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October 11, 2016 Meeting Notes

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2016, 8:00 A.M.



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


MOTION : To accept as presented.
MADE BY : Dave D’Amore
VOTE : Unanimous


A. Nominating Committee

  • No Report

B. Audit Committee:

  • No report.

C. Governance Committee:

  • Governance Committee discussed 2017 compensation for Executive Director and CFO. Committee report to be given during discussion of proposed 2017 Budget.

D. Finance Committee:

  •  No report.


A. Fulton County Center for Regional Growth: Ron Peters

B. Fulton County Board of Supervisors’ Economic Development Committee: Bill Waldron


A. Tryon Technology Park Project:

1. Real Estate Marketing and Brokerage Services:

A. Proposals Received:

  • At June 7, 2016 meeting, IDA authorized distributing a Request for Proposals (RFP) to commercial real estate brokers.
  • Two (2) proposals were received on July 27, 2016 from:
    • CBRE/Albany
    • Berkshire Hathaway
  • Interviews have been conducted with both firms. Three (3) IDA members participated in the interviews.
  • Notes from these interviews were emailed to all IDA members on September 2, 2016.

B. Fulton County:

  • The IDA and Fulton County have been partners in the development of Tryon.
  • Fulton County has invested County funds into marketing Tryon through:
    • Tryon Targeted Industry Analysis
    • Tryon Lead Generation
    • Tryon sign and banners
    • Marketing Agreement with FCCRG
  • At the August 31, 2016 Economic Development and Environment (ED & E) Committee, Jon Stead, Administrative Officer, advised that he thought the IDA Board should seek the consent of Fulton County prior to retaining a commercial real estate broker.
  • The IDA Board, at its September 13, 2016 meeting, discussed the two (2) options it has for involving commercial real estate brokers:
    • Execute an exclusive listing agreement with a single broker to market Tryon for a commission.
    • Distribute marketing materials about Tryon to all brokers and offer all brokers a commission if they bring a company to the Tryon Technology Park.
  • The IDA Board decided, at its September 13, 2016 meeting, to ask the ED & E Committee for their consent to engaging a commercial real estate broker.

C. Economic Development and Environment Committee:

  • Jim Mraz met with the ED & E Committee on September 28, 2016. The following is a summary of the input received:
    • Committee members unanimously voted to recommend that the IDA send out a marketing prospectus to all commercial brokers and ask all brokers to bring prospective projects to Tryon.
    • Committee members recommended that any broker who brings a company to Tryon to be paid a commission.
    • Committee members suggested that an incentive be provided to any broker that brings a company to Tryon within one (1) year.


Jim Mraz reviewed the information on the Agenda. He stated that he presented the two (2) options to the ED & E Committee that the IDA Board had been discussing.

He said that there was some excellent discussion by Committee members. At the end of their discussion, the Committee voted unanimously to recommend that the IDA send out a marketing prospectus to all commercial brokers and ask that those commercial brokers bring prospective businesses for Tryon to the IDA.

He stated Committee members felt that trying this approach for a year or so would be the better way to go. At the end that time period, an evaluation could be done to determine where to go at that time. Tim Munn stated he understood the Committee’s thinking. He asked how many commercial real estate brokers there are in the Capital District region.

Jim Mraz stated approximately 12. Joe Semione stated that he feels it’s important to maintain the IDA’s partnership with Fulton County. There was a general discussion about the process that would be utilized if the IDA chose to ask all brokers in the region to bring projects to the IDA for Tryon.

Jim Mraz stated that a prospectus would be prepared to send to all brokers. The prospectus would contain information about Tryon and Building 3. It would also contain maps as well as the IDA’s asking price for lots. The prospectus would also identify the commission the IDA would pay.

Jim Mraz stated that the ED & E Committee recommended that a higher commission be paid to a broker if they bring a project to the IDA within say a 1 year period of time. Dave D’Amore asked what would happen if a broker brought a project to the IDA within the year time limit, but the project did not close until after the 1-year period. Jim Mraz stated this would have to be addressed in the prospectus.

Joe Semione asked what Ron Peters’ position was on this matter. Jim Mraz stated Ron would prefer to see the IDA send out information to all brokers.
Jim Mraz distributed copies of an e-mail he received from Berkshire Hathaway with information about retaining an exclusive broker.

Jim Mraz stated that there is a need to have an appraisal done on Building 3. He stated that if the IDA is going to ask brokers to sell Building 3, the IDA will have to establish an asking price for that building. He stated this would be best determined by having a commercial real estate appraisal performed. He requested permission from the IDA Board to seek quotes on having a commercial real estate appraisal done on Building 3.

Todd Rulison stated that if the IDA Board is going to send prospectuses to all real estate brokers, it should include sending them to brokers located west of Fulton County and not just the Capital District.


MOTION: To accept the recommendation from the ED & E Committee to send Tryon prospectuses to all commercial real estate brokers and to have the Executive Director bring a draft prospectus back to the IDA Board at the next meeting to review.

MADE BY: Joseph Semione
SECONDED: Diana Putnam
VOTE: Unanimous

MOTION: To authorize the Executive Director to obtain quotes from commercial real estate appraisers to prepare a professional appraisal on Building 3 at Tryon.

MADE BY: Dave D’Amore
SECONDED: Joseph Semione
VOTE: Unanimous

2. Engineering Evaluation of F-Wing of Building 3:

A. Background:

  • Fulton County has hired C.T. Male to prepare an engineering evaluation on the feasibility and cost of developing a standalone HVAC/electrical, plumbing, water and sewer system for the F-Wing of Building 3.
  • The Agreement has been executed.
  • C.T. Male has inspected the F-Wing and is conducting its evaluation.

3. Proposed Solar Array:

  • The Application has been submitted to National Grid to conduct their engineering evaluation.

4. Lead Generation:

  • Applied Marketing is working on trying to identify companies that may be interested now or in the near future with moving into the Tryon Technology Park.

5. Roof Leak in F-Wing:

  • A roof drain in F-Wing is leaking and needs to be repaired.
  • Correll Roofing was asked to inspect.
  • Estimate to repair is $500 – $1,000.


Jim Mraz reviewed the information on the Agenda regarding the roof leak in the F-Wing. He asked if there were any questions. Dave D’Amore asked if Jim Mraz was pleased with the work Correll has done previously at Tryon. Jim Mraz stated, “Yes.”

MOTION: To authorize Correll Roofing to repair the leaking roof drain in the F-Wing.
MADE BY: Tim Munn
SECONDED: Joseph Semione
VOTE: Unanimous

6. New Electric Service:

a. Background:

  • National Grid recently asked for the corners of all lots to be marked and surveyed.
  • IDA hired Ferguson & Foss to perform that work.
  • Survey map was sent to National Grid on July 18, 2016.
  • National Grid responded by asking if the lot lines were floating.
  • National Grid was advised that the intent was to keep the lot lines as shown. However, if a company wanted a parcel of land that would require moving a lot line, that would be considered.

b. Latest Feedback from National Grid:

  1. On September 23, 2016, National Grid advised:“The electric planners have been on site to discuss and try to determine the best route to extend the electric distribution to serve your Tryon Technology Park. Having many questions, our Electric Planning has scheduled a meeting next week with our Operating Departments (overhead and underground) and Engineering Department to address certain obstacles (pond) that would impede extending electric facilities throughout. Once our internal parties meet and make a decision I will provide you with an update accordingly.Please feel free to start to establish work requests for the different electric services you require, water pump station, sewer pump station, water tank, etc. when you are ready to proceed forward.”
  2. On October 5, 2016, National Grid advised:

    “Many of the departments within National Grid met on-site to discuss the particulars associated with extending electric distribution throughout your new Tryon Technology Park to serve the 12 proposed lots. Joe Russo with our Economic Department, Tom Wind and I would like to meet to go over some of the specific topics discussed during our site visit as well as a few additional items. We believe it is important to start discussing gas within your business park and how best to feed the areas not currently served.Prior to scheduling our site visit to meet, “Our Planning Department has requested the property lines be staked with identification as well as each lot location” to determine where our switchgears will be placed. National Grid will require an access road for the single phase electric service to the water tower/pump.

    Please provide an updated, stamped, Town-approved site plan for the Tryon Technology Park as soon as possible to our design representatives to use in the design of extending our electric facilities.”

  3. On October 5, 2016, National Grid was asked to:

    Clarify what was meant with the comment, “Our Planning Department has requested the property lines be staked with identification as well as each lot location.”

    The IDA had our surveyor install steel rods at each property corner. Those were requested by you to mark where National Grid would locate its switchgears. They currently exist and were shown on the survey map previously sent to you. Not sure exactly what is now being asked.

  4. On October 5, 2016, National Grid responded by saying:

    “In order for our Electric and Gas Planners to adequately design the facilities to be installed at your project, which includes several lots, and is considered by us to be an Underground Commercial Development, it is necessary for the lot lines to be visible so that our planners can see what exists in the field at the lot lines between each parcel, which is included in this Underground Commercial Development.

    We design Underground Commercial Developments to adequately serve each business/entity within it. Therefore, it may be required for switchgear, enclosures, transformers, and hand holes, etc. to be placed. Our planners are required to place these on lot lines in-between the parcels in question.

    Therefore, it is necessary for you to place these stakes. It is most appreciated if you also provide 10’ offsets at each stake, so the respective planners can follow the angle which the property line traverses.

    While we do appreciate the iron-stakes at the edge of your property corners, they are not visible enough for our Planners to design from.

    We require the installation of wooden stakes marked with the identification of which lot each stake represents. We require 10’ offsets.”

  5. Given National Grid’s latest response, the IDA must now have a surveyor:
    1.  Mark the property lines so they can be visible.
    2.  Provide 10’ offsets at each survey stake.
  6. Ferguson & Foss has proposed to complete this additional survey work at an estimated cost of $________.


Jim Mraz reviewed the information on the Agenda. He stated that National Grid has asked for additional surveying work be done so its planners can visualize the location of lot lines in the Tryon Technology Park. In addition, Jim Mraz reviewed a proposed change to the Site Plan for Tryon. He stated that the one (1) lot immediately to the west of the road accessing Building 3 will now be subdivided into two (2) smaller lots.

The current lot is approximately 17 acres. That will be broken into two (2) 8.5+/- acre lots. He stated this will be done to create two (2) smaller lots that could be used to locate smaller buildings. He stated at present there are no smaller lots at Tryon to accommodate a potential smaller project. The creation of these two (2) lots would create opportunities for two (2) smaller projects to potentially be located at Tryon.


MOTION: To authorize Ferguson & Foss to complete the additional survey work at Tryon being required by National Grid at a cost not to exceed $1,000.

MADE BY: Joseph Semione
SECONDED: Dave D’Amore
VOTE: Unanimous

B. Johnstown Renewables:

1. Status Report:

  • Johnstown Renewables started site work on July 19, 2016.
  • Site work ongoing.

2. Lease Documents:

  • Kara Lais reviewed the draft lease, leaseback and PILOT Agreements for the Johnstown Renewables Project.
  • The structure for this project will be a lease/leaseback. Johnstown Renewables will lease its facility to the IDA. The IDA will then lease back the project facility for the purposes of undertaking the project.
  • The PILOT will be for a term of 10 years. The PILOT will be modeled after the 485-b option identified in the IDA’s Uniform Tax Exemption Policy.
  • The sales tax exemption will expire on December 31, 2017.
  • Johnstown Renewables will not be having a mortgage so there will be no mortgage tax exemption for this project.


Jim Mraz asked Kara Lais to explain the difference between the proposed lease/leaseback arrangement and prior project structures the IDA utilized. Kara Lais explained that, historically, the IDA had properties deeded over to them and then the IDA leased them back to the companies.

This was done to allow the IDA to extend IDA benefits to a project. She stated that there was a case recently where an IDA was sued because it had owned a property. She stated that best practices have been updated to now recommend IDA’s use the structure proposed for the Johnstown Renewables Project.

Under this structure, Johnstown Renewables will retain ownership of the project. The IDA will have no ownership interest in this project. They will lease it to the IDA who will lease it back to Johnstown Renewables. She stated this approach reduces the IDA’s potential liability. She stated it also will help terminate a lease in the event of a default.


A. Proposed 2017 IDA Budget:


Jim Mraz presented the proposed 2017 IDA Budget. The budget proposes total expenditures of $154,066. Jim Mraz posed two (2) questions for IDA discussion. The first was regarding Building 60. He stated that he identified a line item in the proposed 2017 Tryon Technology Park budget for $2,000 for miscellaneous building repairs to Building 60. He asked IDA members if they were interested in trying to upgrade that building to prepare it to possibly lease space in that building. It was the unanimous consensus of all IDA members present to have Jim Mraz prepare an estimate of what it may cost to prepare the building for leasing.

Jim Mraz discussed with IDA members the concept of hiring a part-time summer help to cut grass at Tryon in lieu of contracting out for it. After a brief discussion, it was the unanimous consensus of all IDA members present to continue to contract out for this service.

It was the consensus of all IDA members present to increase the line item for meetings under operating expenditures to $1,400. This will allow for a second meeting to be held annually. The second meeting would be targeted to be used as a retreat, at which time IDA members would discuss ideas, plans and potential projects for the following year that could be addressed in budget appropriations. This meeting would be held annually at the time that the IDA’s budget is being prepared for a following year.

Jim Mraz stated that the IDA Board needs to act on its proposed budget at today’s meeting. He stated he needs to file the budget under PARIS by the end of October.

MOTION: To adopt the proposed 2017 IDA Budget as amended.
MADE BY: Dave D’Amore
SECONDED: Diana Putnam
VOTE: Unanimous


A. NYS Police Presentation:

  • Presentation will be made at the October 11th Board of Supervisors’ meeting at 1:00 p.m.

B. Vision 2026 Summit:

  • IDA members have been invited to attend the Vision 2026 Summit to be held on:Tuesday
    October 25, 2016
    1:00 – 5:00 p.m.
    Holiday Inn


November 8, 2016
8:00 a.m.


MOTION : To close the meeting.
MADE BY : Dave D’Amore
SECONDED : Joseph Semione
VOTE : Unanimous
TIME : 9:15 a.m.