IDA will hire consultant to study housing

Loujane Johns

Yates County IDA members decided at the Dec. 19 meeting to move forward  with a housing study. 

Members discussed how the information gathered would be useful in attracting businesses to the area.  CEO Steve Griffin suggested hiring Shepstone Consultants to do the study.  Members approved to proceed with the study.  Tim Trombley was absent and Dave Reeves abstained from voting.

In other business:

PERSONNEL: Sue Anderson presented a year-end report on benefits and salaries.  Taylor Fitch thanked Chairman Jeff Gifford and Administrative Assistant Doreen Jensen for all their hard work in the interim vacancy of a CEO.

DOWNTOWN :  Griffin said he has several people who are interested in the now vacant Odd Fellows building on Main Street.  The building formerly housed a coffee shop. Anderson was asked to head a committee to find businesses that would be a good fit to help revitalize the downtown area.

• FINANCIAL :  The board discussed options for investments and the use of multiple banks. 

Anderson was asked to explain how various accounts work and which have the best yields. She gave her recommendations and abstained from voting.

•PIPELINE: Work on the pipeline has stopped until early spring.  Fitch said the board would need to meet with the Penn Yan Municipal Board to decide on where a supply tap into the line would be made,  which was part of the agreement.

LAKE STREET PROJECT:  A resolution was passed for a deviation in the PILOT for the Lake Street Plaza Project.  The developer requested a 37 percent tax abatement on existing assessed value for 11 years. 

Griffin said this request is one year longer than what is usually given to a non-manufacturing facility. Griffin will send letters informing the entities involved in tax collection of the deviation.  The Village of Penn Yan is still reviewing the final plans for the project.

• TENNANTS:  The board agreed to split the cost of upgrades to the heating/cooling system for offices Keuka College rents in the Keuka Business Park facility.

A two-year lease was approved with Viking Management.  Gifford abstained from voting.

• APPOINTMENT:  Tim Trombley asked not to be re-appointed to the board.  Members agreed to discuss a new appointment in executive session.

• ESPERANZA: Griffin announced a PILOT application for renovation and expansion for enlargement of the lobby area and the wedding patio at the Esperanza Mansion.

New kitchen equipment is to be purchased for the establishment of a new “Fine Food @ Home” Internet food business.  Griffin said very few places in the country will have this type of equipment.

• AG SURVEY:  Griffin told the board 750 surveys had been sent out to agricultural businesses and farms in order to identify financial needs in the ag community.  The project was undertaken with the help of the Yates Cornell Co-operative Extension.  Griffin successfully obtained a grant for $750,000 for an organic center. 

He said he is now looking to seek more funding for the ag community.

•CEO REPORT:  Griffin reported the IDA was involved in 19 projects in 2007.  Four of the total are new businesses in the community.  He was excited to say he is presently working on 23 active projects. 

Griffin said he knows all will not come through, but is optimistic some will come to fruition.