ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT/PLANNING/PUBLICITY COMMITTEE

Monday, May 13, 2024 - 10:00 AM

 

 

Ike Tyler, Chairperson

Clayton Barber, Vice-Chairperson

 

Supervisor Tyler called this Economic Development/Planning/Publicity Meeting to order at 10:55 am with the following Supervisors in attendance: Clayton Barber, Matt Brassard, Chris Clark, Robin DeLoria, Derek Doty, Shaun Gillilland, Charlie Harrington, Ken Hughes, Steve McNally, Jim Monty, Cathleen Reusser, Favor Smith, Matthew Stanley, Davina Thurston, Ike Tyler, Margaret Wood and Mark Wright. Joe Pete Wilson had been previously excused.

 

Department Heads present: Anna Reynolds and Mike Mascarenas.

 

Deputies present: Dina Garvey

 

Also Present: Jim McKenna and Mary Jane Lawrence - ROOST, Caitlyn Wargo - Adirondack Roots, Aurora McCaffrey - Essex County Historian and Nicole Justice-Green - Essex County Land Bank. Carol Calabrese, Jody Olcott and Elizabeth Lee had been previously excused.

 

TYLER: Good morning, weíll bring the Economic Development Committee meeting to order. Carol and Jody are excused.

 

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††††††††††† The first item on the agenda was the Industrial Development Committee with Carol Calabrese and Jody Olcott having been excused.

 

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

 

REYNOLDS: Good morning, today I have five 239M Referrals. The first is the Town of Ticonderoga, Crammond Farms, LLC, 509 Old Chilson Road. They requested a special use permit for a subdivision and it triggered site plan review. The project is already constructed, but theyíre subdividing it. Thereís no impact to County property, therefore there is no inter-municipal or countywide impact.

 

TYLER: Need a mover, Cathy, second from our good friend down in North Hudson, Mr. Clark.

 

ACTION OF THE ESSEX COUNTY PLANNING BOARD

ON REFERRALS RECEIVED FROM THE TOWN OF TICONDEROGA

 

The following motion was made by Supervisor Reusser.

 

Whereas, the Essex County Planning board has considered the following GML 239 referrals at its regular meeting on May 13, 2024;

 

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

Town of Ticonderoga - 529 Old Chilson Rd.†††††††††††††††††††† Special Use Permit and Site Plan Review

 

And 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 Clark and passed on a vote of9 in favor, and none opposed.

 

TYLER: All in favor? Opposed?

 

REYNOLDS: Town of Ticonderoga, a use variance request for using a manufacturing process in a rural residential district, located at 216 Putts Pond Road. Thereís no inter-municipal or countywide impact.

 

TYLER: Moved by Mr. Barber, seconded by Mr. Clark.

 

ACTION OF THE ESSEX COUNTY PLANNING BOARD

ON REFERRALS RECEIVED FROM THE TOWN OF TICONDEROGA

 

The following motion was made by Supervisor Barber.

 

Whereas, the Essex County Planning board has considered the following GML 239 referrals at its regular meeting on May 13, 2024;

 

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

Town of Ticonderoga - 216 Putts Pond Rd.††††††††††††††††††††† Use Variance

 

And 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 Clark and passed on a vote of9 in favor, and none opposed.

 

TYLER: All in favor? Opposed?

 

REYNOLDS: The Town of Ticonderoga, William and Robin Bondesen, at 48 Black Point Road, itís a site plan review for an addition to their home, driveway is already existing. There are no inter-municipal or countywide impacts.

 

TYLER: Mr. Clark, second? Cathy.

 

ACTION OF THE ESSEX COUNTY PLANNING BOARD

ON REFERRALS RECEIVED FROM THE TOWN OF TICONDEROGA

 

The following motion was made by Supervisor Clark.

 

Whereas, the Essex County Planning board has considered the following GML 239 referrals at its regular meeting on May 13, 2024;

 

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

Town of Ticonderoga - 48 Black Point Rd.††††††††††††††††††††††† Site Plan Review

 

And 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 Reusser and passed on a vote of9 in favor, and none opposed.

 

TYLER: All in favor; aye? Opposed?

 

REYNOLDS: Within the Village of Saranac Lake, Lake Flower Ave., also State Route 86, the property between Turtle Pond Way and Traverse Lodge Way, there is no address yet. The applicant is applying for site plan review and an area variance to build a commercial recreational facility.

 

TYLER: Moved by Ms. Thurston, second, Cathy.

 

ACTION OF THE ESSEX COUNTY PLANNING BOARD

ON REFERRALS RECEIVED FROM THE VILLAGE OF SARANAC LAKE

 

The following motion was made by Supervisor Thurston.

 

Whereas, the Essex County Planning board has considered the following GML 239 referrals at its regular meeting on May 13, 2024;

 

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

Village of Saranac Lake - Lake Flower Ave.††††††††††††††††††††† Site Plan Review/Area Variance

 

And 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 Reusser and passed on a vote of9 in favor, and none opposed.

 

TYLER: All in favor? Opposed?

 

REYNOLDS: The Village of Saranac Lake, site plan review and area variance for 132 Bloomingdale Ave., on Essex County side of a construction project. Itís a 3-bay garage with an apartment on the second floor. This project is in conjunction with another project on the Franklin County side. There are no countywide or inter-municipal impacts.

 

TYLER: Moved by Mr. Clark. Second by Meg.

 

ACTION OF THE ESSEX COUNTY PLANNING BOARD

ON REFERRALS RECEIVED FROM THE VILLAGE OF SARANAC LAKE

 

The following motion was made by Supervisor Clark.

 

Whereas, the Essex County Planning board has considered the following GML 239 referrals at its regular meeting on May 13, 2024;

 

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

Village of Saranac Lake - 132 Bloomingdale Rd.††††††††††††† construction of 3-bay garage

 

And Whereas, 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 Wood and passed on a vote of9 in favor, and none opposed.

 

TYLER: All in favor? Opposed? Alright, weíre all set.

 

REYNOLDS: I have a resolution today. We received a septic replacement grant program. we donít apply for these funds. Itís an annual allocation. This year they extended the program area across the Champlain Shoreline. Itís still within 250í of that shoreline, but itís not just Willsboro and Lake George Bay. Itís from Port Kent down to Ticonderoga.

 

MASCARENAS: Anna, do you have the amounts of that allocation and what youíre asking for?

 

REYNOLDS: Yes, not to exceed $300,000.00.

 

GILLILLAND: For total?

 

REYNOLDS: Total grant allocation, correct.

 

MASCARENAS: So, increase revenues and appropriations by $300,000.00 for the septic program?

 

REYNOLDS: Yes, yup

 

TYLER: Moved by Mr. Barber, second? Mr. Clark.

 

RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING A BUDGET AMENDMENT IN COMMUNITY RESOURCES, TO INCREASE REVENUES AND APPROPRIATIONS IN THE AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED $300,000.00, AND ACCEPT A NEW YORK STATE ENVIRONMENTAL FACILITIES CORPORATION GRANT

Barber, Clark

 

TYLER: Any questions? Steve?

 

MCNALLY: Iím not on this committee, however, this program makes no sense at all. People on the lake can afford their septic systems. Itís these moms and pop.

 

TYLER: I live on the lake and I canít.

 

MCNALLY: My question is how does the work? How does the County, do we get the money and then we submit or do we submit the invoice and wait?

 

REYNOLDS: They just give it us.

 

MCNALLY: They just give it to you?

 

REYNOLDS: Correct and then we have to administer it. Itís based on water quality impact. Theyíre determined by the PWLs, the priority waterbody listings in the DECís Lake Champlain plans for water quality improvements. So, those are not determinations that we have made. They have made them for us.

 

MCNALLY: So, weíre not fronting any money waiting for the State?

 

REYNOLDS: No, weíre a pass through, so after the property owner pays the bill and then we reimburse them, once we get the grant amount.

 

MCNALLY: So, they extended it 250í feet instead of lakefront now?

 

REYNOLDS: Itís always been 250í.

 

MCNALLY: Hopefully they can address the people that need it the most.

 

REYNOLDS: Yeah, itís not based on affordability, itís just based on proximity to the water.

 

GILLILLAND: Is it still a percent or $10,000.00, whichever is less?

 

REYNOLDS: Correct.

 

REUSSER: Is there an income?

 

REYNOLDS: No

TYLER: All in favor? Opposed? Carried.

 

REYNOLDS: That is it for today.

 

TYLER: Anything else? Have a nice day.

 

MASCARENAS: Thank you, Anna.

 

 

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††††††††††† The next item on the agenda was the Essex County Historian, Aurora McCaffrey reporting as follows:

 

MCCAFFREY: Good morning, so you have my submitted report and in that, I shared with you our season calendar. The Museum opens May 25th, which is fasted approaching so we are very busy getting everything ready for that. The calendar is pretty straightforward. Our films and lectures are every Thursday and events are scattered throughout, but Iíll talk about each one of those as we near those. But, a big change that we had to make was in our seasonal exhibits. We had planned to our featured exhibit on Indigenous Peoples of the Adirondacks, but some complications arose with our partnerís schedules and we thought it was really important to work with these partners, Six Nation Iroquois Center, Akwesasne Cultural Center, so weíre postponing that project until next year, giving everyone more time and we did a quick pivot to an exhibit on logging the High Peaks. So,youíll see that in my list. That was the big update. We also have Adirondack Northway in display for a second year and Larry Master in the gallery. So, thatís my update for the month. I would be happy to answer any questions.

 

TYLER: Questions? I donít see any, maíam. Thank you, have a good day.

 

MCCAFFREY: Thank you

 

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††††††††††† The next item on the agenda was Cornell Cooperative Extension, with Elizabeth Lee having been previously excused.

 

TYLER: I thought was supposed to be coming, but I guess not, Elizabeth had another appointment and sheís been excused, so weíll move on.

 

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††††††††††† The next item was the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism with Mary Jane Lawrence reporting as follows:

 

LAWRENCE: Good morning, everybody, happy Monday.

So, I just have a couple of things, March collections were up slightly, compared to last year, March, so thatís the first time in 2024, so maybe weíre on an upswing and that does not reflect, obviously the eclipse, so really looking forward to next month being strong, as well, or April.

Just so everybody knows, this year is the 25th Anniversary of Ironman and the Lake Placid Region also, of course, includes, Keene, Jay, Wilmington and we are in the process of renewing the three year contract. I think we are doing a pretty good job negotiating, so hopefully theyíre will be more give back to the communities, as well as more conscientious about the impact that the race has on the people that live here and trying to get to and from work every day.

Last week, I joined the Sports Council in a meeting with Anna and Community Resources to start to develop a plan to secure youth events throughout the region, such as basketball and soccer. So, the goal was really talk through how we could have sports tourism impact some of the smaller communities in our region and were the place to start and this looked like a really low hanging fruit. Anna has some staff in her office thatís pretty familiar with this and so we thought this was a good starting point, the next steps will be the Sports Council will resubmit a proposal to you.

We had a really successful Adirondack Day. We had over 38 organizations represented, last Monday, May 6th in Albany. We had a lot of our legislators and elected officials come through. We also had an AATV representative there, so thank you and how was your breakfast the next morning, was that successful?

 

MCNALLY: Wonderful, Adirondack Day was wonderful. We did pick up some comments from down there. You want to explain, Ken, what our take is on the Adirondack Day?

 

HUGHES: I thought Adirondack Day was awesome. I think what you guys did was terrific. It was great representation of the very best of what the Adirondacks has to offer. My rant is basically related to the political speeches that were given in the well by the elected officials that were speaking to the Adirondackers who were in the room. I think every single one of them, except for one failed to recognize the audience that they were speaking to. Most of the speeches that were given from our elected leaders in Albany, were about how the Adirondacks were a place to escape, how theyíre a place to get away from oneís daily cares, how theyíre a place to refresh and reenergize oneís batteries and not about the daily life of us and what we do to fight for the people that elect us to do that work on a daily basis. I actually spoke to one staffer from a Assemblywoman down in the Bronx and I said, you come to the Adirondacks for solitude and quiet, like to go to NYC for uber food and diversity of restaurants and theatres and sports events. I said, I go to NYC so I can have noise and sound and energy and excitement, because I live in quiet and solitude all the time and her eyes just opened up like, oh my god, thatís a thing. So, I think we need to continue advocating for the Adirondacks as place that is not just a designation, but as a place that we live, work and play on a daily basis, 365/24/7, regardless of the weather, regardless of what our taxes are, regardless of our public transportation is or is not, regardless of what our tax base is or is not. So, it was great day, I was disappointed by the speeches and I was glad to have the opportunity to attend.

 

MCNALLY: It was, the displays and the participation was really, really nice, better this year than it has been in the past and the food, of course, was excellent. It was a nice event.

 

LAWRENCE: Thank you and well said, I think, point taken.

 

HUGHES: Itís their perspective and theyíre not wrong, itís just their perspective, you know we have, something that I heard, when youíre in a minority opinion about something, you have to work harder to get that word across and make sure people understand what you are really fighting for and what weíre living with on a daily basis and so we have to keep fighting harder to help change and understand perspectives.

 

MCNALLY: Itís the narrative.

 

HUGHES: Yeah

 

MCNALLY: People think the Adirondacks are a vacation designation, only and not home to 125,000 people.

 

HUGHES: Correct

 

MCNALLY: And I am glad you calmed down. But, that is what we are seen as, we are not seen as a community up here. Weíre seen as a supplier of vacation and we do have to change that narrative.

 

LAWRENCE: And we also have to, you know, demonstrate that weíre a great place for businesses to come and to thrive.

 

HUGHES: And Tuesday morningís breakfast was a continuation of that effort to try, because we had a lot of people from downstate who did show up and are grateful for them.

 

MCNALLY: It was a good time to make connections.

 

GILLILLAND: So, we need another mantra, we it were. You know, weíre from the Adirondacks, youíre welcome to come and visit, but weíre tougher than you and you canít be part of us or something like that (laughter)

One the Sports Council, thing, too, I know weíre aiming toward youth and organizing youth things, so we donít have, our kids donít have to go to Glens Falls, Plattsburgh or these traveling teams, try to develop that here and keep it with, in part within County. The other thing, too, I was just throwing out an idea, you know, Plattsburgh has these Mayorís Cup thing and stuff like that and Iíve always had this idea of to start like a Chairmanís Cup or something like that and organize all of our golf courses in each of the towns and have a cup, playing every golf course and get a cup for that or my town, a Chairmanís cup tournament for pickleball, because thatís like hyper, hyper.

 

LAWRENCE: That did come up.

 

GILLILLAND: So, those are two things to just throw out there.

 

LAWRENCE: So, we did, in addition to this conversation, there was many conversations going on, you know that we worked through and I did reiterate that while working to you know try and capture some of this youth, that we look towards other and new events, either to bring in or to create and there was a conversation about a county pickleball tournament that would move around and Willsboro did come up, that you have 4-outdoor and maybe 1 indoor.

 

GILLILLAND: 5 and 1.

 

LAWRENCE: 1 indoor, 5 outdoor?

 

STANLEY: So, listening to Mr. Hughes, sort of maybe think we should take advantage of people from NYC and downstate wanting to come to the Adirondacks. We should be approaching those legislators, saying, if you want to keep the Adirondacks the way it is, there needs to be more State funds to offset what it is to cost to live here. That way we can get more State funding to help keep the Adirondacks the way it is, because you canít have tourism without the people that work and support the tourism.

 

TYLER: Very good idea.

 

GILLILLAND: Or they can lower the mandate and financial load they place upon our citizens here.

 

TYLER: Good luck with that.

 

LAWRENCE: Letís see, again, just talking about the UCI Mountain Biking that we talked about before, again, that is at the end of September. Itís a small field of competitors, but itís a significant field of spectators. There is a lot of promotion going along with this event, Nationally, so we are anticipating an uptick in mountain bike recreation this summer. Weíre managing that working with BETA to direct them to mountain bike trails throughout our region and really promoting biking with gratitude, which is the hikerís version of leave no trace. So, we continue to work with the Olympic Authority and the different communities throughout the region to create a positive experience for the communities members, as well as the bikers.

The Northville Placid Trail kicks of its 100th year celebration, June 1st with National Trail Days and that will go throughout the summer with different activations and then there will be one in Northville in the middle of summer and then Lake Placid will be at the end in September.

The Adirondack Garage Saleis Memorial Day Weekend, so if youíre not having a garage sale, I encourage to go out and enjoy the garage sales.

Congratulations on your Westport Chair Trail ribbon cutting on Thursday. Thatís exciting and how was the, and you were the beginning of the trail hike?

 

HUGHES: I was the beginning of the Grand Hike, yes.

 

LAWRENCE: And you were the end? So, congratulations with the chair and congratulations with the hike.

 

TYLER: We did the hike, too.

 

LAWRENCE: How was the end of the hike at the golf course?

 

TYLER: I donít know, I was down watching Kansas concert, I missed it.

 

LAWRENCE: Oh, did you hike?

 

HUGHES: I had Covid, so I did not.

 

LAWRENCE: Did anybody here, hike? I didnít either.

And then just as a reminder, Jimmyís retirement is Wednesday, at 5:30. Not thatís heís retiring, but, weíre going a party for him anyhow. So, thatís at the Crowne Plaza at 5:30.

Is there anything else? Thank you very much, have a great week.

 

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††††††††††† The next item was the Essex County Land Bank with Nicole Justice-Green reporting as follows:

 

JUSTICE-GREEN: Good morning, everybody. I just wanted to thank you all, last week for passing a resolution in support for our grant applications that are coming up for our various housing projects, if you look at my report you can see that weíve added some new properties and weíve updated some amounts as weíve been working really diligently at doing what is really called that pre-development work to develop these projects and ensure that theyíre shovel ready.

Our 14 Springfield Road home in Upper Jay is about 2-weeks away from being complete. We are very, very excited about that. We had to negotiate with one of the neighbors to place an easement on their property and takedown a barn, so that we have enough room for an septic system and leech field, which took quite a bit of negotiating on the part of our contractor and myself, but the neighbor was amendable and you know, when youíre developing properties like this and these land bank properties, even know theyíre being conveyed and you know the home needs to be fixed, some of the infrastructure of these homes need to be fixed as well and we donít know until we get into it and so you should be seeing an announcement from Pride and Essex Countyís Facebook, on social media and the newspaper, when we open up the applications to purchase the home and when the ribbon cutting is going to happen, weíre not sure what date yet, obviously all of you will be invited and we very much home that you will attend.

Moving on, we also received a $20,000.00 donation or grant award from the Adirondack Foundation for our Land Bank Homes to provide additional closing cost and down payment assistance for our homeowners who are making above 80% AMI, but below 200% AMI, since those programs donít really exist. Elsewhere in the State we wanted to ensure that the Land Bank was keeping to our mission of being able to sell these homes for people that are really in that middle income workforce development.

And on the Pride side of things, weíve actually been working really, really diligently in the Town of Jay over the past few months to complete our technical assistance grant on their downtown redevelopment and weíre going in for a CFA Grant to have a districtwide pot of money to rehabilitate some of those historic downtown structures this coming year and the sort of main street work that we do at Pride is something that we have been doing for a number of years, and so I encourage you all, as supervisors, if you have any questions about that program or would like assistance, to reach out to my office. Weíre also going to do a CDBG Microenterprise Grantwith that New York Main Street District Grant, so that weíre not only assisting those structures and the building owners, but the businesses inside those structures, as well, that may not have site control, who own independent business and may need some additional capital assistance.

We also received all our DRI awards a few weeks ago. Weíre very excited about that and are moving forward with a Restore New York application for the Town of Ticonderoga.

Pride turns 40 on June 6th. I hope you all can attend our annual meeting. It is our 40th Annual Meeting, during those past 40 years, I know I presented to you all, last year, about Pride. Pride was, helped created by the Essex County Manager in 1984 and our Chamber of Commerce, so weíre really excited to have continued to partner with the County to also be the Land Bank now and during that time we have administrated $18.9 million in grants in the service area. So, itís going to be a great celebration and if you all have any questions?

 

HUGHES: Good morning, Nicole, if I am correct, I believe the Land Bank turns one this month or next month.

 

JUSTICE-GREEN: I mean we were approved by ESD about almost 12-months ago, yes. It took a little bit longer to get out EIN and everything else.

 

HUGHES: I bring that up because I know a lot of the questions of this Board during the time of its formation as we debated and discussed whether we should even do this was about finances and money. How much we were going to be bringing in, how much we were going to be spending and whether we were going to be able to stay in the black and I am just curious if it was possible for the Land Bank or for you to provide this Board for a copy of its budget and see how we are operating after a year?

 

JUSTICE-GREEN: So, our budget is available online. As a public authority, our budget is already up there, so youíre more than welcome to take a look at that.

 

HUGHES: I should have said, financial statement.

 

JUSTICE-GREEN: Or financial statement, we can certainly provide the Board with our financial statement, itís pretty boring at this point. Our $300,000.00 from the ARPA is the only money that we currently have in our account, which is been drawn down, slowly by our contractor.

 

HUGHES: That is what I am curious to see, is how much we have in there versus how much weíre spending, and just you know, how thatís all worked out in the first year.

 

JUSTICE-GREEN: Absolutely, and weíre required, also, to issue a report, so thatís all public record.

HUGHES: Awesome, great, thank you.

 

MONTY: One things that I kind of threw out at Shaun and Mike a week ago was ways to fund, potentially fund the Land Bank and not use our taxpayer dollars, but maybe potentially consider an additional 1% to the occupancy tax, designated for the Land Bank and affordable housing. It was just a thought, I think it is something worth exploring, but that would definitely help, my thought.

 

MASCARENAS: Yeah, I think thatís a good idea. We should look more into that, in terms of occupancy, in particular. You know again, I think Mr. Hughes, in his bit of a rant, part of the issue is just that and itís lack of housing and lack of ability for people that we depend on to work here every day and support the way of life for others that are visiting is kind of being overlooked. So, I do think that it kind of fits, we have to look more into it, I think and figure that out. Mr. Hughes, if itís okay with you, I would rather have, I want to see the Springfield property complete and I want to see the sale, before we do that financial kind of overview. Because what we know is, we gave them seed money and theyíre going to spend it the majority of that seed money to complete that project. I want to see what it recoups and I want to see what our return on investment is on that and I think that once we sell that, weíll have a really good financial outlook on kind of what we can expect moving forward on a per property basis. It will give us the ability to financial plan a little bit better, once we have that sale, if thatís okay?

 

HUGHER: I can support that because it does show that kind of beginning to end full cycle. I support that, thank you.

 

MASCARENAS: Okay

 

JUSTICE-GREEN: And I would just like to add that, one of the things that Iíve come across and itís been particularly frustrating, you know, being accepted as Director of the Land Bank, compared to the rest of the State, which I meet with every month at the New York State Land Association, I serve on their Rural Land Bank Committee, my cost for disposing of hazardous material, like asbestos, lead, because I have to ship it outside of Essex County, means that my demolitions are almost twice as much as colleagues across the State and so it just means that the cost to do bare minimum, not even rehabilitate the property, but just to bring these properties down for each of you all, as is one of the mandates of the Land Bank missions which is to do demolitions, remediate blight, itís a huge cost and it is very, very frustrating. So, while I do, always have a sunny attitude, can do person, it is something I think thatís important to just reiterate to you all, that that sort of gap funding and support, that maybe could come from what Jim is suggesting was certainly mitigate this one factor that I canít change. I canít put, you canít dispose of this material here, itís always going to have to be shipped out to Syracuse, so itís never, that cost is never going to go away. The cost of doing business for us, which means itís going to take longer to do these projects and I donít want to pass that cost on to the people who will hopefully be buying these homes. So, if anybody has any creative thoughts on about how we can collectively adjust this, I would certainly be open to it, because unfortunately all of my colleagues, at other land banks can pretty much, they donít have to deal with this, so thereís really no support that they can give and weíre all going out for the funding sources, so itís just really hard to justify at the State level why these are costing so much more for me to do, which can at times make these applications less competitive.

 

MASCARENAS: Solid waste is a global county problem in terms of costs, so youíre not alone. I hadnít thought of that example in terms of what weíre dealing with, but thatís Mr. Gillilland rant and weíll add that to our discussion, because we have been in conversation with DEC over solid waste plan management and just some of the additional hardships that are put on the residents of Essex County, by the State of New York and being in the Blue Line.

 

DELORIA: Yeah, I just want to bring to the forefront here that we are one year old, so in the crawling stage and I think it would be very premature of us to be too critical of where were headed, knowing that weíre only one year into this and we have five employees, Nicole, at the Land Bank?

 

JUSTICE-GREEN: Pride of Ticonderoga has five employees.

 

DELORIA: And we share those?

 

JUSTICE-GREEN: Yes

 

DELORIA: Not, 25, so our budget for staffing and I believe that weíre understaffed and again, Jim is on the Land Bank Board, myself and weíre doing this with Mark on a day to day basis. We know that we need to grow, so I would be very cautious at being too critical at where we are in two years.

 

JUSTICE-GREEN: Yeah, Pride of Ticonderoga is fronting most of the stuff and costs for the Land Bank, but that is why we set it up this way.

 

GILLILLAND: Going back to memories, I was sitting at an AATV forum, several years ago, talking about the issue of hauling asbestos out from private homes and things like that. A very interesting thing came up with the individual from St. Lawrence County, the way they handled that is they got funding through the State with an indication of oil spills and so they would go into a house, find the oil tank and find that it had leaking and take the entire house under the DECís money. So, sometimes, I thought that was a brilliant idea and there maybe others out there that nobody has thought about.

 

MONTY: And I just want to reiterate that my idea was not unique. Itís going on across the State in other counties are using occupancy tax to fund their land banks.

 

TYLER: Thank you, anything else? Thank you, Nicole.

 

JUSTICE-GREEN: Thank you

 

MASCARENAS: Thanks, Nicole.

***************************

 

††††††††††† The next item was Adirondack Roots with Caitlyn Wargo reporting as follows:

 

WARGO: Hi there, you have our report and Iím happy to answer any questions related to that. If not, a couple of points just to bring to your attention and Iím Caitlyn Wargo, Associated Director, Megan and I divided and conquered today, she is heading to Keeseville. But, a couple of things, one; we did just receive a $300,000.00 Smart Growth Grant Award through the DEC for redevelopment funds. Nicole just mentioned how important those are to developing affordable housing and an additional grant of $36,000.00 from Adirondack Foundation. So, weíve got two sites that weíre looking in Essex County, in addition to one in Hamilton, one in Warren. So, looking forward to seeing what we can develop in those properties and finding a path forward for those to add some units. In the reports, we are looking for the go ahead from New York State for the Keene properties, to the four houses that we are developing. We did just receive that go ahead, last Thursday, to start promoting that opportunity to potential homeowners. So, you will be seeing that in the coming weeks and then one more point of note is that in February, the State did put the Section 8, Housing Choice Voucher Program on hold. They froze all new vouchers and that hold continues. So, we are working with our current vouchers holders and finding them new homes are we did, but weíre not issuing any new, and so weíre just adding focus to the waitlist and looking to see when that changes. Thanks for your time.

 

TYLER: Any questions? Thank you

 

MASCARENAS: Thank you

 

TYLER: Anything else before this committee? We are adjourned.

 

 

AS THERE WAS NO FURTHER BUSINESS TO COME BEFORE THIS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT/PLANNING/PUBLICITY COMMITTEE, IT WAS ADJOURNED AT 10: AM.

 

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

Dina Garvey, Deputy

Clerk of the Board