A meeting of the Albemarle County Economic Development Authority was held on January 17, 2017, at 4:00 p.m., in Meeting Room #235 of the Albemarle County Office Building, 401 McIntire Road, Charlottesville, Virginia.
DIRECTORS PRESENT: Mr. W. Rod Gentry, Chair; Ms. Lettie Bien, Vice-Chair; Mr. Elton Oliver, Secretary-Treasurer; Mr. Donald Long, Director-at-Large; Mr. David Shreve, Jack Jouett District; Mr. James Atkinson, Samuel Miller District
STAFF PRESENT: Mr. John Blair II, Deputy County Attorney; Ms. Lee Catlin, Assistant County Executive; Ms. Betty Burrell, Director of Finance; Ms. Lisa Breeden, Chief of Financial Management; Ms. Susan Stimart, Economic Development Facilitator; Ms. Beth Pizzichemi, Economic Development Project Information Coordinator
GUESTS: Ms. Ann Mallek, Supervisor, White Hall District; Ms. Liz Palmer, Supervisor, Samuel Miller District; Mr. Rick Randolph, Supervisor, Scottsville District; Mr. John Martin, Albemarle County Resident, White Hall District; Mr. Chris Kulp, Hunton & Williams; Mr. Doug Gebhardt, Hunton & Williams; Mr. William Park, Pinnacle Construction ; Mr. Jim Bowling, EDA Counsel
Establish Quorum and Call to Order. Having established a quorum, Mr. Gentry called the meeting to order at 4:04 p.m. In consideration for the evening’s presenters, Mr. Gentry asked that the Directors consider New Business items before Old Business items.
As there had been no appointment made to the position of Director from the White Hall District since the resignation of Mr. Vernon Jones, Ms. Mallek joined the meeting as representative for the White Hall district.
______________ Approval of Minutes: December 20, 2016
Ms. Bien motioned to approve the minutes as written; Mr. Oliver seconded the motion and on voice call vote, the motion passed.
Presentation: Sale of Lease Revenue Bonds
Mr. Chris Kulp & Mr. Doug Gebhardt, Hunton & Williams
Ms. Burrell introduced Mr. Kulp and Mr. Gebhardt of Hunton and Williams to give an informational presentation to the Directors on the resolution coming before the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors on February 1, 2017 detailing the proposed upcoming sale of lease revenue bonds. Mr. Kulp advised the Directors of the timeline of the sale and the projects being funded, which include existing Capital Improvement Program projects and improvements to schools, among others. In an attempt to enter into the bond markets in a timely fashion, the Directors agreed to move their regular February meeting from the 21st to the 7th of February. Mr. Gebhardt indicated Hunton & Williams will be asking for finalization from rating agencies on February 14th, and by the newly-scheduled EDA meeting on February 7th, Mr. Gebhardt expected they would have an indication on the success or failure of the deal to report to the Directors.
Mr. William Park, Pinnacle Construction & Development Corp. Mr. Park presented to the Directors the details of the Brookdale affordable housing project underway in the County, developing 84 affordable rental units off of 5th Street and Old Lynchburg Road. Mr. Park indicated that in order to fund the project an amount totaling $10 million in tax-exempt bonds would be needed, with a total development cost of $16.7 million, and a combination of tax-exempt bonds and tax credits. Mr. Gentry asked Mr. Park how long he expected until the units in the development would be fully leased. Mr. Park estimated 6 to 8 months, indicating that the development meets the County’s Comprehensive Plan and with no Housing Choice Vouchers, the development would meet the demographic of working people. Mr. Park continued on to say that Pinnacle Construction would own, maintain and manage the units. Mr. Shreve asked what eligibility requirements were for the Brookdale project and for details on the terms of the lease, to which Mr. Park replied that leases are annual, and that every tenant gets certified and recertified annually for eligibility, emphasizing that recertification would not qualify eviction. Mr. Park informed the Directors that he would be ready to present to the EDA again in March of 2017.
Consideration of Adoption of Proposed By-Law Changes
Mr. Bowling recapped with the group the recent ordinance update agreed upon by the Board of Supervisors, and asked the Directors to consider voting on the drafted updated by-laws. Ms. Bien noted that the updated by-laws gets the EDA to where they want to go in the short term. She also stated that by-laws of other localities’ EDAs can be reviewed at any time and the by-laws of Albemarle County’s EDA can be updated at any point in the future. With the proposed changes, Ms. Bien moved to approve the by-laws as amended. Mr. Atkinson seconded the motion and on roll call vote, the motion passed.
AYES: Mr. Gentry, Ms. Bien, Mr. Oliver, Mr. Long, Mr. Shreve, Mr. Atkinson
Update on Milestone Partners
Ms. Catlin updated the Directors on recent action taken by the Board of Supervisors to request the EDA provide a grant to an expansion and redevelopment project taking place at Milestone Partners property holdings in Crozet at the Barnes Lumber Yard. The grant would go towards fixing a non-refundable water line issue, allowing installation of fire hydrants and a fire suppression system. The grant would be a cost-sharing effort for the Board of Supervisors, this portion of the project totaling $8,000 with the County’s share being around $4,000. In support of the project, Ms. Catlin noted that the company expanding to the site meets the County’s target industry, redevelopment and quality career-ladder jobs goals, and is consistent with the Crozet Master Plan and the County’s Comprehensive Plan. Ms. Mallek noted that the community has a high level of excitement for this project as a job creator. Ms. Catlin said that the next steps would be to create a performance agreement and to ask the EDA to take action to approve the grant.
Update: EDA Budget & Finances
Mr. Oliver presented the Directors with financial reports from the previous quarter. He asked for clarification on the Lewis & Clark Exploratory Center and whether their payments went towards principal only. Mr. Blair and the other Directors confirmed that payments from LCEC are pass-throughs directly to the County. Mr. Oliver then asked Ms. Catlin to confirm what funds were left over after the completion of the Solutions 29 marketing program, to which she responded the number was somewhere around $30,000 to $35,000. Mr. Oliver briefed the Directors on what was discussed at the December EDA meeting, where the Directors present had agreed to remove the CIT and CVPED planned expenses from the 2017 budget, noting that current revenue projections will need to be amended in light of incoming bonds.
Ms. Bien reviewed the notes of the January 11 meeting that took place between Economic Development Office Staff consisting of Ms. Stimart and Ms. Pizzichemi, Ms. Laura Vinzant, analyst from the Office of Management and Budget, Ms. Lisa Breeden, Chief of Financial Management in the Finance Department, Ms. Bien and Mr. Oliver to discuss the EDA’s financial transitions. Ms. Bien recommended to the Directors that they continue with County systems and County procedures until the end of the fiscal year, to make the transition as simple as possible. There was discussion about the need for the EDA’s bond books to be stored in one central location. This led to discussion about the possibility of purchasing an EDA computer for bookkeeping purposes. Mr. Bowling informed the Directors of the importance of alignment with the Procurement Act in any economic decisions which affect third parties. Ms. Mallek recommended that the Directors inquire as to how many of the County’s procurement agreements the EDA might be able to align themselves with, in order to make purchasing procedures for the EDA as simple as possible in this time of transition.
Mr. Blair informed the Directors that he would have a model FOIA policy at the next meeting for their review, in response to a discussion had by the Directors at their December meeting.
Ms. Stimart informed the Directors that at the February meeting, EDO staff would be leading discussion about upcoming educational sessions for the Directors. These sessions would be short half-hour lessons from County Staff, local professionals, local and regional economic development experts, and anyone else who might be able to educate the Directors on relevant issues at hand and tools at the EDA’s disposal, to ensure the EDA Directors are empowered to make informed decisions.
Mr. Blair updated the Directors on the Lewis & Clark Exploratory Center. He said that in August 2016, the EDA approved the extension of repayment time of the totality of LCEC’s $130,000 loan. EDA and BOS action extends repayment time to December 2016, when the draft agreement read December 2017. LCEC stated they believed their extension was approved at December 2017 and are asking to extend to December 2017. This item is on the Board of Supervisors’ agenda for February 1, 2017. The Directors discussed the issue, noting that the City of Charlottesville has stated they will not forgive the loan to LCEC unless the County forgives. The City of Charlottesville also cut back LCEC’s summer program funding. Mr. Gentry asked Ms. Mallek if she would ask the Board if they feel the need to meet with LCEC to ask what quarterly payment they could accommodate. The Directors agreed this was a pertinent question, emphasizing that they would not be forgiving the loan.
Adjourn At 5:48pm, and with no further business to come before the Authority, the EDA adjourned.