Low and Moderate Income Housing Development Task Force

Monday, February 27, 2023 - 11:00 am

 

 

Jim Monty - Chairman

 

Chairman Monty called this task force to order at 11:06 am with the following in attendance: Clayton Barber, Ken Hughes, Jim Monty, Tom Scozzafava, Matt Stanley, Joe Pete Wilson, Mark Wright, Mike Mascarenas, Bill Tansey, and Nicole Justice-Green. Mike Diskin, Krissy Leerkes, and Alan Jones were absent.

 

Also present: - Megan Murphy and Dina Garvey.

 

MONTY: Good morning, all. Thank you for sticking around for this meeting and for those of you that traveled in, thank you.

As you know, today, at Ways and Means we passed our resolution to submit our application for a land bank to the Department of the State, after the meeting, next Monday at Full Board. Nicoleís got some information here, sheís handing out that she collected at a conference that she was at and sheís going to go over a few things she wants to bring up and then Mr. Tansey wants to discuss our resolution, a bit.

 

JUSTICE-GREEN: I just wanted to take an opportunity to, you know, keep you all abreast of some of the research thatís coming out in the field about affordable housing, affordable rental housing, as we move into 2023. The Low Income Housing Collation, which is, the National Low Income Housing Collation just put out all this information based on New York needís for low rental housing and as you can see thereís a huge discrepancy with our wages and what people who can pay fair market for rental housing can afford throughout New York State and we know that is very much a timely issue in Essex County, because we have an extreme lack of rental housing. This is not even just affordable housing. Which I know is the biggest push in our committee, recently, has been affordable homeownership and housing, but I wanted to also continue and maybe start the conversation within this committee about efforts that we can make to support rental housing in Essex County. I donít necessarily have any answers or any programmatic details, but I wanted to put this information in front of you, so that youíre informed and so that maybe in the coming months we can start to discuss other areas that this Committee can be effective.

 

MONTY: Any questions?

 

HUGHES: Well, this is great. I like charts and graphs, it helps me and I was just having a conversation with an audience member, just a few moments ago about senior housing and about, and Iím seeing here, 36% are seniors, itís the largest piece of pie as an individual group is senior housing, are extremely low income renters and so I donít know how longer our task force, our task force is not a committee. Task forces have end dates, but it might and as we move through the land bank process, kudos to us, pat on the back, we accomplished something really important, but if weíre starting to think about whatís next for this task force, if thereís something next for this task force, it might be worthwhile and sorry that Terriís not here to talk about our mental health, senior population. A highly vulnerable population to consider what are the avenues that we might want to consider, if anything to address those needs of those citizens in our County.

 

MONTY: I agree, Ken. I think itís a very important aspect, which does go hand and hand with our affordable housing, but we also need to look at the demographics there, as well.

 

HUGHES: Yeah, yeah and one thought that I have and again, itís only a thought that I have, because itís in my town is, thereís property, thereís property and infrastructure in Essex at the Old Essex County Home in greater Whallonsburgh and this is a beautiful old brick building that the square footage is immense and Iíve never been inside it. I know that thereís a grassroots effort afoot on the part of some Willsboro residents to work with the property owner who is a non-profit organization to convince them that some work should be done there and theyíre actually for a local grant to perform a feasibility study. There may be other ďEssex County HomesĒ, throughout Essex County. I put that in quotes, because it maybe in your communities that you have a larger multi-family homes that potentially seniors that are aging in place in their current homes could potentially find more suitable, smaller footprint, more easier to take care of, things like that and that may exist in other, I might be talking out my foot, I just, Iím trying to think whatís next. What is next for us as a group? Do we sunset, because weíve solved the problem or do we find a new issue and try and tackle that, once we have the land bank up and running? Which is going to happen in the next quarter. So, thatís my thought and I open that up for comment or consideration.

 

STANLEY: I think thereís always going to be housing issues. So, I donít think the issueís ever going to be solved.

 

HUGHES: Yeah

 

STANLEY: When I was just down at the Association of Towns conference, one of the classes I wanted to go to and I might have this term wrong, but accessory dwelling units.

 

JUSTICE-GREEN: Yes

 

HUGHES: ADU

 

STANLEY: That was something that I really wanted to go to, because I think that maybe another piece of the puzzle that may help to do and from my understanding itíd just like a sub-unit off of a main living dwelling? That may help with some of our senior housing problems if the family lives in the house and make a unit for our seniors that are within that family. I donít know much about it. I wanted to learn more about it.

 

JUSTICE-GREEN: Yeah and if you know, I donít want to speak for Megan, or HAPEC, at large, but you know we are the experts in the field and if the committee wants more information on that, then we can provide, I certainly can prepare a presentation to talk about accessory dwelling units. A lot of funding has recently come out for those and a lot of that funding is, you know, favors more developed areas, but ADUs are going to look different in the Adirondack Park, but there might be a good approach to get that funding into the hands into the hands of people who are willing to do that on the properties that it would work for and so thatís the beginning of the conversation; right? Is educating ourselves and then kind of moving forward and seeing how that may work for you in Jay versus how is going to work in Ticonderoga for Mark. So, I think youíre right. I think it would be shortsighted for us, necessary to close our doors of this task force, because I think we kind of got in this position, because people thought housing was just going to continue to be affordable and then we hit a crisis point and itís a multi-prong approach, rental housing, ADUs, the land bank, just keeping that conversation alive is important.

 

STANLEY: And I think, also, the other side of that, was with the Governorís push to really increase housing units in each town, this was a huge topic down there, as well, is and I brought this up during a supervisor mentor thing through the Association of Towns, is if we need to increase the amount of units and affordable places that we have, where does cutting the red tape and fast tracking stuff go to the APA and start discussing hamlet size? Because, thereís only so much room that we can, I never really got an answer from the Association of Town lawyers, but if thereís going to be this fast tracking of Home Rule and going above Home Rule, is that going to affect the APA? I mean, because Lewis only has so much that it can expand; right?

 

MONTY: About the size of this table.

 

STANLEY: I think in Jay we have two and half hamlets, but if they could increase in size a little bit, thatís going to be where the more affordable housing in my town is going to be is inside those hamlets.

 

MURPHY: Well, thatís also where the infrastructure is, so it can support more development, easier to do it there, then it is to do it outside when you have to worry about onsite septic and wells and those things.

 

SCOZZAFAVA: Yeah, back on the senior housing, that is a crisis. I mean thank god for Lee House, thank god for the housing in Ticonderoga that exists, but that needs is definitely there and that need is only going to continue to grow. Actually, I know many seniors, if they had an option where they could go, decent affordable housing, youíre kind of killing two birds with one stone, because then their houses usually end up on the market and they would just as soon downsize and sell. Unfortunately, there is no place for them to go. One of these, Iím not even sure who the developer was that built, years ago, in Elizabethtown, Schroon Lake and Port Henry, they do an excellent job. I donít know who. There is always a waiting list to get into those units, as I am sure there is a waiting list to get into the Lee House or the apartments in the Ticonderoga. But, there is definitely a huge need for senior housing.

 

MURPHYL I was going to say that I agree, there is a waiting list everywhere, for all housing and I think that is something that we do need to start thinking about. I think that, again, the study thatís coming out of the four counties will also help to drive where those things should be located, because to your point, to stay in their communities, because thatís where their support systems are. Also, to get to the idea of what youíve got from a mental health perspective, itís the same idea for supportive housing. Whether thatís for seniors or for non-seniors, because we do have issues for supportive housing. I have been working with Mental Health Association on that.

 

STANLEY: Is there something that municipalities can do to create senior housing?

 

JUSTICE-GREEN: Yes, it depends on how you want to tackle the problem. Municipalities, themselves donít necessarily want to become landlords and so itís attracting either private developers or non-profit developers into municipals and being able in assisting them in a number of different ways. I know in our work thereís a lot of grant funding, but thereís also tax credits and other funding that is really more at the State level. So, you can certainly help them navigate their own zoning process. You know, helping facilitate, you know, code enforcement and being a more collaborative effort, then sometimes it can be more of a head butting effort. So, I donít necessarily know the answer to that question, because I donít know what kind of housing youíre looking at, or what would work well.

 

STANLEY: Well, itís just in my head, itís sort of, when Jack Mudge was here talking about ARCs and thinking about senior housing and needing to be close to infrastructure. Like in AuSable Forks we have a grocery store, the only we donít have that we need to get back is a pharmacy, but we have that infrastructure there and we have that need. So, I mean I donít know how to and I know there are other places around the county that this is possible, too. So, it really comes full circle into your question, are we almost done this? No, because thereís several other ways we can attack things and the land bank was just one answer to that and I think thereís so much more that we can bounce ideas off of each other and different towns and find similarities and needs that each of us have. I have contacted you about some things for Jay, but maybe if we can talk about them together, it may spark, have one conversation may spark two or three or four different things within the County which may help countywide.

 

JUSTICE-GREEN: And since the presentation I gave to the Board of Supervisors I have gotten a lot of, you know, Pride has been around 40 years, weíve been doing a lot of economic development, as well and main street programs, not just housing, but those main street programs, likes we discussed, include subsidizes for rental housing and improvement and energy efficiency and so many Supervisors didnít know that this that is grant funding is available. One of my favorite grants to administer. I do think this is really the beginning of, even if we arenít developing in this community, senior housing or housing for the disabled, we can be kind of a working group of solutions for each town, so you guys arenít waiting 40 years to get information you need to help municipalities.

 

MASCARENAS: Iíve got a lot of things, I guess. I want to piggyback a little bit on what you talked about with the hamlets. Thatís been my thing for a long time and actually was in process when one of your predecessors left office on approaching the APA on expanding the hamlet due to all the buyouts that we did in the Town of Jay, back following Hurricane Irene, which further limits your ability to expand your hamlet, being that now that property is in perpetuity greenspace.

In the short term, I do think we need to challenge the State in terms that the housing that theyíre trying to accomplish, being that they talk about the local barriers to housing and cutting our red tape regarding zoning and planning that the local put on housing development without realizing that they have the larger barrier in New York to developing housing which is the APA. So, be willing to do which we expect others to do and give us an avenue to try and expand some of those housing units, Ithink is in the short term. In the long term, I think something weíre really going to have to deal with and look at in this community is the STRs. The short-term rental is providing a bigger problem than people realize and I know itís a problem that no one wants to tackle and I get it. You know, but, right now itís estimated that 30% of our housing is turned into short-term rentals. Thatís, without the ability to expand our housing stock, how are you going to survive with that? I can tell you that Essex County has employees that work outside the county or live outside the county. They work here at Essex County. We are not going to retain those employees. They are looking for housing. They canít find housing. If they find housing, itís unaffordable. Theyíd like to rent here, they canít rent and then 3 months from now theyíre working in the neighboring county in which they are able to establish housing. so, I think like anything, this is a domino effect. Whether itís housing, Nicole touched on some other grants that her office has maintained and we certainly maintain them at the County, too. Anything we do in your community and keep housing in mind. If you have Complete Street Policies. If you can do sidewalk projects in your villages and lighting projects and make your community more attractive to outside business, those things start to follow. But, itís really, thereís not one bullet thatís going to solve this problem. Itís really investment in your community, overall, that in the long term is going to make it more attractive and have those things in place where now a senior can live in community and they can walk to a grocery store, they can walk across to the pharmacy and get those things. There;s access to transportation. Those types of things, but it take investment on serval different fronts. We canít be shortsighted and just think housing, housing, housing. theyíre domino effects that impact everything.

 

MONTY: one thing Iím hearing here and whether weíre talking broadband, celluar, housing. Thereís a common denominator for Essex County, the APA and DEC. Even though other areas face the same regulatory problems, we have an added layer and maybe we should be considering adding a member from the Park Agency and DEC to come to these meetings and say, okay, help us fix it, because realistically theyíre the stumbling block for a lot, at least this is my opinion, for a lot of what weíre trying to do, they are the stumbling block.

 

SCOZZAFAVA: I agree and George Canon, god bless him, carried that message loud and clear for 30 years. Unfortunately, we are so different from the rest of the State of New York, under the regulations that we have to live by. Ron Stafford when he was our Senator, he would deliver the message, but never really saw any change. If we even propose and I think thatís a good start, expanding hamlets in all of our communities, you watch them take the defensive on that one and theyíre going to come back and give you all the reasons as to why, and Iím not trying to sound like a doomsdayer, itís a fact. I mean this is an agency thatís very difficult to deal with. Even if they take all their, you know, marching orders from the legislature and once you get out of Albany, we donít exist anymore. I think youíre idea of inviting them to a meeting is actually a good idea. Whether we can get them here or not is the next thing. Itís the truth, anything we want try to do or will try to do or try to do in the past, you;ve always got them. Big stumpling block, the Adirondack Park Agency who always throws a curve in the way.

 

MONTY: And going back to what Matt was saying about cellular. They fixed that for the University Games, just like that they fixed it.

 

SCOZZAFAVA: While youíre on that, I noticed, I was on the Adirondack Park Agency and all the mapping that they have, have you even seen the map of the cell towers? They actually have a map on their site that shows all the cell towers, supposedly, in the Adirondack Park and I would hope that one of you two guys would take a look at that and check it out and see if itís accurate. But, they do have it, itís right on their website, the Adirondack Park Agency.

 

STANLEY: But, I think weíre all sort of talking about the same thing, letís take the hand weíre dealt. If the Governor wants to increase housing, this is the perfect opportunity to get the APA in here to talk about our housing issues.

 

MONTY: And in her report she said how many homes she expected to be built in each community. I just recently, Iíll give it to you guys, I have a conversation with a gentlemen from one of the environmental groups talking about some of this stuff and his quite to me was, you forget youíre in a National Park and I said, could you please show me where weíre in a National Park. So, when this was formed by Governor Rockefeller, it was to be formed as a National Park. Where is the legislation and law that says this is a National Park and I got no response.

 

WILSON: So, to follow up on a lot of these good ideas, I think we should form a little strategy. We should invite the Governor, Commissioner Steggos and Barb Rice from the APA. The agenda would be housing, broadband/cellular and the impact of State regulations on those. Part of how we frame this would be, weíre in support of the Governorís proposal to increase housing and to decrease local red tape. We want Barb Rice and Basil Steggos there to hear what our issues are and to work with us on solutions, not to get the steady stream of no, but to work with us on solutions, thatís why weíre inviting you, to get input on how we can solve these problems and how we can meet the Governorís goal. But, I think we invite all three and we have an agenda prepared because these are overlapping issues, the housing, the broadband, the cellular and within that falls hamlet expansion, within that falls cell towers, within that falls, you know the factors that we talk about, but if we can get representatives here, have a stragety and not just complain, but say, weíre inviting you here to help us meet the Governorís goal on housing, to help our County and towns meet their goal on broadband and we want you to come to this in the spirit of bringing some solutions, not some reasons why it wonít work.

 

STANLEY: And I think that is where everybody kind of is right now. Everybody is so negative and oh my god, the Governor is saying we need to build this many homes. Sheís actually opening up the conversation for us to be able to get support through the other state agencies to say, we need, weíre sitting here saying, we need this help. So, letís not be negative by saying sheís making this mandated. Letís talk about how can we use her making this mandate to actually leverage other state agencies to help us do the things weíve been trying to for years. letís use this. I think itís a great, like I almost wanted to speak up and like I was telling Mr, Hughes, I was frustrated at this conference, because I wasnít prepared. I wasnít prepared to go down there to actually stand up and say, maybe this is a good thing. Everybodyís complaining about home rule and this, but we have a housing issue. We have an issue and itís not an Adirondack thing, itís not a western New York thing. We have a problem in New York State where we need housing and the Gonvernor notices this. So, letís take what she want to do and how can we partner with somebody or partner with the other state agencies to say, how do we make this work in the Adirondack Park and how do we make it work in Essex County and how to do make it work in the Town of Jay. Because I definitely know itís hard to hire people on your highway staff when nobody can afford to live in your town and work on the highway staff or your point, Mr. Mascarenas, just here in the County. How do we hire people to work at the County if they canít afford to live in the county? Well, if we can expand the hamlets. If we can expand the ability to have senior housing, to expand the ability to have somebody, I donít think somebody establishing themselves as a starter job here at the County is looking to buy a house, today, but if thereís somewhere that they can rent for maybe the first five years. I know when I moved back up here, I rented for my first twelve years and then I was finally able to build a house. The answer isnít to be a homeowner at 22 years old, but we need to make it so that maybe when your family is started and youíre around 30 years old, now maybe thatís where it opens up for homeownership. But, I think people and itís not just housing, I think people hear something different and theyíre like, oh no, we canít do that, it wrong. I think we need to look at somebody opening the door, how can we make that work for us.

 

MONTY: I agree

 

SCOZZAFAVA: I agree, but you have to have an incentive for the developer, first and foremost. Youíve got to have something thatís going to bring them in, youíve not to go in there and build houses and build senior complexes to lose money. Thatís a fact. Iíve done a lot of research on that, you maybe to answer this better, theyíre saying the magic number of senior is 20-25 units, go under that, forget it. Itís not going to work, you canít do it, but the incentive has to be there. There was an incentive that was offered years ago and even at your home base itís hard to get some people to realize that this incentive that the Stateís throwing our way makes sense. If you have an empty lot, right now, if Iíve got an empty lot sitting in the Town of Moriah, this law is still on the books, Bill, I donít know if youíre familiar with it or not. So, if a first time homebuyer or builder goes in there and builds a house on that lot, you get a 5-year tax break. Are you familiar with this? Starts off the first year, 10%, second year 20%, how ever the percentage breakdown and then in the 6th year youíre at a 100%. To me that made 100% sense, because right now, youíve got an empty lot that maybe is assessed for $30,000.00 - $40,000.00, youíre going to put a home on there. Youíre going to be bringing in that addirional tax revenue. I tried to peddel that and was almost crucified over it. Well, we didnít get that when we built our house. I mean thatís another major hurdle that you have to go over. I think that is still out there, that incentive. Your municipality has to adopt a local law in order to do it.

 

STANLEY: I think those incentives are there. I just donít think we know about them. We need people like Nicole to actually be able to partner her and her knowledge with a developer that wants to come in and do it. We need to identify both sides of the equation and we need to bring them to the same table.

 

MONTY: I agree, but you also got to factor in IDA, because thereís a lot of advantages for a developer to go through IDA to get those breaks, as well.

 

STANLEY: And I think, Iím new, so thereís a lot of things that I donít know about.

 

MONTY: Right

 

STANLEY: And I would be naÔve to think I could even learn it all, anyways, but what we need and I have a business thatís interested in coming into Jay and Iím trying to think of all the agencies that can actually talk to that potential business to talk to. Like do we, at the County, have some research that we can send some people, okay, you want to start a business, these are the people that you talk to at the County.

 

MONTY: Essex County IDA.

 

STANLEY: And thatís the one person I put, I actually sent the Essex County IDA, the SBDC out of Plattsburgh and I mean just the different types of agencies that I could think of and I think, now on the flip side of that. If I have someone wants to come into my town to increase housing, how do we work with that person and who do we put them in touch with and how to we, because itís going to take someone who wants to change the community. Like I have a guy in my mind, thereís a couple of gentlemen that are trying to clean-up our town by starting a non-profit to get rid of blighted properties; which is something the Town Board has tried to do. But, it costs so much more as the municipality to do that, prevailing wage and all that stuff. So, how do, Iím already thinking, how do I put them in touch with Nicole to start to think about maybe they would want to be doing a senior housing or a renter or something, because they want to make our town better.

 

MONTY: Right

 

STANLEY: How do we really marry those people, know who they are, and put them with the right groups.

 

MONTY: We also have HAPEC, too, to go back and forth. You know that can do similar work, as well.

 

HUGHES: Absolutely, absolutely.

 

MONTY: So, we kind of want to include both sides of this here.

 

STANLEY: And so thatís also a problem with me, is I get talking to one person and I forget about the other people that are actually and if we have just a whole list, like if you want to start a business, thereís are the agencies to talk to. If you want to start some sort of housing projects, these are the agencies you talk to. Because somebody do get forgot about, because theyíre not top marked.

 

MONTY: Right

 

JUSTICE-GREEN: And I will say that Carol and I meet monthly with our Director of Ticonderogaís Chamber of Commerce and Carol has sent specifically with the economic development facet that we do, that HAPEC doesnít do. The New York Main Street Grants, that is a wonderful place to start when it comes to economic development. But, yeah, having a resource list available to the supervisors with all the agencies working countywide with brief descriptions is not a bad idea. I know it would be really helpful for everybody involved.

 

MASCARENAS: I started working on this years ago, when I was in the County Planning Department and I failed miserably, because itís a lot.

 

STANLEY: Oh absolutely.

 

MASCARENAS: Itís a huge undertaking to do. Like when you start looking at, not only resources in housing, but just countywide. So, Dan Palmer and I started looking at putting together a resources guide. Hereís what you do for mental health services, hereís all the agencies. Hereís what you do if you have somebody in your community thatís homeless and it was just a huge type document, but it sounds like it may be warranted, whether or not we get it accomplished or not is a whole other thing.

 

STANLEY: I think if you start making a list, at least once you start putting the list out there, the people who arenít on the list will complain and what to be on the list.

 

MONTY: And going back to your conversation about what Jack Mudge was trying to do. Jack didnít, when the dug into it, their grant didnít meet all the criteria, so he didnít actually submit it. Thatís why we did the second resolution in support of the grant, because some of the criteria changed and that was is going to be submitted for the basically the same project.

Anything else? I know Bill wants to talk a little bit about by-laws.

 

TANSEY: Bylaws and resolution.

 

MONTY: Yup, because weíre ready to go.

 

TANSEY: The draft resolution was sent out. I got one comment from Mr. Hughes and that particular line said, the initial number of Board of Directors will be six. I changed that language to be, the initial number of the Board of Directors will be a mimimual of five, a maximum of eleven. The initial number and working number to be determined by the existing Board of Directors.

 

HUGHES: Nice

 

TANSEY: So, that language is there. That resolution is ready to go. Iíll send another draft out, befire I give it Judy for next week.

The bylaws, the feedback Iíve gotten from our presentation, the bylaws to Pride was the number of Board of Directors, just to make sure itís an odd number. Weíll have two to three Board of Supervisor members, ex-officio members of their Board of Directors, the Land Bankís Board of Directors and whether one, two or three of them actually vote to keep the odd number present. That would be determined by the Board of Directors at that meeting. So, that is detailed and finessed when the application for the land bank is approved. So, from a legal standpoint weíre moving forward in a positive direction. Standing back for feedback.

 

MONTY: Okay, any questions? Thank you, Bill, very much.

Anything else? I will have a conversation with Shaun when I see him next and Mike and weíll discuss inviting the Governor, Basil and Barb Rice to one of our next task force meetings. Probably after the discussion with Shaun, it would probably be to invite them to the one in May. Give them a little time, it gives us a little time to present our views to them and come up with an agenda if thatís something this Task Force wants me to do. Does that sound like a plan?

 

HUGHES: Yes, absolutely.

 

MONTY: And whether we get any feedback from them. Iím quite sure the Governor will send a respresentative, I donít imagine sheíll come to Essex County, but it May, most of the snow should be gone.

 

HUGHES: And if they invite us down there, weíll send a delegation down there. You know, absultey, weíll meet wherever they want to meet to help further the Governorís goal, because theyíre lofy. Again, I talked earlier about thinking big and if the Governor, I would have to assume is thinking big for New York State, right, but theyíre probably claw back a couple of things, as well, because you want to put it all out there and then take it back, instead of wishing you put it out there in the first. So, Jim, Iím thrilled at what was supposed to be a short, quick meeting, ended up to be a Ĺ hour meeting, because weíre in a housing crisis and I would hate to think that weíre only talking about housing for two minutes when weíre in a crisis. So, really thoughtful conversations and comments and Iím really pleased that thereís more to go and more to do.

 

MONTY: Thank you

 

MASCARENAS: And Jim, can I just publicly thank Sun Community News. They ran a really nice editorial on the broadband issue. I donít know if any of you got to see it, February, I think 18th edition of the Sun and whoever did it, I was assuming it was you, but your nameís not on it, but it sounded awful familiar to our meeting that day. You did an excellent job and we appreciate you helping to get the message out on some of these important issues, so thank you.

 

HUGHES: Just to follow up on that, there was a survey question at the end of that editorial about do you have adequate broadband, I think 300+ people responded in which 2/3rds of them said no. Thatísí good.

 

MONTY: It is good.

 

HUGHES: Itís fairly unscientific good data and Tim Rowland is in the room and I hope Iím not putting my foot in my mouth by doing this, thank you, Tim is here representing Adirondack Explorer. Tim is doing a multi part on housing and so heís beginning that education with this meeting today. I will be speaking with him, tomorrow, in Essex. I have given him many names in this room to talk to and get information from. So, heís going to help continuing raising the profile. So, I do thank, along with you, Mike, the press for helping to elevate and raise the profile of this conversation about what weíre doing at the local and at the County and with the State, at that level, as well. So, thank you both and Federal.

 

MASCARENAS: Welcome back, Tim.

 

MONTY: Thank you

 

JUSTICE-GREEN: One last comment, I just wanted to remind everybody Essex County CDBG housing rehabilitation program for 2023 is open. All that information is on the top of the Countyís website, the application. I highly encourage you, if you know of constituents that are in need of major housing rehabilitation that are in the low to moderate income category, send them our way. Not only do we have the Countyís CDBG program, but we have PRIDEís restore program, which is for folks over 60, as well as our home program and those programs are available for Essex, Warren and Washington, but the County CDBG program is exclusive to just Essex County. So, please send folks our way.

 

STANLEY: Could you send us an email with that information so I can put it in my weekly update to put out to my constituents, please?

 

JUSTICE-GREEN: Yes

 

HUGHES: And also, Nicole is coming to the Town of Essex, town board meeting on March 9th to do a presentation and we also video tape our meetings, so Iíll take that section of video of videotaping her brief presentation to the Town Board and Iíll share that out, so youíve got a video of what sheís talking about.

 

JUSTICE-GREEN: And if you are interested in having me come to your own town board meetings to do a public hearing within your community, that is part of this grant and I am more than happy to do that, so please let me know.

 

BARBER: The question I have, Nicole, so the Town of Chesterfield, we did get a grant through CDBG Friends of the North Country, so theyíre applying right now, weíve got one application in. So, my question to you is, when I have citizens that come to me, should I send them to you also or should I go to the Friends of the North Country first?

 

JUSTICE-GREEN: Programmatically, I would say, Friends of the North Country grant first, because thatís exclusively to just your community, like only folks from Chesterfield are going to be able to get that funding. But, with that being said,if you have folks who apply with them and they donít qualify or you know theyíre over 60, they donít need a full home rehab, they just need a little bit of help, please still send them to us, because we have additional grant programs and if that list gets filled, if youíre grant, youíre CDBG grant, you know is filled and theyíre put on a waitlist, you can send folks from your waitlist, you know over to us and I do have a working relationship with Friends of the North Country, so I can reach out to them, as well and let them know that if they have folks that theyíre not able to serve they can give them PRIDEís number for that program.

 

BARBER: Okay, thank you very much.

 

MONTY: Anything else? I will ask of the Task Force, for the next meeting, to come back with some thoughts on how we want to approach that meeting with the Governor and Barb Rice and Basil. That way we have a consensus of what we want to ask.

 

SCOZZAFAVA: Years ago, there was an issue about hamlet expansion, it wasnít due to housing, but it was just to increase our tax base. But, I think every community that was interested in the hamlet expansion, we did a, do you have infrastructure beyond that hamlet where that hamlet is now, Mike, you may remember?

 

MASCARENAS: Yeah

 

SCOZZAFAVA: To see if you have municipal water and municipal sewer, so just throwing that out there, it might be something that your community may want to where that brown area ends, how far does that water and sewer continue.

 

MASCARENAS: Yeah, criteria for hamlet expansion at one point was always having sewer.

 

SCOZZAFAVA: Exactly

 

MASCARENAS: Which was always a major barrier for communities to do a hamlet expansion, if you have a community that doesnít necessarily need that, it was an easy no. So, yeah, thereís certainly a lot of barriers but I think we need to list those and maybe those things can change and spin it in a positive direction to where we can take advantage of whatís out there.

 

MONTY: My water district is 3-5 time bigger than my hamlet.

 

HUGHES: Do you have a sewer district?

 

MONTY: No, nor will we as long as Iím in office. Theyíre too many headaches.

Anythign else, well thank you all, we stand adjourned until next month. Thank you.

 

 

AS THERE WAS NO FURTHER BUSINESS TO COME BEFORE THIS TASK FORCE WAS ADJOURNED AT 11:48 AM.

 

 

Respectively Submitted,

 

 

Dina Garvey, Deputy Clerk

Board of Supervisors