLER: Thank you






††††††††††† The next item was the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST), with James McKenna and Mary Jane Lawrence reporting as follows:


LAWRENCE: Hello everybody, itís good to see everybody in person, isnít it nice to get back.

So, we have a couple of things going on. Iím going to talk about some marketing with ROOST and then Jimís going to talk about the World University Games and some of the summer travel events.

So, weíre currently working on the Lake Champlain rebranding. So, weíre just about finished with that and thatís going very well. So, thatís very exciting.

Weíre also working with the Whiteface Region and we currently have a survey out and I donít know, Roy, if youíve heard, but weíve had a tremendous response, weíve had almost 5,000 responses.


HOLZER: Thatís awesome


LAWRENCE: So, weíre excited. Weíre also working on a regional model with linking communities together and thatís working specifically to, itís a new initiative, looking as a liking in the Adirondacks and how we can work within each of the communities to understand their assets and areas that they would like to avoid and build a system and so we had our first meeting and it was with Essex, and some of Hamilton County, Saranac Lake also participated. So, thatís really interesting and what we looked at right now at our first meeting is really enhancing our Wayfinder, which I think youíre all familiar with that platform, where you can, you know, log in and wherever your starting point is and your point of interest, whether itís history or ice cream or beer or beaches or hikes and you can get a trail that goes around, you know a starting point and then the Wayfinder will bring you back to your ending point. So, thatís been really successful and whenever we, you know, post on it or push that Wayfinder out, weíre getting a lot of responses. So, weíre really excited about that.

And then lastly, weíre really focused on our summer programming. What weíre focused on it, you know, redirecting people throughout the region or directing people throughout the region to all our different assets.

I think thatís it, any questions?


TYLER: Any questions for Mary Jane?


HUGHES: Is any data that youíve been providing suggest that weíre going to have explosion of people in Adirondacks this year or is something else?


LAWRENCE: So, you are seeing a developing trend that people are booking earlier and they are attracted to the off-season, now, like February, March and even April, now, itís busier than it was on these days in 2020 and 2019. So, we are seeing that uptick in the leisure travel. People are still looking for open spaces, outdoor activities, so, yes. So, thatís part of what we need to, as a designation, manage it and market it. How do we manage that? How do we try to control that explosion so itís not really overtaking our communities and our trails and our natural resources?


TYLER: Thank you Mary Jane.


MCKENNA: Thank you Mary Jane and itís good to see everybody, too. I think this is really the first time Iíve been in a year, so itís good to see everybody.

Just a couple of things, Iím just going to back up a little bit on what Mary Jane just said. Some of the data that weíre seeing is really, the national survey, the latest information is from last week and they are saying that 88% of Americans plan some sort of travel in the next six months, which is a marketed turnaround from this time last year. A third of those are looking for attractions with outdoor spaces, but also that the areas are still maintaining their COVID protocols, so masking, distancing and all that stuff is still being in play. Weíre looking over the next six months and thereís a big shift, still going on that domestic and drive to designations and vaccines seems to play a role in both, people want to feel comfortable in where theyíre going, that thereís a good rate of vaccines, vaccinations and that theyíre traveling, a third of people say theyíre not traveling until theyíre fully vaccinated. So, we expect that the fact that weíre, our location with the rural areas of northeast US, we think weíre still going to be in the same situation and it will probably grow. As Mary Jane said, weíve seen a pretty big increase already this year and looking at our numbers, January, February, alone; which is the latest data we have, from our county, here is weíre running about 30% ahead of January/February of 2020, pre-COVID; which was a record year. So, I mean weíre trending up right now, pretty significantly.

Iíll comment again, I think as we get closer to the World University Games, I think we should have somebody, I talked to Shaun about this, we should have somebody from that organization update this Board on a regular basis. But, that is moving forward and again, itís 11 days of competition, lots of athletes, a lot of media exposure worldwide, which is important for us. The last games had pretty close to 400 million viewers worldwide. So, this is going to be a big event around the world when it happens. The organization thatís running it has to raise about $18 million in sponsorships. Theyíre just starting now to work on, but with COVID that sort of put that a little bit aside. Corporations donít know what they want to do right now. Also, theyíre close to signing a major US broadcaster, so that will be another good thing and please remember for these games was we were talking, many years ago, about getting those Olympic facilities back up to standards for the international sports world. It seems to be happening, I mean clearly the State got behind got behind it and gave them a reason to get behind it, so I think thatís going to be really some of the legacy and itís also going to be a fair amount of housing that will legacy from those games.

Other than that, the REDC are going to start up again, we donít know what the guidelines are at this point. We think itís going to be a little bit related to COVID and that dealing with that issue, but that should be out in the next two to three weeks is what we heard. Thatís it, any questions?


MCNALLY: Are you seeing any concerns with the businesses on the shortage of employees?


MCKENNA: Very much so. I think thatís our biggest struggle and thatís ongoing and weíre hearing that, some situations over the past year where itís been so acute that theyíve been forced to shorten their hours. We donít know the answer.


LAWRENCE: Well, J1s will be coming back.


MCKENNA: Yeah, J1s are coming back this year, but overall thatís one of our bigger challenges.


LAWRENCE: Which goes back to the housing.




TYLER: Anything else for Jim?


MCKENNA: Thank you all very much.


TYLER: Thank you




††††††††††† The next item was the Housing Assistance Program with Bruce Misarski reporting as follows:


TYLER: Good morning Bruce


MISARSKI: Good morning, we do have a resolution on the floor. Do you want me to read that?


TYLER: Yeah, go ahead.


MISARSKI: So, we submitted an application for housing rehabilitation for Essex County, so this is a resolution in support for that application.

Whereas, Essex County has identified housing and assisting low/moderate income homeowners, as its most severe community development need, and

Whereas, the proposed program area is hereby defined as having many substandard structures occupied by low/moderate income families, and substandard is defined as a structure or dwelling which has one or more major structural defects, but can still be repaired within a reasonable amount of money, and

Whereas, the only affordable means of financing a program designed to meet these needs is to secure funding for the NYS Office of Community Renewal Community Development Block Grant Program, and

Whereas, due to the sparsely populated character of the program area with homes scattered over a large geographical area, a non-target methodology is to be employed to assist low and moderate income persons.

Be it resolved, that the Essex County Board of Supervisors authorizes the Chairman to execute and submit an application to the NYS Office of Community Renewal for a community development program for housing rehabilitation and to act in connection with the submission of the application and to provide such additional information as may be required, and

Be it further resolved, that the Housing Assistance Program of Essex County, Inc. will perform administrative services as a sub-recipient for Essex County, and

Be it further resolved, that Essex County is committed to affirmatively furthering fair housing within the countyís jurisdiction, will substantially comply with all Federal, State and local laws, rules and regulations applicable in the effort of furthering fair housing, and names Anna Reynolds, Director of Community Resources Department, the Fair Housing Officer to be the primary point of contact for all fair housing related issues, and

Be it further resolved, that Essex County has adopted the following; Citizen Participation Plan, Residential Anti-Displacement and Relocation Assistance Plan, Excessive Force Plan, Lead Based Paint Plan, Drug-Free Workplace Program, and the Housing Rehabilitation Program Policy and Procedures, and that they are on file at Essex County.


TYLER: Moved by Mr. Monty, do I have a second? Mr. Hughes



Monty, Holzer


SCOZZAFAVA: Can you repeat that? (laugher)


TYLER: All in favor, signify by saying aye? Opposed? Carried.


MISARSKI: I just have one other thing. April is Fair Housing Month and just want to bring that to everyoneís attention that there is a Fair Housing Law and actually the Essex County Board of Supervisors passed a similar Fair Housing Law in Essex County back on August 5th of 1991 and as we mentioned in the resolution, we have a Fair Housing Officer, Anna Reynolds and a compliant form, so if there is anyone, if you hear in any of your communities that has a fair housing complaint, there is a form that they can complete and get it submitted to the Fair Housing Office.


TYLER: Thank you, anything else?


MONTY: Bruce, would you, during our conversation last week, you and I talked about another potential grant coming out pertaining to rehabbing some homes for first time buyers.


MISARSKI: Yeah, so, New York State Affordable Housing Corporation is a program weíve used consistently for many years. This State budget year, for the first time thereís a substantial increase in the funding from $26 million to $50 million dollars, annually for that program. The increase of $25 million dollars that was allocated this year is specifically for the reprogramming of underutilized or abandoned zombie properties and getting them back on to usefulness. So, we plan, it was just allocated, so the funding will probably be six to nine months down the road, but we certainly will be looking at that.


MONTY: With permission from you Mr. Chairman, Iíd like to reconvene our Low Income Housing Task Force and start preparing to look at this, so that weíre ready to go when this money becomes available and I do agree with you Roy, they keep promising money and we donít always get it, but I still think we need to look at it and I know we had a partial plan in place before COVID hit, but I think this is an ideal time to take some of those zombie properties and see if we canít get them rehabbed to a pointwhere we can set up a program with first time buyers and get them back on the tax rolls and looking good in your communities. So, with your permission, sir and so I would like to, after next Mondayís meeting reconvene the Low Income Housing Task Force.


TYLER: Okay, thank you. Thank you Bruce.

Anything else to come before this committee? I donít see anything, weíre adjourned.







Respectfully submitted,




Dina Garvey, Deputy

Clerk of the Board