Tompkins County
New York

Report or Discussion Item

Tompkins County Area Development
May 2017 Report


Department:Tompkins County LegislatureSponsors:
Category:Economic DevelopmentFunctions:Tcad


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  2. PDEQ_TCAD Report_5-2017

Meeting History

May 4, 2017 3:00 PM  Planning, Development, and Environmental Quality Committee Regular Meeting

Ms. Robertson introduced and welcomed Margaret Frank, Communications and Assistant Director of Economic Development, Tompkins County Area Development (TCAD).

Ms. McDaniel reviewed the May 2017 TCAD Report and stated New York State has announced the Consolidated Funding Application process for this year and TCAD is working to provide that information to the community and answer any questions. The State will be holding two informational workshops in each region; there will not be a meeting in Tompkins County. She will be attending a “train the trainers” workshop to assist applicants and help answer questions. Ms. Robertson stated the closest workshop would be held in Elmira.

Ms. Chock inquired about the Community Solar Policy. Ms. McDaniel stated the Industrial Development Agency (IDA) has a draft Solar Policy and she anticipates it will be considered at the June meeting. The policy provides that the IDA will deliver a property tax agreement for community solar for offsite solar facilities at a rate of $8,000 per megawatt for twenty years with a 2% annual increase, the IDA fees have also been reduced from 1% to 1/2% of budget costs. Ms. McDaniel will provide a copy of the policy to Committee members.

Ms. Chock spoke of yesterday’s Government Operations Committee meeting regarding tax exemptions for developers. She asked if it would be feasible for TCAD and the IDA to look into an instrument similar to the Community Solar Policy that will target and provide assistance and/or reduced payments for developers who develop in one of the County’s focus areas for development. Ms. Robertson explained that the County cannot say it would target an exemption only if it were in a smart growth location and the IDA also does not have that authority.

In regard to the IDA looking into the use of tools that may be supportive to housing, Ms. Robertson explained the IDA has the ability to set aside geographic areas and spoke of the history of the IDA programs not being used because of the greater benefits from the tax-credit programs. She stated those tax credit programs may be drying up and asked if Ms. McDaniel could look into those. Ms. McDaniel agreed to look into it and said the IDA is a public authority created by State statutes and is not certain it can provide property-tax exemptions for infrastructure.

Mr. McKenna asked for an update on the solar project in Newfield. Ms. McDaniel stated the Newfield projects were approved with property-tax incentives and was consistent with the IDA’s draft Community Solar Policy. Special districts are not included in PILOT programs and taxes for those special districts will still be paid at the full assessed value.

Ms. McDaniel spoke of recent meetings between TCAD staff and Senator Chuck Schumer’s staff and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand regarding economic development. The message Mr. Stamm returned with and is being passed on from those meetings is that quality and reliable energy infrastructure is important to our business community. She explained that Ms. Mattick was also in attendance at those meetings regarding workforce development discussing the advance manufactures training program. TCAD is working with manufacturers in the area to develop a program that will provide a pipeline of entry level workers for community employers. Mr. Stamm was priming the Senators for future funding for that program.

Ms. Robertson stated conversations have continued regarding the Lansing Moratorium and Alternative Compressor Stations to try and work with the Public Service Commission (PSC) and NYSEG.