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June 12, 2018 Meeting Notes

FULTON COUNTY INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY
TUESDAY, JUNE 12, 2018, 8:00 A.M.

PLANNING DEPARTMENT CONFERENCE ROOM

MEETING NOTES

PRESENT:

­­­JOSEPH SEMIONE, CHAIRMAN
DAVE D’AMORE, VICE CHAIRMAN
­­JOE GILLIS, SECRETARY
­­­DIANA PUTNAM, MEMBER
­­­TODD RULISON, MEMBER
TIM MUNN, MEMBER
JAMES MRAZ, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
SCOTT HENZE, PLANNING DIRECTOR

I. MINUTES FROM MAY 8, 2018 MEETING:

MOTION        :           Accept as presented.
MADE BY      :           Joseph Gillis
SECONDED   :           Timothy Munn
VOTE              :          4 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 abstained (Todd Rulison)

II. BUDGET REPORT:

MOTION        :           Accept as presented.
MADE BY      :           Dave D’Amore
SECONDED   :           Joseph Semione
VOTE              :           Unanimous

III. COMMITTEE REPORTS:

A. Nominating Committee

  • No report.

B. Audit Committee:

  • No report.

C. Governance Committee:

  • No report.

D. Finance Committee:

  •  No report.

IV. OLD BUSINESS:

A. Proposed Pioneer Window Project:

  1. Background:
  • Pioneer Windows Manufacturing Corporation (PWMC) operates a window manufacturing business at its 160,500 sf facility on Union Avenue Extension in the Johnstown Industrial Park.
  • PWMC is a full-service supplier of architectural windows, doors, curtain walls, storefronts and other architectural aluminum products for residential, commercial and institutional buildings such as:
  1. Luxury high-rise apartment
  2. Schools
  3. Housing authority projects
  4. Colleges and universities
  5. Hospitals
  6. Libraries
  • Pioneer currently employs approximately 150 people.

2. Proposed Project:

  • PWMC is proposing to construct a 120,125+/- sf addition to its existing 160,500 sf manufacturing facility.
  • This addition would be constructed on a 3.8 acre lot immediately adjacent to PWMC.
  • The proposed project is needed to provide more space for manufacturing equipment and warehouse.
  • The proposed project will create 75+/- new jobs.
  • The total project cost is estimated to be $11.2+/- million.
  • The new building would be a metal building. Building height: 30’

3. Site:

  • PWMC’s existing 160,500 sf building sits on an 8.75+/- acre lot.
  • The proposed 120,125 sf addition would be situated on a 3.91+/- acre parcel.
  • PWMC will lease this 3.91+/- acre parcel from Union Coast, LLC.

4. IDA Benefits Requested:

  • Pioneer Window’s Project Application requests three (3) IDA benefits on the proposed 120,125+/- sf addition:

a. Property Tax Exemption (PILOT)
b. Sales Tax Exemption
c. Mortgage Recording Tax

  • Total benefits requested would exceed $100,000.
  • Since Union Coast, LLC’s Project Application requested IDA benefits greater than $100,000, a public hearing must be held.
  • These benefits would apply only to the 120,125+/- sf addition. No benefits would be provided to the existing 160,500 sf manufacturing facility.

5. Project Structure:

  • Union Coast, LLC will lease its new facility to the IDA.
    The IDA will lease the new facility back to Union Coast, LLC.
    Union Coast, LLC will then sublease the facility to PWMC

 

6. Project Number:

  • The project has been assigned Project Number: 1701-18-01-A

7. SEQR:

  • At its April 3, 2018 meeting, the City Planning Board completed the SEQR Review by issuing a negative declaration.

 

8. Site Plan Approval:

  • On March 6, 2018, Union Coast, LLC submitted its Site Plan to the City of Johnstown Planning Board in accordance with the City’s Zoning Ordinance.
    On April 3, 2018, the City of Johnstown Planning Board conditionally approved the Site Plan for this project.

 

9. Public Hearing:

  • A public hearing was held in the IDA office on March 28, 2018 at 10:00 a.m.
    Two (2) persons spoke at the public hearing:
  • Craig Talarico, Councilman-AT-Large, City of Johnstown
  • George DiMarco, President, Johnstown Water Board

 

IDA DISCUSSION:    Jim Mraz reviewed the information on the Agenda.  He stated that he is waiting for additional information from Pioneer Windows before the IDA can take final action on approving this project.

B. Century Linen Project:

  • Ron Peters recently advised the County’s Economic Development Committee that Century Linen has scrapped its project on Union Avenue Extension in Johnstown.
  • Ron Peters stated he was working with Century Linen to revamp its planned expansion project to go elsewhere.

IDA DISCUSSION:     Jim Mraz reviewed the information on the Agenda.  Joe Gillis asked if Century Linen was looking elsewhere?  Jim Mraz stated that Ron Peters advised the Economic Development and Environment Committee that the CRG is working with Century Linen to revamp its planned expansion project to go on another site.  He stated one of the challenges in doing so is that the project has received a couple of State grants.  Those grants were based upon the project involving the purchase of an existing building at the site at 123 Union Avenue Extension in the City of Johnstown.  The grant agreements would need to be amended to reflect any change in the scope of the project, as well as the project location.  He said the CRG will need to work with those State funding agencies to get them to agree to change the project scope and location in order for the project to move forward.

V. NEW BUSINESS:

A. Lease of Lands at Tryon:

  1. Background:
  • IDA previously leased approximately 40 acres of land at $30/acre at Tryon to Tim Korona to grow crops.
  • Mr. Korona did not want to lease the lands this year.

2.  Proposed Lease:

  • IDA received a proposal from R & R Farms, LLC to lease lands to grow crops.
  • 40 acres @ $30/acre.

IDA DISCUSSION:    Jim Mraz reviewed the information on the Agenda.  Joe Semione thanked Bill Sullivan for his assistance in finding a local farmer willing to lease the lands at the same price that the IDA had been leasing them for.  Jim Mraz also thanked Bill Sullivan for his assistance in not only finding a farmer to lease the lands but also in delivering the contracts to him.  Jim Mraz asked if there were any other questions.  There were none.

IDA ACTION:

MOTION:                   To authorize the Chairman to execute a 1-year lease with R & R Farms, LLC to lease lands at Tryon to grow crops.

MADE BY:                 Joseph Semione
SECONDED:              Timothy Munn
VOTE:                        Unanimous

B. Fulton County Development Strategy:

  1. Tryon Development Area Recommendations:

a. Fulton County should prepare a one-page “sell sheet” that focuses specifically on the market demand for executive-level housing. The sheet should include information on growth in households with incomes over $100,000 and the lack of executive level housing in the County.

b. Fulton County should market the residential plan in conjunction with the Technology Park as “Tryon Technology Park and Village.” The vision for an upscale residential village adjacent to the Technology Park can help support tenant recruitment efforts for the Park. This, in turn, will help induce demand for housing in the village as new businesses move into the Park. The County should enhance the Tryon website to help promote and market the vision for Tryon as a business park and residential community.   Erie Station Village and Erie Station Business Park in Henrietta, New York is a good example of this approach.

c. Fulton County should focus on neighborhood-serving retail like a coffee house, bar or restaurant. Potential uses should be carefully designed to be contemporary and fresh to complement the housing in that development area that should be targeted to professionals and executives. In the near term, it is more feasible to recruit a small café or similar business to locate on the Tryon Campus. As housing is built, new retail development may become feasible in the “village” area.

d. Fulton County should consider partnering with a developer on a “Phase I” project. The type of housing envisioned in Tryon Village represents a largely unproven market, which may deter developers. The County should be prepared to engage in a partnership to entice a developer, such as putting in a small portion of the new road. The purpose of this will be to demonstrate a market for the types of homes included in the vision, which will attract additional private investment. Alternatively, it may demonstrate a need to shift the vision for Tryon Village, such as towards more workforce-level housing.

IDA DISCUSSION:    Jim Mraz reviewed the information on the Agenda.  He stated that these recommendations are included in the County’s draft Development Strategy.  Fulton County embarked on preparing this Development Strategy back in 2016.  River Street Planning & Development was hired by the County to prepare the Strategy.  A key component of River Street’s work was to prepare a separate report called the “Housing Strategy.”   The Housing Strategy uses standard industry models to document the current and future demand for housing in Fulton County and specific locations within the County.  He stated this report will be key in attracting potential developers to invest into Fulton County because it will show the developers there is a need/demand for new housing.

Jim Mraz reviewed the three (3) Development Areas that have been previously discussed with the IDA Board that are a part of the Development Strategy. He stated the one Development Area of particular interest to the IDA Board is the Tryon Development Area.  He reviewed the Conceptual Plan for the Tryon Development Area.

Jim Mraz stated that the Development Strategy recommends that the County hire a Housing Consultant to help implement the Housing Strategy. He stated one of the purposes of hiring a Housing Consultant would be to have the Consultant reach out to housing builders and developers to encourage and entice one or more to invest into building new housing in Fulton County.  He stated Fulton County does not have the in-house staff and resources to perform this work at present.  He stated that it is hoped that the County by backfilling positions in the Planning Department will be able to eventually develop in-house expertise in the Planning Department in the field of housing.  He stated if this was to occur, the goal would be to eventually no longer needing a Housing Consultant and for that work to be done in-house.  He stated the County is currently trying to contact several Housing Consultants to obtain budget pricing for hiring someone for 2019.

Jim Mraz stated that the Development Strategy recommends combining the Tryon Technology Park and Tryon Development Area by referring to them as the Tryon Technology Park and Village. Dave D’Amore stated he saw value in this reference.  He stated a prospectus should be prepared that would show the types of costs a developer may incur in building out the Tryon Development Area.  Jim Mraz stated he thought the “sell sheet” recommended in the Development Strategy was similar to the prospectus Dave D’Amore was recommending.

Jim Mraz stated that the IDA Board has a vested interest in seeing the Tryon Development Area implemented. He asked the IDA Board to consider partnering with Fulton County by contributing funds to help pay for a portion of the cost of hiring a Housing Consultant in 2019.  He stated he was not asking for any formal decision today.  He stated that once the County obtains pricing from Housing Consultants, he would then share that information with the IDA Board.  He stated, at that time, the IDA Board could discuss whether or not it would be willing to make a contribution towards the hiring of a Housing Consultant in 2019 and, if so, how much.  Dave D’Amore asked if anyone has visited the Erie Station Village and Erie Station Business Park in Henrietta, NY that it was used as an example of this approach.  Jim Mraz stated, “No, not yet.”

The IDA Board agreed to restart this discussion at its September Board meeting when the Board will discuss budget plans for 2019.

VII. NEXT MEETING:

Tuesday
July 10, 2018
8:00 a.m.

VIII. CLOSE MEETING:

MOTION        :           To close the meeting.

MADE BY      :           Joseph Gillis
SECONDED   :           Todd Rulison
VOTE              :           Unanimous
TIME              :           9:10 a.m.