MINUTES of the MEETING
of the BOARD of DIRECTORS
Friday – March 27th, 2020 – 8:30 a.m.
via Webex video and Conference call
Directors Present: Dr. Leslie Ford, Timothy Beckett, Terri Easterly, Kent Kirch, Travis Mitchell Ronald Olinsky, Geoffrey Peck, Grant Preston
Directors Absent: Gregory Fagan
Staff Present: Ronald Peters, Ken Adamczyk, James Hannahs, Desirée Perham
Other Attendees: Joe Semione, Fulton County IDA; Amy Pedrick, West & Co. CPA PC; Ashley Onyon, Leader Herald
Call to Order: 8:32 a.m.
Welcome and Call to Order
Dr. Leslie Ford called the meeting to order at 8:32 a.m., thanking everyone for making the effort to join the video conference under the demands and restrictions in response to the CoViD19 epidemic. She also asked for everyone’s patience with the new Webex/conferencing format and associated learning curve.
Roll call was taken by Desirée Perham.
Approval of Meeting Minutes
Dr. Leslie Ford asked the Board if there were any additions or corrections to the February 21, 2020 CRG Board Meeting Minutes. No comments were made and the February 21, 2020 CRG Board Meeting Minutes were approved as presented.
Chair Report – Dr. Leslie Ford
- Thank you all for following precautions to reduce the spread of the corona virus. Also, for modeling working from home, even though it can be difficult to do so.
- Be aware that there are new guidelines out for the FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act). They are moving to fully paid coverage which may be an issue for businesses; it has been for schools.
- Take note of the Succession Planning Document developed by Leslie and Ron for Board member selection and also for the CEO. Ron Olinsky will be going through this process as his final term ends this year. Please review and we will include it again in next month’s agenda so we can make alterations as needed.
Conclusion of Chair Report
- Executive Committee, Dr. Leslie Ford – Has not met since last Board meeting.
- Governance Committee – This Committee has not met since the last Board meeting.
- Finance – (Ron Olinsky)
- The committee met on March 25, 2020 and looked over CRG financials; everything is up-to-date. The expenses for 34 W. Fulton St. continue to be monitored. Phil Beckett has cleaned up the reporting system by moving to a cash balance type of accounting. The committee will have a better handle on what is going on with this format.
- As for loans, CRG should be talking to loan holders one-on-one about payback status and workout terms to relieve stress during the pandemic and subsequent recovery.
- Amy Pedrick will present 1099 tax return year-end filings to the Board to accept or not.
- Audit Committees – (Ron Olinsky)
- ABO has not adjusted the deadline for reporting so Board approval is required to meet the April 1st due date for posting reports.
- The Resolution to Acknowledge and Accept CRG’s 2019 Audit was included in the Board package and will be presented after Amy Pedrick’s report.
- The Audit Committee recommends approval of the Audit Opinion based on their review of materials on March 25, 2020.
- Amy Pedrick’s Report –
- Met with both the Audit and Finance Committees on March 25, 2020. Provided the final financial statement of CRG and it was an unmodified opinion, as it was last year, a professional opinion rating at the highest level. Thank you to Ron Peters, Paul Davis and Phil Beckett for timely information.
- An Audit of Investments report was completed. CRG has no long-term investments and CD’s are less than one-year. The opinion on this report also remains unchanged from last year and is declared as unmodified.
- The 990 Tax Return will be provided to the Board in advance of filing. E-filing will occur prior to the May 15th Likewise with the State Tax Return with attachments.
- Going forward with the other entities, both CIC and EDC require tax returns only, also due on May 15th. No audit is required.
- Amy Pedrick’s Report –
- In summary, no negative findings and no modification to opinion. A few enhanced procedures with additional controls were recommended. Audit went well.
- At this time the Resolution to Acknowledge and Accept the Audit Opinion Provided by West & Company, CPAs PC will be introduced for Board approval. Resolution was read aloud by Ron Olinsky who made a Motion to Adopt. Kent Kirch seconded the motion. There was no additional discussion and the motion passed by all Board members present.
Conclusion of Committee Reports.
Membership & Marketing Report
Ken Adamczyk: (Report was included with board package)
- Things have been really busy recently given the current state of events.
- Constant Contact pushes sent out through the week on Small Business Association (SBA) Loan program and more recently, the SBA Express Loan where businesses can work through a local bank to obtain funds for bridging the gap until the SBA loans can be processed. Also updates on our Facebook Page. On our main CRG page we have added an orange banner, very clear and visual, that will link businesses to all the SBA forms required.
- Facebook numbers are up a little bit this week. We lost one person, but generally numbers are holding fine.
- On hold due to COVID19.
- March 2-4, attended New York Build in NYC. There was a collection of contractors, and design and engineering services for residential and commercial construction. Made several contacts there which could be beneficial for the development of Tryon and other sites.
- Attended the Site Selectors Guild in Atlanta March 9-11. Obtained a lot of information about what site selectors are looking for. We did find some potential options for Tryon that are being reviewed with Ron and we are digging into more.
- Three renewal checks have been received over the last month, but we expect this to be slow given the current state of affairs.
Conclusion of Membership and Marketing Report.
Gloversville Downtown Development Specialist Report
James Hannahs: (Report was included with board package)
- Focused on helping businesses/making direct phone calls to share SBA information.
- Made progress on meeting with developers and other business owners trying to acquire buildings.
- Touched base with Jennifer Jennings. Placemaking is postponed to June 17-18 when it will be a good event to rejuvenate the community; 100 in 1 Day will be June 20.
- The IEDC training conference planned in Buffalo is now being held in a webinar format and will focus on business retention and expansion. Very informative and useful information that should translate
- After reaching out to multiple people at ESD, the Governor’s rep, and others, there is no indication that a DRI V will not happen. We have hired Lisa Nagle from Elon Planning and Design to build the application for us and are moving ahead.
Conclusion of GDDS Report.
Chamber, Fulton County, IDA, and City Reports
Dr. Leslie Ford requested reports from the City and County members present.
Chamber – no report
Fulton County – no report
Fulton County IDA – Joe Semione:
- The IDA feels the partnership with CRG is very important for the County to succeed so they will have IDA board members (Todd Rulison, Mike Fitzgerald, Dave D’Amore and Joe Semione) rotate attending CRG Board meetings throughout the year to foster good communication.
- IDA meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month and a report summarizing the past meeting is included here. CRG typically has a representative at the IDA meetings as well.
- The IDA also uses West & Co. for their audit which is all in and had an unmodified report as well.
- The IDA is currently talking with the County Attorney about creating a Capital Resource Corporation. There were previous concerns around liability if bonds foreclosed, but they are working through those concerns as they feel this could be a useful tool to attract new people to the area.
- South side of 107 – Coldwell Banker listed the old residences and have had two or three offers. Should be selecting an offer next month and will be done with that side of the project.
- Discussed if they want to use a commercial real estate broker for the Tryon Park. Looked at a few and chose Cushman Wakefield to list Tryon Technology Park. Talking pricing of acreage now, they are making recommendations. All leads coming in will go through CRG.
- Spoke about partnering with CRG on advertising in a business facilities magazine; Ron was at the meeting. We would split the cost of a full page ad and apply for a grant for a portion. We initially agreed to it, but need to decide if the timing is right now. Down the road when things improve may be a better option.
- IDA is working with Emery Design for their website and hope to coordinate with CRG and the County to tie sites together. May be some cost savings there as well as the benefit of coordinating efforts.
- Reiterated appreciation for the efforts being made to work together.
Leslie Ford thanked Joe Semione for attending the meeting. On the note of working together, Leslie asked CRG to consider two things. First, how we move locally, as there are always opportunities in times of distress. Consider having a presence in the community either through volunteering or even supporting businesses; like restaurants, by ordering takeout. Second, make a statement to the legislators in regards to relief efforts on behalf of our local businesses that are trying to improve from a point of being behind prior to this event taking place. Fulton County was making some good progress and then this difficult time occurred. Ron can develop a letter that should go to the County and the State and be signed by CRG, the IDA, and the Chamber so we look like we are working together for the long haul.
City – no reports
Conclusion of County and City Reports.
President and CEO Report
- Everything is moving slowly while we figure things out with restrictions. There’s been a learning curve with video conferencing that everyone is experiencing.
- Installation of LED lighting was underway, but went on-hold as contractor works through restrictions in place.
MicroEnterprise Grant Program Update
- Second submission of grant applications going to state next week. Wrapping up program before the end of next month then moving forward with the next microenterprise grant assuming they have another CFA and we anticipate they will.
Community Outreach Programs
- Business Tours for Elected Officials
- Tours are on hold for now.
- Community Assistance
- Northville – nothing new to report
- Gloversville – Lot of fronts going on particularly with LWRP and DRI.
- Johnstown – Had multiple conversations with Vern over last three weeks. Getting things ready once the restrictions break. There’s a couple of projects in the pipeline.
- Caroga Lake – Spoke with Caroga Lake Supervisor about doing an LWRP on the East and West Caroga Lakes. Firehouse asked for some assistance earlier in the month.
- Mayfield – Business-to-Business networking is on hold for now.
- Dolgeville – nothing new to report
Business Marketing Inquiries
- One lead came in from the State and another came in that we cannot handle and most of the counties in the State couldn’t handle. Inquiries have been slow.
- Met with a contractor looking to do build-to-suit work in Fulton County, should the need arise, so we will have that tool available to us.
Combined County Marketing Effort Update
- Did not meet with County this month due to restrictions.
Loan Applicant Updates
- The Nick Stoner Inn loan should be closed within next thirty days. We have a small pool of money in that loan pool.
2020 CRG Business Events
- All cancelled for now.
- Two targeted industries for Fulton County; Food and High Tech. Continuing to focus on these.
- We had a couple of developer meetings which went well. Looking at CRG doing our own sites and development work. We need more sites in Fulton County.
- Farm Bureau Program – Taste of NY two hour event, we had two tables and great interactions. Gave our Agri-businesses in Fulton County a lot of exposure.
- We have identified a grant opportunity out of the Federal Economic Development Administration (EDA) that we will be applying for in the next week or two.
- Regarding an Incubator Training program, we had a couple of informative meetings with AIM out of the Mohawk Valley Community College. We are working towards partnering with AIM to hold training classes at 34 W Fulton St. This is in early stages. The idea is to give businesses in Fulton County the opportunity to have some onsite and some offsite training to develop employees to meet their needs.
- Leslie also participated in one of the AIM meetings and was impressed with the range of training possible within this program. Jeff Grimshaw (AIM) eluded to the fact that there are funding sources available and they are very interested in moving into our area and working with us. This program could provide access to 34 W Fulton St and potentially another tenant in the building.
- Normal work programs have slowed a lot, but we are still busy. Working with Small Business Association (SBA) activities and disseminating information. Conferencing with local SBA contact. The team has been answering lots of phone call inquiries which can take up a lot of time. We are looking to assist in any way we can and have been.
- A few conference events have been cancelled, but we continue to make progress on setting up programs and working to position initiatives for when businesses reopen and activity picks up again.
- We are still looking at different projects and are targeting at getting at least ten CFAs submitted. Looking at an anchor project for Gloversville and/or Johnstown.
- Leslie mentioned that we should be aware that some locations cannot handle the bandwidth demand during peak times (when online school is in session) and CRG may want consider moving the online meetings to an earlier time to avoid this. Also would help to use the conference line for audio.
Conclusion of the President and CEO Report.
Adjournment to Executive Session to Discuss Legal Issues
At 9:21 a.m., Ronald Olinsky moved a motion to adjourn to executive session, Geoffrey Peck seconded the motion and it was passed by all present.
Ronald Olinsky moved a motion to return from executive session, Terri Easterly seconded the motion and it was passed by all present. The Board returned from executive session at 9:37 a.m.
- No motions were passed in the Executive Session.
At 9:38 a.m., Terri Easterly moved a motion to adjourn the meeting which was seconded by Ronald Olinsky and passed by all present.
Gregory Fagan, Board Secretary Date
Board Meetings are held the Fourth Friday of the Month
at the CRG Main Office
at 8:30 AM