WAYS AND MEANS
Monday, January 30, 2023 @ 10:00 a.m.
James Monty, Chairman
Shaun Gillilland, Vice-Chairman
Chairman Monty called this Ways & Means Committee to order at 10:00 a.m. with the following supervisors in attendance: Clayton Barber, Robin DeLoria, Stephanie DeZalia, Derek Doty, Shaun Gillilland, Charles Harrington, Roy Holzer, Ken Hughes, Steve McNally, Noel Merrihew, Jim Monty, Matthew Stanley, Tom Scozzafava, Michael Tyler, JoePete Wilson, Davina Winemiller, Margaret Wood and Mark Wright.†
Department heads present were: Michael Diskin, James Dougan, Judy Garrison, Mary McGowan, Dan Manning, Michael Mascarenas, Chelsea Merrihew, Jack Moulton and Matt Watts.
Also present:† Emily Evatt, Nicole Justice-Green, Jeanene Wilson, Michael LaVallie and Bill Tansey.
News media:† Alana Penny
MONTY:† Good morning all.† Weíll call the ways and means committee to order and join me with the pledge of allegiance. Thank you.† Roll call please Judy.† Thank you.† This morning we are very fortunate to have a couple guests with us, this morning to do a brief presentation, Nicole Justice-Green from PRIDE of Ticonderoga and her assistant, Jeanene Wilson. Thank you for joining us. They are going to give us a presentation on PRIDE, as you know they are going to be administering the county housing rehab grant and also theyíve been very instrumental in helping us, assisting us in the land bank application which itís on your desk now. This is the draft copy.† We want you to have it, review it and we are going to introduce it next month through committee and run it so that final approval can happen in March so that we can get it submitted to the State.† I think itís a strong application.† Ken Hughes and Nicole kudos to them, they really put together a great application with that being said, Nicole come on up.
JUSTICE-GREEN:† Thank you very much supervisors for your time.† As Jim introduced myself, my name is Nicole Justice-Green.† Iím the Executive Director of PRIDE of Ticonderoga and my colleague Jeanene Wilson who is our housing specialist is here with us today and PRIDE of Ticonderoga was founded in 1984.† We are going into our 39th year of serving Essex County also Warren and Washington County and we were founded by a rural preservation company grant that was initiated by the Ticonderoga area Chamber of Commerce and actually Essex County.† The Essex County Manager at the time and Planner were one of the original founders of PRIDE.† A rural preservation company is, we are called RPCís.† There is a network of over 50 of us throughout New York State.† In 1984, there were 5 RPCís serving Essex County and today there are only 2, PRIDE of Ticonderoga being one of them and the Housing Assistance Program of Essex County, HAPEC being the other only two remain.†
During that 39 years of tenure, PRIDE has funneled over, these statistics are a little bit outdated because we were recently awarded with six additional grants but all total we funneled $15 million dollars of public money into our service area.† One of the largest chunks of that money, as you can see is over $6 million dollars in housing grants.†
So PRIDE does a number of different areas of work.† We call them our four pillars and those four pillars of work are housing grants, downtown revitalization, community development programs as well as community assistance programs.† We have a number of current grant programs which Iím going to go over in brief detail with you.† The first being our home and CDBG programs.† These are our largest housing programs that PRIDE administers and these programs go from anywhere from $25,000 to the upwards of $75,000 to do major home rehabilitation for owner occupied dwellings.† In the past, PRIDE has also administered four mobile home replacement projects and programs we are not currently administrating them but if you have a constituent who is in need of housing assistance, home and CDBG are the current programs that we are administering.
Our second program that we consistently administered has been our Restore program.† Restore serves the elderly within the county.† So you have to be 60 or older.† These are emergency prepares or accessibility modifications so, if a client who is at 100% of the area medium income has an accident now they are no longer able to easily access their bathroom in their home, we can quickly come in and make the ADA modifications but we can also help them if their pipes freeze or if they have a major electrical issue.† These are quick, faster grants than our major home rehabilitation grants but Restore Home and CDBG can all be pulled together to leverage that funding so if weíre doing a home rehabilitation for an elderly resident in Essex County we can pull money from a store and home to do a complete rehabilitation.†
The lower programs are New York helping neighbors program and the direct donation of a small grant program that PRIDE created about fifteen years ago, those are rapid, emergency repairs.† The reason why we created that program was because as you all know, as State employees grants meditate, take a very long time and in the meantime,† if somebody has a tree fall on their house it can take up to five to six weeks to get this, their project set up with the state, in the meantime, thereís mold development, other serious issues, pipes freeze in the meantime and so this program Iím able to go in 24 hours access this, qualify the resident for assistance and get a repair person whatever the repair happens to be into their home immediately to stabilize it.† It could just be one single repair that they need or they could be a client who is on the wait list waiting to access our home funds or CDBG funds and so we know this after many years of service this program was created by Shari Reynolds. We would have these issues where we could not get the funding or assistance to these homeowners quickly enough.† So the cost of their project would then will do what might have been a simple pipe replacement has now meant mold remediation, you have to rip out walls and so this basically leveraged multiple of these programs and filled these voids of service throughout the county is something that PRIDE has consistently done which is why we created this program.† So, we donít really accept multiple donations for our administration because we are funded by the State as a rural preservation company. When we accept donations they go to Neighbors Helping Neighbors so we can do our work better and last, for our community kind of housing projects PRIDE has a continued of care approach. So, when somebody calls us they donít necessarily just call us for housing, they call us because they canít pay their heating bill, theyíre hungry, an accident has happened.† In Ticonderoga we are about an hour from Elizabethtown where Social Services is, we also serve Warren and Washington County, their Social Services officesí are about an hour from anybody who lives in the mediate area and so we, very often serve as an extension of social services and just referral agencies to get people, they know that they can come to us for help and pointing them in the right direction of where they need to go and one of those consistent programs that we can administer have been food and security programs.† If you look through the packet, youíll see the list of all the grants that we have successfully have been awarded for the past 39 years we use to run the Ticonderoga area backpack program where we send food home with children over the weekends, that program continues to be successful.† Itís now its own 503c† however, at the beginning of this school year our local school secretary and superintendent called me because multiple students were not eating lunch as school because the pandemic waiver for free school lunches had expired and so PRIDE given that history of food and security created another direct donation program called, In School Hunger to pay off student lunch debt in our school district for the remainder of the school year and so while these are smaller programs and you all are generally aware of our housing programs, this is just part of PRIDEís continual of care full community, uplifting work that we do as a rural preservation company not just with housing but we also have our New York Main Street revitalization programs and these programs, New York Main Street has three facets to it and PRIDE has consistently administered this program for over twenty years since it began.† There are large downtown district grants for building renovations and thatís when an entire large main street or hamlet, district spreads out this money, $500,000, among multiple businesses so you think if youíre walking through Ticonderoga an you looking at all of our downtown buildings PRIDE has literally, given money to every single business owner and has touched every single building downtown either through facade renovations, street scape enhancement, making the buildings themselves handicap assessable, also making them energy efficient the apartments up above so if you have a business space below and you have apartments above Main Street will give you additional funds to rehabilitate the apartments.† So, itís downtown revitalization, historic preservation as well as economic development and housing.† We also have an anchor projects.† PRIDE is currently administering an anchor project in Ticonderoga called the La Chute restaurant project where we partnered with Tom Cunningham with La Chute ventures to gut and rehabilitate a 100 year old restaurant.† Itís a $500,000 grant.† Itís going to be completed in the next month and so instead of that money being spread out through the entire district the State chose just to give that money to one specific business.†
I love these projects.† You can create beautiful housing for somebody and they can live in that home and you can make it affordable but if they donít have anywhere to work or shop or dine or live then the community becomes debunked thatís why PRIDE has addressed housing, economic development and then community development because of that whole approach is what makes a community thrive and you know this throughout your own communities not one approach works for every community which is why New York Main Street has been a program that we have partnered with consistently and the New York Main Street program and grant application process is actually very similar to DRI which PRIDE helped coordinate with our town supervisor in our community over the past year.
And last but not least for PRIDE, we have done a number of historic and recreation based grants including the Frazier Bridge which we restored in 2003.† We have put in over $600,000 into the La Chute trail corridor throughout Ticonderoga and we have also most recently partnered with our town to revitalize our local ice rink and we found $25,000 in grants and donations since September 2022.
Now onto the land bank. So, please let me know at the end of this if you have any questions for me and again, my contact information is there.† All the grants that PRIDE has received is in the back of your packet as well as specifically for our programs that we are administering throughout your districts if you have constituents that need assistance, all of our applications are online so anybody currently is welcomed to go online and find that information I put in front of you and they can apply.† The mission and vision of the land bank is very similar to what PRIDE is doing with our housing and rehabilitation programs.† PRIDE has never done affordable housing construction. What we do and what we do very well are owner occupied rehabilitations.† Thatís what we do CDBG, thatís what weíve done with Home and thatís also what we do with Restore and throughout Essex County you are well aware there is immense blight.† We see it driving in and out of our towns, homes that were once beautiful or need a minor rehabilitation fall into disarray and as they sit on the market and as they are not given the care and need they just deteriorate further and further.† So we have viable homes that could be housing and then they go into tax foreclosures because either their owners cannot afford the repairs or they just donít have the capital to flip these homes when people purchase them.† So by pulling these homes off of the tax rolls we have the ability to have the capital to rehabilitate them and then flip them on the market for affordable homes for people who are low to moderate income, even up to 200% of their medium income because many people even if they are LMI and not able to qualify to purchase a home they are very professional people, they have large families who still cannot afford to live because of the affordability crisis so we donít want to necessarily price out working professionals with modest incomes so I did want to make that clear. That this is just not for only low forty-five or below, 80% AMI in Essex County is currently $48,000, for one person so that being one of our lowest, we want to continue to assist people who are making upwards of seventy, eighty to ninety depending on their home size and Mike even shared that one of our county employees, who is a wonderful asset to this team, could not afford to live here even on a good salary with a young family.† So this is what we vision.† Itís not only remediating blight but also remediating the affordability crisis with the current houses in stock.† We have many projects including one in Lake Placid that is actually constructing new housing.† This is going to take housing that is out, already that is not been able to be addressed and we are going to be able to remediate that using this wonderful priority of work that PRIDE has perfected over the past 38 years.
Now, that is not the end of my presentation.† Iím going to see if I can restart it and get back to the land bank but what we seek to do as outlined on the next page.† Iím going to try one more time at the beginning.
So, what we proposed to do as you know recently they presented the board with a number of properties that they wanted to pull off the tax rolls.† One of those homes was able to be pulled off, that was in Jay, which was the first identified property and these homes have sat on the tax rolls for multiple years not generating any income for the county.† We would work with the County Manager to identify properties that we can actually rehab.† We donít want to take any property thatís unaffordable that is going to cost us $500,000 to rehab and then not make money back when we sell it to the homeowner so it would be very limited to this process where we would find properties that can conceivably could be rehabilitated and then sold with some investment coming back to the land bank.† So, if the property itself needed $200,000 to rehabilitate and then we are able to sell it to a low to moderate income homebuyer for $150,000, then that would be potentially a home that we would present to pull off the tax rolls not a home that is going to cost $1.1 million dollars to rehabilitate and then we would potentially still only be only to sell it for $150,000.† Once the Board of Supervisors agreed to pull that property off the tax rolls the land bank would not be doing this independently then we would go through our priority of work, we would establish a work scope assessment, we do an initial building inspections and then we would bid this out just like PRIDE does with all of our home rehabilitation projects.† Once the rehabilitation project is complete we have our final clearance at that point we would list that home for sale countywide either using the Housing Assistance Program of Essex Countyís homebuyer waitlist or we would create a new homebuyer waitlist in case they didnít have a home buyer identified on the list.†† And these homes can be throughout the county so HAPEC may have home buyers throughout Ticonderoga that would qualify but if this home was being rehabilitated in Jay it might necessitate creating a new waitlist for home owners just in Jay who actually could conceivably buy this home.† At that point, PRIDE would pass off this process to the Housing Assistance Program of Essex County.† They have a homebuyer counseling service theyíve been administering for a number of years with their HUD certified home buying counselor.† They would go through the process of setting up funding for this homebuyer, potentially assisting them with down payment and closing costs assistance and then they would close on this home and as they close on that home, the land bank would then come in and they would be the final broker with the homebuyer and they would have their home.† It seems like a somewhat simplified process but both of our organizations, PRIDE with their rehabilitations and HAPEC with their housing counseling and their home buying assistance, weíve both work together for the past 38 years, harmoniously by sending each other different referrals.† This is a program that PRIDE doesnít do but they do well and vice versa.† When we do our different rehabilitations thatís something that PRIDE is very well known for because we do that quality work and we consistently delivered on that.†
Another facet of the land bank administration is going to be all of the financing, all of the administration of the waitlist, the websites, the applications and thatís something that PRIDE would be in charge of as well and if you go to our website, our most recent audit financials are available for the public.† We also have a gold seal of transparency and weíve never had an audit finding in our 38 years of operations.
Within the land bank application itself, this is the timeline that our housing taskforce committee has laid out.† The first step being you, the county board, approving the application weíre turning in.† Weíre hoping that that will happen in the first quarter and then at that point we can actually submit our application to Empire State Development who is going to be one of the oversight agencies for the land bank and once ESD approves this, the county and PRIDE will actually, hopefully will turn to a formal contract where we will formalize our policies and procedures for the land bank and what each entities roles will be as we administrate this process.† After that, the Essex County will go through the process as outlined and questioned to determine the property acquisition which is what I just spoke to you all about.† Where we will look at each property, see that itís actually feasible to rehab and then suggest and recommend the board pull that off the tax rolls and then we proceed.† And we already have the one home, well, we have the one home but the land bank doesnít exist yet but our hope is that the house in Jay will be the first property that the land bank is actually able to rehabilitate and then sell to a qualified home buyer.† Once that process is complete the land bank will continue to do its rehabilitations, weíll hand it off to HAPEC and weíre hoping that by the end of 2023, if everything goes smoothly with the pre rules of the State and funding as acquired, by the end of 2023 beginning of 2024, the first house will be completed and the initial properties that we suggest for the tax auction in June weíll be able to pull off additional properties and start this process over again.
The land bank hopes to do three to five homes every year, three to start and then slowly build in that capacity again, a lot of that is going to determine what homes are in the tax auction.† If there are any that are feasible, if weíre able to pull those homes off or seek reasonable donations of property again feasibility is going to be key because we want the land bank to be successful.† On average, PRIDE does anywhere from ten to fifteen major home rehabilitations a year, those are owner occupied so this process will be a little more litigious because weíre actually selling the home to the home buyer but I expect and feel personally given PRIDEís track record of work that three is incredibly reasonable.† My hope is that as years go on into year five to ten we are able to do ten to fifteen homes a year if the inventory is there to do that.
I know that all of you here are familiar with affordable housing at this point itís a very popular topic these days.† Why is it an issue in Essex County?† We have a lot of vacant homes affordability for second homeowners is prevalent throughout the county especially where I live in Ticonderoga.††† We all know how expensive housing can be and for somebody who is renting they generally are not spending 30% of their income, they are spending 70% to 80% of their income on housing thereís no money left over for them.† So within the county to be able to purchase a home and actual live and contribute to your communities here there is a number of deleterious issues that affect people deeply not just young families but the elderly also a huge issue.† And our data bases, Jeanene, when we get these calls for people who are seeking affordable housing or just help, it is heartbreaking.† You hear them speak to us directly about not being able to purchase medication because they have a needed housing repair or they are going to be evicted or not being able to pay day care, which means they canít work, if they even can find day care.† So, this is a way in which the county can have an additional lasting legacy of taking a real, well, vetted approach not only handling blight throughout the county but taking that blight and creating affordability for people who want to live and work here.† We have other instruments including housing development, the land trust that are all doing different work but whatís currently not being done is dealing with this blight in a feasible and income driven way.†
And I did want to just share briefly, personally with you all why this is so important to me.† Both my husband and I moved here from Virginia about three years ago.† We have five children and Iím the Executive Director of PRIDE.† I have two mastersí degrees.† I am a full REC Scholar.† I make a very good income.† My husband is the Director of Fort Ticonderoga and he also makes a very good income and we cannot afford to buy a home in Essex County.† It is only by the good grace of my husbandís employer that we have employee subsidized housing and so, both of us with Mastersí degrees, professional careers and a young family who wants to give back to our community, we canít afford to live here and so I canít help to think that people who drive our economies and our everyday work, the struggle that they go through on a daily basis and so while I am unable to benefit from this program I do hope that we are able to seriously address this issue because itís one that is near and dear to my heart and itís one that is everywhere throughout the county not just in Ticonderoga itís incredibly prevalent and itís prevalent throughout New York State and I think we have a really strong framework to effectively and financially address this in a sustainable way that the county is going to benefit in multiple ways.† So, thank you for your time and again, if you have any of your constituents in need please feel free to reach out.† That is my information and ask them to visit our website.†
SCOZZAFAVA:† See me after the meeting, have I got a deal for you.
MONTY:† No.† (laughter)
SCOZZAFAVA:† So, back to the property ends up on the county tax rolls so you go in and you check it out and see Ė who goes in and checks it out and sees if itís reasonable to rehab it?† Do you have a contractor?
JUSTICE-GREEN:† We have a building and work scope specialist.† His name is Glenn Shlader.† He is who we send out to all of our properties. Myself, Jeanene and Glenn will be going to all of the properties ourselves to make sure that we are not proposing a project that we canít take on or that weíre not going to be able to conceivably generate any income or get an affordable price for the homeowner.
SCOZZAFAVA:† Do you do an environmental assessment, lead paint and all of that?
JUSTICE-GREEN:† First we would assess it and then based on Glennís recommendations if it was feasible. We donít want to pay for two-hundred environmentals because thatís also not feasible.† With a short list of properties that we see that look like good candidates then we would in the interim get a Tier 1 assessment done for environmentals and then if the county then approved to pull that off we would go in and we would have to go to the Tier 2 process where we would have everything properly tested and especially figuring out the most expensive parts which would be the asbestos and the lead which by the way, most of our homes in the county are actually the average age of somewhere 60 years so most of our homes are coated in lead which is a huge health and safety hazard.†
SCOZZAFAVA:† So, a property ends up in the land bank so now you own it?
JUSTICE-GREEN:† Yes, now we own it.
SCOZZAFAVA:† Do you go to bid? I heard you say you got to bid and have them rehab it?
SCOZZAFAVA: Do you hire one general contractor or do you do the electrical separate, the plumbing and heating separate?
JUSTICE-GREEN:† We always generally hire one general contractor.† We tried to target minority women owned business which is a mandate from New York State as a rural preservation. We also get at least three feasible bids and these would all be publically posted, legal affidavits on our contractor quarter for the State and we do this anyway for our home projects but we would be doing the same for the county projects.
MONTY:† I think Tom, just to go back an answer a bit of your question about the, how choosing the homes is going to be very similar to the way we chose the Jay home.† Weíre going to identify some properties with the help of Mr. Diskin that are on the list.† Theyíll be presented to the Board of Supervisors but by the time we get our application the task force will be done and then theyíll be presented to each supervisor within their community; is that a home that you might be interested in rehabbing.
SCOZZAFAVA:† The house in Jay, did you do an assessment on it?
MONTY:† Yes.† Seth went and did it. While we were in ownership of it I believe the last time, Mike correct me if Iím wrong, Seth went up and inspected it of what the needs were for that home initially so that we knew is it going to be feasible for us to put that into the land bank to rehab.
MASCARENAS:† Yes, so we sent a contractor there, they did an estimate on that home based upon what would it cost the county utilizing prevailing wage rates and those types of things so that we could put in a restore project.† Where the land bank would help you out in that regard, if that home was then agreed upon with this board, to go into the land bank Nicole and her team would have the opportunity to do that at a much cheaper rate.† They are not withholding to the same procurement that we are necessarily here at the county so right now weíre in the process of having that home reassessed at a private cost of what that rehabilitation would be if we feel like that makes sense and the land bank, we are fortunate to have that approved by the State then weíll come back to the is board and ask that that home be transferred for remediation to PRIDE of Ticonderoga.† Now, what a lot of land banks do too is they take care of a lot of the blighted properties thatís a big part of what they do. I know when I was the Planning Director the board was asking me at that time, what can we do about all these zombie and blighted properties in this town and we did assessments and we never came up with a real solution for the board to be able to handle those. We now have a tool in our toolbox to be able to deal with some of these blighted properties that are frequent flyers to† our auctions so, again, weíre not going to force any community to participate in this.† Youíre going drive that.† Weíre going to ask that you get a resolution from your own town to have a property removed and put into the land bank so the locals, this is going to be a bottom up approach not top down approach.† We want people to participate who want to participate.
MANNING: Mike, just listening to you while we do a physical evaluation of the premises we are also going to do a title evaluation because most leads are cut off by a tax foreclosure but there could be easements, rights of way, there could be set back dilations, there could be a whole host of things that Iíve learned in my days of handling tax foreclosures that pop up and you wouldnít know it and it would basically put an end to that particular piece of property if you waited too long to dig these things out so those two things should be happening at the same time.† And I donít know who does that, do you do that?
JUSTICE-GREEN: We consistently do abstract or title searches with our attorney at PRIDE to make sure that when weíre doing either a home replacement or any sort of work we have to actually place a lien on the property for a number of years to prevent people from getting $65,000 in grant funding and then flipping the home the next year which fortunately only tried to happen once and we captured those funds but thatís a State sort of legal mechanism that we would be using for the land bank to ensure that in worst case scenario, this owner doesnít try to flip this home that that would be caught upon the sale and part of what I talked about with our financial monitoring is that we continue to monitor these properties and make sure that they were the main residence of the homeowner, that they werenít trying to sell this property we would be able to catch upon sale and that it would remain permanently affordable so if they did chose to sell that home, it would come back into the hands of the land bank, we would then be able to sell it again to another affordable home buyer.
MONTY:† And staying away from short term rentals.
JUSTICE-GREEN:† Yes, absolutely.
SCOZZAFAVA: Thank you.
MANNING: I have a quick question, Iím not well versed in the land bank my assistant county attorney is handling all that stuff so it might be a stupid question but a lot of these blighted properties are not capably not going to be rehabilitated.† Do you provide a program for demolition and sale of the vacant property because that vacancy with maybe some constructive home help because that basically would do the same thing and maybe more cost effective.
JUSTICE-GREEN:† Yes, so we on a case-by-case basis would assess that.† I think for the first three years our goal is to really tackle feasible home rehabilitations to create affordability but that is a mechanism of the land bank in that tool box depending on the cost. If we did a mobile home replacement program which currently is another mechanism that PRIDE as the land bank, would use because we would be able to find these different pools of funding to fund the land bank so if we got a grant that did mobile home replacements we conceivably wouldnít be replacing mobile homes we would be demoing and putting a modular on that property and potentially selling it, if it was feasible and within the eligible activities costs but that again, Iím throwing a lot of what ifs out there because I havenít looked at these properties but thereís a home that weíre doing in Ticonderoga currently where it was cheaper to demo the property and put a modular home on it, the cost being about $220,000 and then being able to sell it further subsidize by those programs to this older woman, who needs this home.† So, Iíve done it and Iím confident I can identify the properties that we can do that with as well as a title search which also the property I just did a title search for.
MANNING: I think thatís important because I think a lot these properties now are so far gone you are not going to rehabilitate them but to tear them down and offer the property for sale.
MONTY:† Well, in conversation that weíve all had in the land banks across the State they are going to tell you, the majority of the work is demolition.† While that is going to be in their tool box we want to find some homes and get people in them.†
DELORIA:† Briefly the Ag Markets, the State 35 land banks, is there a limit on the number of parcels that Essex County can place into the Essex County land bank to be successful in creating them?
JUSTICE-GREEN:† No, that would be fully at the discretion of the Board of Supervisors how many parcels we are placing into our inventory as well as potentially how long we would be holding onto those parcels.† My hope is we only pick feasible ones so weíre not holding onto those properties for long periods of time.
MONTY:† And funding Robin and funding.
DOTY:† Great Segway Dan as far as demolition on lots.† Just recently I identified a foreclosure property and talked to Mr. Diskin about it as well in the Village of Saranac Lake. †It was a vacant home site since 2015, naturally the heating system everything is frozen inside, so would be my question to all of us around this board, it is very attractive for a new modular because I see demolition Iím going to get inside and inspect it within the next week or so but the amount of money thatís owed to the county in back taxes in my mind, is very reasonable itís $21,000, so I think as situations like this come up we as a group, might be able to jump start this effort and whether to forgive that $21,000, help a family move in, that would be something I would approach and lastly, Nicole, Iíd like to say itís very evident that you have a great passion for this work.† So, I believe that home for you is in your future.† Thank you.
JUSTICE-GREEN: Thank you very much.
STANLEY:† Now we started this talk about the land bank Ken and Jim did a lot of work trying to put this together and start to build the framework for the land bank.† It really wasnít until Nicole came on board and sort of gave a boost and we really started to get some traction to this, this idea of a land bank and knowing that we needed to have a Board of Directors to really oversee the land bank.† I was originally sold on the idea that we had to be able to control who was kind of on that Board of Directors after the first meeting of listening to Nicole and her expertise, really sold me on the idea that she brings a lot of things to the table that actually would help answer a lot of the questions we sit around here asking and not really knowing the answers to so, thank you for coming on board with us.† Thank you for giving traction to this because I know think itís a reality because of you and the PRIDE of Ti to help create an Essex County land bank.† Thank you.
JUSTICE-GREEN: Thank you.
MONTY: And I think the answer to that, I think there is two members who are going to be appointed from the Board of Supervisors that is going to sit on their Board of Directors so we will have a direct voice down there with them but I agree with 100% of what you said Matt.
JUSTICE-GREEN:† One of the issues we get to resolve and we will resolve, which we cannot until the land bank is actually approved by ESD is the contract between PRIDE and the county.† We currently have two sub-recipient agreements with the county for housing programs so this would be, the contract process would be something that would be at the boardís discretion semi-annual, annual reporting, desk monitoring PRIDE also goes through and independent audit every year and then also program audits of our specific programs that we administer so I am a huge fan of transparency and we have woven transparency into every step of the process in order to make our work effective and efficient but also transparent because it is not lost on me how important it is to be transparent when youíre representing a public entity and public eye and we want to make sure that we are representing your constituents and that weíre basically, everybody is about approach and that everything is done in a fair and equitable manner.† In addition to that, we are beholden to the State at multiple levels and the Federal Government due to the grant programs that we administer so we step one toe out of line, we lose our funding and weíve never done that and we donít plan on doing it either.
MONTY: And I had the opportunity to meet your Chairman of your Board of Directors last Monday in Ti and I can tell you, they are super enthused of what Nicole has brought from PRIDE of Ti to Essex County and they are looking forward to us being a partner with them.† I mean, they jumped at the opportunity when it was suggested we put a board member or two on their board they were more than pleased.† Are there any other questions?†
HARRINGTON:† Yes, as you people are aware Crown Point is one of the towns that received State grants for a Main Street improvement project and the town was wildly enough to make sure this young lady here is on our steering committee and I am anticipating that we will be very, very successful with this project.
JUSTICE-GREEN:† Thank you.† I look forward to it.
MONTY:† Nicole thank you.† Thank you Jeanene for coming up with her.† Iím super excited.† Weíve been at this process for two years. I can see the finish line and Nicole and Ken deserve the majority of the kudos for this, so again, thank you and I look forward to moving on with this. Thank you.† Resolutions, Judy.
Monday, January 9, 2023
Chairman Ė S. McNally†††† Vice-Chairman Ė I. Tyler
1. RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE COUNTY CHAIRMAN OR COUNTY MANAGER TO EXECUTE A CONTRACT WITH THE DISTRICT ATTORNEYíS OFFICE AND ADVENT FOR A TRAFFIC DIVERSION AND REDUCTION PROGRAM, AT NO COST TO THE COUNTY.† Tyler, Holzer
2. RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING AN AMENDMENT TO RESOLUTION #235 Ė OF SEPTEMBER 6, 2022, AUTHORIZING THE PURCHASING AGENT TO AWARD BIDS, ISSUE CONTRACTS/AGREEMENTS OR PURCHASE ORDERS TO THE SHERIFFíS DEPARTMENT TO PURCHASE AN EZ CHILD ID TURNKEY SYSTEM, IN THE AMOUNT OF $7,999.00, WITH FUNDS TO COME FROM FORFEITURE ACCOUNT.† Wright, DeLoria
3. RESOLUTION RECOGNIZING SGT. ROBERT DEFELICE, CORRECTION OFFICERS JOSH GENIER, WILLIAM ORR AND COREY COLE AND MALLERY HANCE, RN FOR THEIR LIFE SAVING ACTIONS ON DECEMBER 18, 2022.† Tyler, Scozzafava
4. RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE PUBLIC DEFENDERíS OFFICE TO ACCEPT A THREE-YEAR NYS INDIGENT LEGAL SERVICE GRANT IN THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF $95,748.00, DISTRIBUTION #13 (REPLACES #10) IN THE AMOUNT OF $31,916.00.† DeZalia, Winemiller
5. RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE PUBLIC DEFENDERíS OFFICE TO ACCEPT A THREE-YEAR NYS INDIGENT LEGAL SERVICE GRANT IN THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF $95,748.00, DISTRIBUTION #12 (REPLACES #9) IN THE AMOUNT OF $31,916.00.† Scozzafava, Barber
6. RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE PUBLIC DEFENDERíS OFFICE TO ACCEPT A THREE-YEAR UPSTATE QUALITY GRANT (#3) IN THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF $300,000.† DeLoria, Wright
7. RESOLUTION OF CONGRATULATIONS AND APPRECIATION TO BRANDON BOUTELLE FOR HIS MANY YEARS OF SERVICE TO ESSEX COUNTY.† Winemiller, unanimous
8. RESOLUTION OF CONDOLENCE TO THE FAMILY OF CAROLYN GOFF.† Monty, unanimous
9. RESOLUTION OF CONGRATULATIONS AND APPRECIATION TO LOIS SAYWARD UPON HER RETIREMENT FROM ESSEX COUNTY SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT.† Tyler, unanimous
Monday, January 9, 2023
Chairman Ė I. Tyler††† Vice-Chairman Ė R. Holzer
10. RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING A BUDGET AMENDMENT IN THE COMMUNITY RESOURCES DEPARTMENT, INCREASING REVENUES AND APPROPRIATIONS IN THE AMOUNT OF $7,500.00, FROM UNEXPENDED FUND BALANCE AND FURTHER AUTHORIZING THE PURCHASING AGENT TO PURCHASE VARIOUS BUILDING MATERIALS FROM SAID FUNDS.† Holzer, Doty
Monday, January 9, 2023
Chairman Ė JP. Wilson†† Vice-Chairman - C. Harrington
11. RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENT TO APPLY FOR AND ACCEPT A CDC INFRASTRUCTURE AND WORKFORCE FUNDING GRANT OVER A FIVE-YEAR PERIOD, IN THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF $677,544.00.† Harrington, Holzer
12. RESOLUTION ACCEPTING AND PLACING ON FILE THE ESSEX COUNTY COMMUNITY HEALTH ASSESSEMENT 2022, AND COMMUNITY HEALTH IMPROVEMENT PLAN 2022-2024.† Doty, Tyler
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
Tuesday, January 17, 2023
Chairman Ė R. DeLoria†††† ViceĖChairman Ė C. Barber
13. RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING A BUDGET AMENDMENT IN THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS-FAIRGROUNDS INCREASING REVENUES AND APPROPRIATIONS IN THE AMOUNT OF $80,885.00, 2022 CARRYOVER FUNDS.† Holzer, Stanley
14. RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE PURCHASING AGENT TO AWARD A CONTRACT TO RAYVILLE PAINTING CORPORATION IN THE AMOUNT OF $80,885.00, FOR THE PAINTING OF FLORAL HALL AT THE ESSEX COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS, WITH FUNDS TO COME FROM BUDGETED FUNDS AND FURTHER AUTHORIZING THE COUNTY CHAIRMAN OR COUNTY MANAGER TO EXECUTE SAID CONTRACT.† Tyler, Stanley
15. RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING THE DATES AND LOCATIONS FOR THE 2023 HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE DAY EVENTS.† DeZalia, Winemiller
Tuesday, January 17, 2023
Chairman Ė S. DeZalia†††† Vice-Chairman Ė JP. Wilson
16. RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE RECLASSIFICATION OF DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES ATTORNEY TO AN ASSISTANT COUNTY ATTORNEY AT THE RATE OF $82,000.00 A YEAR FOR CLAUDIA RUSSELL AND FURTHER AUTHORIZING ANY BUDGET TRANSFERS FOR ALL BENEFITS AND COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH THE SALARY.† Stanley, Tyler
17. RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING ROBERT MARVIN, SURVEYOR TO SURVEY A PIECE OF PROPERTY TOOK IN FORECLOSURE, LOCATED IN THE TOWN OF NORTH ELBA IN THE AMOUNT OF $3500.00.† Doty, Holzer
GILLILLAND:† What property is this?
DOTY: The Nice & Easy foreclosed lot.† Golden Ring.
GILLILLAND:† Got it, thank you.
MONTY:† Further discussion?† No further discussion, all in favor signify by saying aye, opposed Ė carried.
FINANCE/TAX REDUCTION/MANDATE RELIEF
Tuesday, January 17, 2023
Chairman Ė T. Scozzafava†††† Vice-Chairman Ė N. Merrihew
18. RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING TO WAIVE THE RELEVY PENALTY IN THE AMOUNT OF $138.38, ON A PARCEL OF PROPERTY OWNED BY NADINE DENNIS, UNPAID SARANAC LAKE CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT TAXES.† Scozzafava, Barber
19. RESOLUTION TO ACCEPT, ADOPT AND PLACE ON FILE THE 2022 ANNUAL ACCOUNTING OF MONIES RECEIVED AND DISBURSED BY THE OFFICE OF THE ESSEX COUNTY CLERK.† Scozzafava, Winemiller
20. RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE PERSONNEL OFFICER TO CREATE THE POSITION OF MECHANIC INTERN IN THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS Ė HIGHWAY.† Barber, Stanley
HUGHES:† Is this a paid internship or is this an internship?
MONTY: I believe itís paid.
MASCARENAS:† Yeah, that is correct, itís paid.
MONTY:† Further discussion?† All in favor signify by saying aye, opposed Ė carried.
21. RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE PURCHASING AGENT TO AWARD A PURCHASE ORDER TO ESSEX COUNTY SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT IN THE AMOUNT OF $22,300.00, FOR A 2018 DODGE RAM 1500 PICK UP TRUCK.† Tyler, DeLoria
MANNING: Placed on your desks, there is a resolution approving the TEVA New York Statewide opioid settlement agreement.† Youíre aware we executed previous agreements with Johnson & Johnson, Janssen, Amgen, Purdue, these are litigation that is nationwide and there is a statewide component with respect to opioid manufacturers, pharmacies and pharmacists now thereís been a global settlement with TEVA.† The New York State share of $550 million dollars, Essex County although will be receiving a small portion of that, but after they whittle it down with attorneyís fees, expenses things of that nature we are going to get 3%.† I havenít been given the exact figure but weíre under a certain time restraint.† We need to pass a resolution approving the TEVA settlement and it needs to be received by them by the first week in February which is right around the corner.† So, with these exigencies in mind, Iíve been asked to pass this resolution.† It approves the statewide opioid settlement agreement with TEVA and it also authorizes the County Manager, the County Chairman or myself to execute participating three different agreements so that we get in the mix.† In addition to this just so you and as a refresher, kind of off the record, everybody knows this, Mike knows this these monies usually come in two components.† The first is that you can use the first allocation can be used generally across the board, you can put it in the general fund and you can use it for whatever you want.† The other portion of it has to be used for approved uses and a whole litany of approved uses as long as they touch opioids youíre pretty much in good shape but thatís something very important to keep in mind.† In addition to all these settlements that we are getting there is a statewide opioid settlement fund that we can apply to should we have some approved uses that we need additional funding for so keep that in mind.† That hasnít come across my desk but I know public health is aware of that, I know mental health is aware of that, I know the County Manager is aware of that but I wanted to make everybody aware of that.† And then finally, we are going to have soon I am supposed to get something this week with respect to CVS, Walgreens and Walmart as pharmacies and then Alergian with respect to pharmaceutical companies.† When I say Alergian, TEVA they are sometimes scores of cities underneath them so they are all being sued.† So thatís coming down the pike too so, weíll be doing this again.† So, Iím just going to read the beginning of the resolution so youíve got it before you.† Itís approving the TEVA New York statewide opioid settlement agreement between participating subdivisions and TEVA; the execution of a TEVA New York global payment opioid settlement sharing agreement; New York subdivision settlement participation form; TEVA New York premium payment opioid settlement sharing agreement; New York settlement election and release form; and all other necessary pertinent documents required for us and to facilitate said necessities in these matters.† Donít ask me whatís going on.† Donít ask me exactly how much weíre getting right now.† Iím not doing this litigation.† I just saw one other case, $350 million dollars, these are big, big law firms that this is all they do but weíre lucky to be getting this money.† So, I need a motion, a second and a roll call.† No roll call we are in ways and means.
RESOLUTION APPROVING THE TEVA NEW YORK STATEWIDE OPIOID SETTLEMENT† AGREEMENT BETWEEN PARTICIPATING SUBDIVISIONS AND TEVA; THE EXECUTION OF A TEVA NEW YORK GLOBAL PAYMENT OPIOID SETTLEMENT SHARING AGREEMENT; NEW YORK SUBDIVISION SETTLEMENT PARTICIPATION FORM; TEVA NEW YORK PREMIUM PAYMENT OPIOID SETTLEMENT SHARING AGREEMENT; NEW YORK SETTLEMENT ELECTION AND RELEASE FORM; AND ALL OTHER NECESSARY PERTINENT DOCUMENTS REQUIRED TO SETTLE ESSEX COUNTYíS INTEREST IN THE CURRENT LITIGATION INVOLVING TEVA.† Gillilland, Merrihew
MONTY:† Questions? Discussion?† No questions, no discussion.† All in favor signify by saying aye, opposed Ė carried.
MANNING:† Thank you.
MONTY: I do have two acknowledgments.† Iím looking for a resolution acknowledging length of service for County employees.† We have one for Bill Whalen from the Town of Elizabethtown, 25 years of service to Essex County.
RESOLUTION RECOGNIZING BILL WHALEN, TOWN OF ELIZABETHTOWN FOR 25 YEARS OF SERVICE TO ESSEX COUNTY.† Merrihew, Holzer
MONTY:† Discussion?† No discussion, all in favor signify by saying aye, opposed Ė carried.
And the second one is for Anna Reynolds, town of Willsboro for 10 years of service to Essex County.
RESOLUTION RECOGNIZING ANNA REYNOLDS, TOWN OF WILLSBORO FOR 10 YEARS OF SERVICE TO ESSEX COUNTY.† Gillilland, Doty
MONTY:† Discussion?† No discussion, all in favor signify by saying aye, opposed Ė carried.
I think this is important for us to do especially with recruitment and retention acknowledging our employees.† Thank you Mr. Gillilland for suggesting that.† Anything from the board?
MERRIHEW:† Thank you Mr. Chairman.† On behalf of a sub-committee, Iíd like to thank the participants, Meg Wood and Davina for helping me. We interviewed for the position of Public Defender.† The conclusion of that, Iíd like to offer a motion appointing Emily Evatt to the position of Public Defender at an annual salary of $142,975.81, point of record this is the published salary for the Public Defender position.† We are very confident that Emily will do a good job.† She has been handling the capacity off and on for the last year or so.† So, I would offer that for the boardís consideration.
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE APPOINTMENT OF EMILY EVATT TO THE POSITION OF ESSEX COUNTY PUBLIC DEFENDER AT AN ANNUAL SALARY OF $142,975.81.† Merrihew, Gillilland
MONTY:† Discussion?† No discussion, all in favor signify by saying aye, opposed.† Thank you.† Congratulations.
EVATT:† Thank you.
MONTY:† Anything else to come before the board?
GILLILLAND:† Yes, I would like to call for a short, executive session to discuss a possible contract.
MONTY:† Motion to go into executive session.† Mr. Barber, second Mr. Wright.† We are in executive session.† Thank you.
THE BOARD MOVED INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION AT 11:04 A.M. TO DISCUSS A POSSIBLE CONTRACT AND MOVED BACK INTO OPEN SESSION AT 11:10 A.M.
MONTY:† Alright, motion to come back into session.† Mr. Holzer, second Mr. Doty.† Nothing was voted on or decided in executive session.† I do know I have a resolution from the floor from Ms. DeZalia.
DEZALIA:† Yes, Iíd like to do a resolution of condolences to the family of Sue Montgomery-Corey.
RESOLUTION OF CONDOLENCE TO THE FAMILY OF SUE MONTGOMERY-COREY.† DeZalia, unanimous
GILLILLAND:† I would like to propose a resolution that Essex County enter into a contract with the Town of North Elba for the rental of satellite office for the Supreme Court Judge, a single satellite office for the Supreme Court Judge at the rate of $180.00 a month.
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE COUNTY CHAIRMAN OR COUNTY MANAGER TO EXECUTE A CONTRACT WITH THE TOWN OF NORTH ELBA FOR THE RENTAL OF A SINGLE SATELLITE OFFICE FOR THE SUPREME COURT JUSTICE AT THE RATE OF $180.00 PER MONTH.† Gillilland, Holzer†
MONTY:† Discussion?† No discussion, all in favor signify by saying aye, opposed.† Anything else from the Board?
SCOZZAFAVA: I donít have a resolution prepared but I was asked by some of my constituency within Essex County, not just the Town of Moriah regards to the car chargers, the electric vehicle chargers that we have out here some of them work in other places than Elizabethtown, some work in Elizabethtown.† They can never get on them, on those chargers and I donít believe we charge to charge?† Correct?
MASCARENAS:† That is correct, at this time we do not.
SCOZZAFAVA:† Well, I think itís time that we do, theyíve been there a while and you know, youíve got more people now that are driving electric vehicles and Iím not pointing fingers at anybody but any time you go by there, you cannot get in there to charge a vehicle.† So, what do we need to do to correct it?
MASCARENAS:† Well, let me figure out who they are.
SCOZZAFAVA:† Well, regardless who they are.† Iím just saying, like in Moriah we have chargers, if youíre there for a certain time period you start paying.
MONTY:† I agree Tom, they should be charged for the usage.
GILLILLAND:† The ones that I did in Willsboro, we pay for the actual charge of the electricity pumped in and then after two hours you start pay parking fees per hour and thatís the way we set up.
SCOZZAFAVA: I think weíre set up that way also.
MASCARENAS:† We do have the ability to charge, just so everybody knows.† Dan Palmer had an account that is in the process of being transferred into my name so I havenít even been able to log on to see what it even looks like but he did tell me we have the ability to charge.† Now our charge is non-existent but we absolutely can come up with a rate that makes sense.
SCOZZAFAVA:† Thatís the only reason I hadnít bought an electric vehicle yet.
MONTY:† That and youíre cheap.† (laughter)† I think those charges, my understanding was those chargers were put out there for people coming to do business with the county at the time.
MASCARENAS:† Yeah, the thought process is really that anybody that has an electric car can use them. We were the only charging station at the time from here I think to North Elba in terms of that.† Thereís been since many added throughout the county but at that point in time there were none so we were able to secure a grant to get that. I think we did have to be free for a period of time but that time has since lapsed and we can now institute a charge for sure and let those individuals know that are parking there regularly that they are expected to move once their charge is complete because on our system you get an email or you get a notification whether it be a text, an email whatever that maybe saying youíre car is done, come get it.† Itís pretty simple.† You know.
SCOZZAFAVA: Thank you.
HARRINGTON:† What would be the expense of a credit card charging system?
MASCARENAS: I donít know the answer to that. †We can check into it.† Currently, I think all you have to do is have an account with us.† Is it Charge Point, Jim?† Yeah, our system is Charge Point so you just simply have to have an account you donít have to put in the charging system as far as I know.
SCOZZAFAVA: I think they are all set up.
MASCARENAS:† Yeah, they are all set up.† They are ready roll. We just have to institute a fee.
MONTY:† Anything else?
GILLILLAND:† Mike can you come back to regular board or something with a suggested fee?† Do you think thatís enough time to take a look at it?
MASCARENAS:† Yeah, provided that I can get into the account.† Currently, thatís my only issue.
DEZALIA: I might suggest that if itís a county employee or state employee possibly that is using them all day maybe we can think about something we can do with the charge for employees or as long as itís only a limited two hour charge and then they can move their car so others can get in there?† Not necessarily looking to charge our employees to park here but that they have to be considerate that other people may want to use them.
MASCARENAS:† Yeah and I can tell you when Dan Palmer talked to last about it that he was monitoring the bill and what the charge was costing the county to allow for that service and it was less than a $100 annually in terms of who was using it and what we were getting out of it so it wasnít a significant amount for sure.
SCOZZAFAVA: I donít think the charge is the big issue, I think the issue is that nobody else can get in there to charge because you know, even if you have a time limit, I donít know how long it takes to charge a vehicle?
MASCARENAS:† It depends.
SCOZZAFAVA: That is more the issue that no one else can charge their car.
GILLILLAND: I just think that since itís Charge Point, you can put in there a parking fee after a certain amount of time then a parking fee comes in.† I donít care if they have to swipe their whole card and then it we can still do a zero charge fee but you canít let them, after a certain amount of time and youíre no longer charging, youíre just taking up space somebody else wants.
MONTY:† Anything else?† Nothing else, we stand adjourned.†
††††††††††† As there was no further discussion to come before this ways and means committee it was adjourned at 11:15 a.m.
Judith Garrison, Clerk
Board of Supervisors