+ 518-736-5660 1 East Montgomery Street | Johnstown, NY 12095


TUESDAY, JUNE 13, 2023

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MOTION        :           Accept as presented.
MADE BY      :           Dave D’Amore
SECONDED  :           Joe Gillis
VOTE             :           Unanimous


MOTION        :           Accept as presented.
MADE BY      :           Sue Collins
SECONDED  :           Dave D’Amore
VOTE             :           Unanimous


A. Nominating Committee

  • No report.

B. Audit Committee:

  • Monthly Bank Reconciliation Report:  Dave D’Amore

IDA DISCUSSION:  Dave D’Amore approved the Monthly Bank Reconciliation Reports.

C. Governance Committee:

  • No report.

D. Finance Committee:

  •  No report.


  1. Fulton County Report:
  2. FCCRG Report: (See attached.)  Denis Wilson


IDA DISCUSSION:  Denis Wilson reviewed the information in the CRG’s report that was attached to the Agenda.  He stated that Ron Peters was particularly pleased with the CRG being designated by the United States Department of Labor as an Apprenticeship Ambassador.  Denis Wilson stated that there are only 300 or so economic development agencies around the country that has receive this designation.  Upon completion of his report, Joe Gillis asked what is considered to be Advanced Manufacturing?  Greg Truckenmiller stated that it typically refers to manufacturing that is automated or using robotics.  It also references a type of manufacturing that utilizes machinery versus people.


A. Review IDA’s Website with Betsy Emery, Emery Designs:

  1. Proposed Changes to Home Page:

a.  It is proposed to replace existing pictures with pictures of other types of uses such as apartments, townhouse, condominiums, mixed use, commercial and other types of uses the IDA can assist. The intent would be to try and change the perception that the IDA only does “industrial” projects.  Narrative would be added to describe the types of projects the IDA can assist and identify the financial incentives the IDA can provide.

b. It is proposed to add a link regarding Housing. Clicking this link would provide access to the Fulton County’s Housing Strategy and the work the IDA will be doing to promote the development of new housing in the County.


2. Fulton County Housing Strategy:

a. Emery Designs will be developing a series of articles from the information contained in Fulton County’s Housing Strategy. These articles will be placed on the IDA’s Google Business and LinkedIn pages.  These articles would also be available for someone to read by clicking on the new “Housing” link that Emery Designs will be creating on the Home Page.


3. Current IDA News:

a. It is proposed to add to the Home Page a place where the IDA can share current news. For example, at our last meeting, we had a presentation from David Kimmel, President, Two Plus Four Construction and Lakewood Development LLC.  Kimmel provided information and guidance to the IDA on how to pursue developing new housing in a community.  The IDA should be sharing what was learned, and the IDA could do so by putting that information onto its Home Page as well as Google Business and LinkedIn pages.

b. The same could be done regarding the IDA’s attendance at the IDA Academy and Brownfield’s Summit.


IDA DISCUSSION:  Jim Mraz reviewed the information on the Agenda.  There was a discussion regarding the images that are proposed to be used.  We want to make sure that we are not having any copyright infringements with imagery.  It was agreed to try and utilize photographs of existing projects in Fulton County with the photos acknowledging that they are illustrative of the types of projects the IDA is involved with and noting that the IDA was not directly involved with the project shown in the photograph.  Betsy Emery asked IDA Board members to please like or subscribe to the IDA’s LinkedIn and YouTube pages?

B. Nexus Renewables:

IDA DISCUSSION:   Jim Mraz stated that he had a phone conversation with Nexus Renewables’ representative on June 12th.  He stated that Nexus is still waiting for the interconnect approval from National Grid.  Nexus applied to National Grid approximately five (5) months ago and is not expecting an approval from National Grid for another two (2) months.  Nexus advised that the Tryon project is being bungled with four (4) other projects in the Towns of Amsterdam and Perth.  Nexus hopes to receive all of the approvals for all of these projects in the third quarter of 2023.  Once all of the approvals are obtained, Nexus will issue a Request for Proposals to get quotes from contractors to construct these five (5) facilities.  Quotes will then be reviewed with the company who will be financing the project and then construction contracts will be awarded.  Nexus advised that once materials are ordered, the wait time is now approximately six (6) months for those materials to be delivered.  As a result, Nexus advised that the construction of the project at Tryon will not commence until 2024.

C. Winstanley Enterprises Project:

  1. Tryon Electric Service:
  • Participated in MS Teams meeting with National Grid and Winstanley Enterprises to discuss what options are available to bring more power to Tryon.


IDA DISCUSSION:  Jim Mraz stated that Winstanley and National Grid are currently evaluating two (2) options for bringing additional power to Tryon.  He stated those two (2) options will be discussed at a second Microsoft Teams meeting that is scheduled for next week.

D. Back-up Generator Project:

  • Koval completed training of County Facilities staff on May 16, 2023.
  • Project is substantially complete.
  • Punchlist was prepared and submitted to Koval.
  • Once punchlist is complete, final payment will be processed.


IDA DISCUSSION:   Jim Mraz reviewed the information on the Agenda.  He asked if there were any questions.  There were none.

E. Vireo Health Project:

  1. Sales Tax Exemptions:

a. On July 13, 2021, the IDA Board approved granting up to $2,251,520 in sales tax exemptions.

b. On August 9, 2022, the IDA Board authorized increasing the total sales tax exemptions available from $2,251,520 to $3,284,534 contingent upon Vireo signing either a standard Lease or an Agent and Equipment Lease.

c. On May 9, 2023, the IDA Board authorized extending from May 31, 2023 to October 31, 2023 the deadline for using sales tax exemptions. This approval was granted contingent upon Vireo signing an Agent and Equipment Lease and paying the balance of the Administrative Fee owed the IDA.

d. To date, the Lease has not been executed.


IDA DISCUSSION:  Jim Mraz reviewed the information on the Agenda.  He stated he would have further updates to the Board in Executive Session.



A. Sale of Lands to DJF Motorsports:

  1. Background:
  • IDA owns .251 acre parcel on east side of NYS Route 30A across from Johnstown Industrial Park.
  • DJF Motorsports has offered to purchase the parcel for $500.


  1. Appraisal:
  • IDA hired Whittaker Appraisal Group to prepare an appraisal.
  • Whittaker Appraisal Group completed the Appraisal.


  1. SEQR:

a. Background:

  • The proposed action should be classified as an Unlisted Action.
  • The IDA Board is the only Involved Agency.

b. Environmental Assessment Form (EAF):

  • A Short Form EAF has been prepared.
  • See attached.

c. Determination of Significance:

  • The IDA Board must issue a Positive or Negative Declaration under SEQR.


  1. Resolution:
  • Kara Lais has prepared a Resolution authorizing the sale of this .251 acre parcel to DJF Motorsports.
  • See attached Resolution.


IDA DISCUSSION:   Jim Mraz reviewed the information on the Agenda.  He reviewed the Short Environmental Assessment Form (EAF) that was attached to the Agenda.  He asked IDA Board members if they had any questions regarding the EAF.  There were none.  He stated that the Board needs to issue a determination of significance under SEQR.  He stated the Board could issue either a Negative or Positive Declaration.  He stated, given that the proposed action would not create any major environmental impacts, he recommended that a Negative Declaration be issued.



MOTION:                 To classify the proposed action as an Unlisted Action and to issue a Negative Declaration.

MADE BY:               Joe Semione
SECONDED:            Joe Gillis
VOTE:                       Unanimous



MOTION:                 To approve a Resolution approving and authorizing sale of real property.

MADE BY:               Dave D’Amore
SECONDED:            Sue Collins
VOTE:                       Unanimous



A. Existing Mission Statement:

  1. Existing Mission Statement:

“The IDA’s mission is to create and promote economic growth and prosperity for both residents and entrepreneurs in Fulton County.  The IDA’s role in Fulton County’s Economic Development Program is to develop and maintain an inventory of shovel-ready sites for new and expanding businesses, offer financial incentives, as may be required, to encourage the creation of new and retention of existing jobs and expand the County’s tax base.  In doing so, the IDA strives to make Fulton County a desirable place to live and do business.”


  1. Potential New Mission Statements:

a. “We provide opportunities for economic development/growth/progress/prosperity.” (Select 1)

b. “We offer opportunities for economic development/growth/progress/prosperity.” (Select 1)

c. “We provide/offer incentives to Fulton County businesses.”

d. “We incentivize opportunities for economic development/growth/progress/ prosperity.” (Select 1)

e. “We encourage investment into economic development/growth/progress/ prosperity.” (Select 1)


IDA DISCUSSION:   Jim Mraz reviewed the information on the Agenda.  He asked if there were any comments on the options shown in the Agenda?  Joe Semione stated that he likes Options b and c.  Joe Gillis stated that he likes Option b using the terms economic development or growth.  Dave D’Amore commented that he thinks all five (5) are still a little too long.  He suggested “we incentivize opportunities.”  Todd Rulison suggested not saying that we provide incentives to Fulton County businesses because someone could interpret that as meaning we don’t provide incentives to companies outside of Fulton County looking to move into Fulton County.

After a discussion, it was the consensus of all present to have Jim Mraz prepare short versions of potential Mission Statements to present at the next meeting.

B. IDA Benefits to Housing Projects:

  1. 1969 IDA Act:
  • The 1969 Act creating Industrial Development Agencies stated that the purpose of IDA’s was to:

“promote economic welfare of the State’s inhabitants and to actively promote, attract, encourage and develop economically sound commerce and industry through governmental actions for the purpose of preventing unemployment and economic deterioration.”

  • The original Act identified a number of specific types of projects IDA’s could assist.
  • This Act was then amended a number of times to add additional types of projects IDA’s could assist.
  • This Act and all subsequent amendments never specifically identified housing as a type of project an IDA could assist.


  1. 1985 NYS Comptroller’s Opinion No. 85-51:
  • In 1985, the New York State Comptroller’s Office was asked by the village attorney for the Village of Port Chester whether construction of an apartment complex was a commercial project an IDA could assist.
  • The Comptroller’s opinion stated that, at its inception, the IDA Act’s primary thrust was to promote the development of commerce and industry as a means of increasing employment opportunities. The Opinion then reasoned that for an apartment complex to qualify as an eligible project, it had to:

1)Promote employment opportunities.
2) Prevent economic deterioration in the area served by the IDA.

The Comptroller’s Opinion added that the Comptroller’s Office was “not in a position to render an opinion” as to whether a project that consisted of the construction of an apartment complex was a commercial project. Rather, the Opinion stated such a determination “must be made by local officials based upon all the facts relevant to the proposed project.”

  • Any such determination, the Comptroller’s Opinion concluded, had to take into account the stated purposes of the IDA Act:

1) The promotion of employment opportunities.
2) The prevention of economic deterioration.”


  1. 1987 Triple 5 Realty v. Village of Port Chester:
  • In this case, the NYS Supreme Court in Westchester County found that an apartment complex could receive IDA tax exemptions if the IDA determined that:

1) The construction and operation of the apartments would increase employment opportunities.
2) The construction and operation of an apartment complex would prevent economic deterioration in the area served by the IDA.


  1. 2017 Ryan v. Town of Hempstead Industrial Development Agency:
  • The Town of Hempstead IDA (TOHIDA) granted financial tax benefits to Renaissance Downtowns Urban America LLC with respect to a new 336-unit residential apartment complex proposed to be built in the Village of Hempstead, Long Island.
  • The financial benefits and assistance granted by the TOHIDA included:

– Exemptions from mortgage recording taxes for one or more mortgages.
– Securing the principal amount not-to-exceed $70,000,000.
– A sales and use tax exemption up to $3,450,000 in connection with the purchase/lease of building materials, services, or other personal property for the project; and
– Abatement of real property taxes for an initial term of 10 years pursuant to a Payment in Lieu of Taxes (“PILOT”) Agreement.


  • Six petitioners, including a trustee for the Village of Hempstead, challenged the TOHIDA’s resolution in an Article 78 proceeding, arguing that an IDA could not grant benefits for a project that was residential, either in whole or in part, in nature.
  • The Court dismissed the petitioners case. In its decision:

– The Court noted that the 1985 Comptroller’s Opinion had observed that the determination of whether construction of an apartment complex was a commercial activity within the meaning of the IDA Act had to be made by local officials based on facts relevant to the proposed project.
– The Court noted that the TOHIDA found that the development of the first phase of the facility would “promote and maintain the job opportunities, health, general prosperity and economic welfare” of the town’s citizens and “improve their standard of living.”
– The Court further noted that the project promoted employment opportunities and served to combat economic deterioration in the area served by the TOHIDA.
– The Court upheld the TOHIDA’s decision as rationally based and not arbitrary or capricious, an abuse of discretion, or an error of law.


  • These two (2) Court cases, in conjunction with the 1985 Comptrollers Opinion, establish the basis that an IDA can assist a residential project if the project demonstrates that it:
    1) Promotes employment opportunities.
    2) Prevents economic deterioration.


IDA DISCUSSION:   Jim Mraz reviewed the information on the Agenda.  He stated that IDA’s can provide financial incentives to housing projects as long as the Board makes a finding that a potential residential project will promote employment opportunities and prevent economic deterioration.  Dave D’Amore asked can an argument be made for an IDA to provide incentives to a housing project be that the housing project will bring people into the community that would help further businesses find employees?  Kara Lais stated “yes.”


  1. Uniform Tax Exemption Policy (UTEP):

a. Section 3: General Provisions:

  • Section 3 of the IDA’s existing UTEP references a section of the original Act to identify the types of projects it can assist.
  • Since this Act does not specifically identify housing as a type of project the IDA could assist, the UTEP could be interpreted as not allowing the IDA to assist a housing project.
  • As such, it is recommended that Section 3 be amended to include a detailed listing of the types of projects the IDA could assist.


b. Affordable v. Market Rate Housing:

  • Some IDA’s provide different PILOT’s for affordable and market rate housing projects.


IDA DISCUSSION:   Jim Mraz reviewed the information on the Agenda.  He suggested amending the UTEP to include housing.  Greg Truckenmiller cautioned to not be specific.  Kara Lais agreed saying that the language in the current UTEP could stay the same but just add housing and other options.  There was a brief discussion regarding whether the IDA’s UTEP should have separate PILOT’s for affordable and/or market-rate housing projects.  It was agreed to have Jim Mraz provide at the next meeting examples of other IDA’s use for affordable and market-rate housing.  Kara Lais stated that PILOT’s for housing projects are typically longer than the 10-year PILOT that 485-b provides.

C. FCCRG's Small Business Symposium:

  • FCCRG will be hosting a Fulton County Small Business Symposium on:

June 13, 2023
4:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Holiday Inn

  • IDA will have a table at this event.
  • Purchased pens to have as a handout at Symposium.




D. Executive Session:

  1. Upon a majority vote of its total membership, taken in an open meeting pursuant to a motion identifying the general area or areas of the subject or subjects to be considered, a public body may conduct an executive session for the below enumerated purposes only, provided, however, that no action by formal vote shall be taken to appropriate public moneys:

i. matters which will imperil the public safety if disclosed;
ii. any matter which may disclose the identity of a law enforcement agent or informer;
iii. information relating to current or future investigation or prosecution of a criminal offense which would imperil effective law enforcement if disclosed;
iv. discussions regarding proposed, pending or current litigation;
v. collective negotiations pursuant to article fourteen of the civil service law;
vi. the medical, financial, credit or employment history of a particular person or corporation, or matters leading to the appointment, employment, promotion, demotion, discipline, suspension, dismissal or removal of a particular person or corporation;
vii. the preparation, grading or administration of examinations;
viii. the proposed acquisition, sale or lease of real property or the proposed acquisition of securities, or sale or exchange of securities held by such public body, but only when publicity would substantially affect the value thereof.

MOTION:  To go into Executive Session to discuss the proposed acquisition, sale or lease of real property or the proposed acquisition of securities, or sale or exchange of securities held by such public body, but only when publicity would substantially affect the value thereof.

MADE BY      :           Sue Collins
SECOND        :           Dave D’Amore
VOTE             :           Unanimous

TIME              :           8:53 a.m.


MOTION        :           To go out of Executive Session.

MADE BY      :           Joe Semione
SECOND        :           Dr. Greg Truckenmiller
VOTE             :           Unanimous

TIME              :           9:50 a.m.


July 11, 2023
8:00 a.m.


MOTION        :           To close the meeting.

MADE BY      :           Sue Collins
SECONDED  :           Dr. Greg Truckenmiller
VOTE             :           Unanimous
TIME              :           9:51 a.m.