Minutes, Special Meeting / January 24, 2020

Special Meeting | 1:00 pm | Minutes

Special Meeting Notice – 01/21/2020

Special Meeting Minutes – 1/24/2020

Special Meeting Live Stream

Town of Montgomery Industrial Development Agency
I.D.A. Special Meeting
Town of Montgomery Government Center
110 Bracken Road
Montgomery, New York 12549
Friday, January 24, 2020
1:00 PM

Present: Jeffrey D. Crist, Chairman
Edwin Williams, First Vice-Chairman
Stephen Rainaldi, Second Vice-Chairman
Matthew P. Stoddard, Treasurer and Member
John W. Dickson, Member
John Macioce, Member
Robert Santo, Member
Also Present: Robert Mc Laughlin, Esq. Hodgson Russ Attorneys
Members of the Audience
Suzanne Hadden, Secretary

Chairman Crist called the special meeting to order. He read the special meeting notice into the
record, dated January 21, 2020. He said I would like to clarify for the people attending today, our
public hearing for this project will continue on February 11th at 5:30 p.m. This is not the appropriate
time for public comment related to the project as was noticed and just read in our meeting notice, is
for a Resolution authorizing a PILOT deviation notice for this project. I would also acknowledge
we’ve received a number of letters, emails objecting to this meeting and as a courtesy and out of
respect for some response to that, I’ve asked our counsel, Bob McLaughlin to comment on the
meeting today.

Attorney McLaughlin said I did want to address the objections to the special meeting that we’ve
received yesterday; maybe a dozen objections saying that the notice was improper, this meeting is
improper. I do want to go through the public officer’s law, Article 7. Section 103 talks about open
meetings, Section 103A states that every meeting of a public body shall be open to the general
public. I believe the general public is here, the meeting is open. Section B says public bodies shall
make a course be made all reasonable efforts to ensure that meetings are held in facilities that permit
barrier free physical access to the physically handicapped. This meeting room qualifies under that
section as well. Section 103D states public bodies shall make a course to be made all reasonable
efforts to ensure that meetings are held in an appropriate facility which can adequately
accommodate members of the public who wish to attend such meetings and again this meeting room
qualifies and satisfies that provision. Public notice is governed by Section 104 of the Public Officer’s
Law. Section 104.1 states that a public notice of the time and place of the meeting schedule at least
one-week prior there to shall be given to the news media and shall be conspicuously posted in one or
more designated public locations at least 72-hours before such meeting. This meeting was not
scheduled one week prior so, there is no requirement to comply with Section One.

Attorney McLaughlin – Section 104.2 states that the public notice of the time and place of every
other meeting, meaning meetings not scheduled one week in advance shall be given to the extent
practical to the news media and shall be conspicuously posted in one or more designated public
locations at a reasonable time prior there to. Your meeting notice as I understand it, from the
secretary to the board was posted on the afternoon of January 21st in Town Hall and was provided to
the news media also January 21st, in that afternoon. Finally, Section 104.5 states that when a public
body has the ability to do so, notice of the time and place of the meeting given in accordance with
subdivision one or two, two provisions I just read, shall also be conspicuously posted on the public
body’s internet website and as I understand it the secretary also provided to your web provider the
notice on the afternoon of January 21st. The objections to the meeting although I understand them
are not supported by the statute and in my opinion this special meeting was duly noticed and can be
properly held.

Chairman Crist said I might follow up that it is this board’s intention to be transparent. There was
some question if this meeting was even required and we felt it would be more appropriate to carry
our the meeting and be completely transparent in referencing the further consideration for
moderation of the PILOT and this is detailed on a letter from Whiteman, Osterman and Hanna
dated January 21st. It’s been posted to our website and I am going to ask the applicant Steve Butte to
briefly review the details of that modification under consideration.
Mr. Butte said thank you members of the agency, I trust that you’ve all seen a copy of the letter and
read it, so I won’t go through the entire letter, just highlight a few points. We’ve considered the
issues raised at the January 6th meeting by the town board and school district and because of that we
are offering to modify the first five-years of the PILOT for the 90% abatement to 80% abatement.
According to our estimates in year one the combined PILOT payment, existing land tax and add
valuing tax will provide approximately $ 786,000.00 annually, an increase of $ 740,000.00 compared
to the existing tax table; effectively doubling the taxes paid annually as compared to the prior offer.
In five years, the payments will total close 4-million dollars, as compared to the current taxes being
paid, which total $250,000.00 over the same period. We hope that this offer’s acceptable, we hope
for your support, thank you.
Chairman Crist said to be clear the expectation and Bob correct me if I’m wrong is just to properly
communicate this draft modification to the taxing authorities and also to have the appropriate time
for public comment to the same.

Attorney McLaughlin said correct, this Resolution is exactly the same or very similar to the
Resolution that the board considered on December 3rd, then you passed a Resolution that authorized
the chair to send a notice to the taxing jurisdictions, which in this case will be the school district, the
county as well as the town of your attention to consider a proposed deviation from your existing
Uniform Tax Exempt Policy, that deviation back on December 3rd was voted to send a letter stating
that instead of 100% over the 1st 5-years for the exemption, that the ida board was considering a 90%
exemption and you welcomed the comments from both the town and the school district on that
deviation. In light of the letter that was received on January 21st and consistent with this board’s
intention to be totally transparent to the public, I have prepared a second notice of Resolution that
would authorize the chair to send a notice to the same taxing jurisdictions advising them of the
deviation over the 1st 5-years from your existing policy instead of 100% exemption relief now being
considered to be an 80% exemption over that same 5-year period.

Attorney McLaughlin – The board is not being asked by this Resolution to make any conclusions, no
final determinations at this time, simply to send a notice like this board considered in December to
be consistent with the General Municipal Law provisions as well as the provisions of your Uniform
Tax Exempt Policy, which states that, to the extent practicable you should give 30-day’s notice of a
deviation, unless you are not allowed to do that. In this case we are trying to get the deviation
notice out and approved and the whole purpose is so that the public can consider as well as the
taxing jurisdictions consider it before the February 11th public hearing. The continuation of the
hearing that started on January 6th. I’m happy to take any questions that the board may have.
Chairman Crist asked, questions board related to this proposed modification? Hearing from no one
he said the only thing I would say is this board negotiated a 90% exemption from the full 100%
earlier in the process from our normal PILOT in the 1st 5-years and this in effect, just to simplify,
doubles the amount of PILOT that will be paid in that 1st 5-years by the applicant. No matter what
people’s opinion might be about it, it does double the amount in significantly so the amount of the
PILOT payment in the 1st 5-years. I would ask for a motion to accept the Resolution that’s in draft
form right now, to send this modification to the taxing authorities.
Treasurer Stoddard motioned to accept the Resolution to send the modification to the taxing
authorities, seconded by Member Dickson. A roll call was taken, all members voted aye, Second
Vice Chairman abstained, motion carried.

Chairman Crist said we have six yeses and one abstention, that that motion is carried to approve the
Resolution. I would also like to comment on the thought process in review of a possible schedule.
Certainly, the continuation of the public hearing for this project with reconvene on February 11th at
5:30 p.m., as I earlier stated. There’s a distinct possibility that the board would close the public
hearing at the end of that meeting, which we had lengthy discussion during the public hearing
process on January 6th and I would like to inform the board that in consultation with our counsel, I
would consider a special meeting within the 2 or 3 days after the public hearing for a special meeting
to consider a decision on the application, that way it will allow the board not to be pressed on
making a decision the night the public hearing is likely to be closed, but would provide us some
avenue to make a decision in a timely manner. Any comments board on that process? Hearing
from no one he said I might also say again in the interest of transparency and now of course
following the appropriate regulations for the IDA’s, this meeting is being live streamed today. So,
those that could not be here will be able to view it through that process. Is there any other business
that should come before us today at this special meeting?
There wasn’t any other business for this special meeting.
Chairman Crist said I would suggest a motion to conclude this meeting.
Member Santo motioned to adjourn this meeting, seconded by Member Dickson. All in favor, all
ayes, motion carried.