October BENLIC Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

October 18, 2013 – 9:00 AM
Edward A. Rath County Office Building, Room 1004

Call to Order by Chairwoman Maria Whyte.

Board Members Present: Maria Whyte, Brendan Mehaffy, Timothy Ball, Joseph Maciejewski, David Comerford, James Comerford, Jr., Christina Orsi,
Michael Siragusa,
Board Members Excused: Frank Krakowski, Joseph Hogenkamp
Board Members Absent: Donna Estrich
Fiscal Agent Present: Bob Keating

GUESTS: Jennifer Beltre (COB/OSP); Martin Polowy (EC Law); Thomas Dearing, Kenneth Swanekamp and Dale Morris (EC DEP); two ladies who did not sign the Guest Sign In Sheet

Agenda; Minutes of July 19 and September 6, October 1 Special Board Meeting; Treasurer’s Report, Internet Mapping System, ABO Memo


1. Roll Call

2. Approval of Minutes:

  • July 19, 2013 – Motion to approve minutes as presented at the September 6 Board meeting by Joseph Maciejewski, seconded by David Comerford. Motion carried as unanimously approved. 
  • September 6, 2013 - Motion to approve by Michael Siragusa, seconded by James Comerford. Motion carried as unanimously approved. 
  • October 1, 2013 Special Meeting - Motion to amend minutes to include Motion to Adjourn by Christina Orsi, seconded by David Comerford. Motion carried as unanimously approved. Motion to approve as amended by Joseph Maciejewski, seconded by Timothy Ball. Motion carried as unanimously approved.

3. Approval of Treasurer’s Report: Joe Maciejewski presented the Treasurer’s report showing a balance of $90,000. Motion by Joseph Maciejewski to amend report to include financial (interest) earnings of $2.57, seconded by James Comerford. Motion to approve as amended by Christina Orsi, seconded by Michael Siragusa. Treasurer’s Report approved and adopted unanimously.

4. ABO Compliance

  • Acknowledgement of Training Completion: Maria Whyte stated all Board members need to complete training to be in compliance with Authorities Board Office. Not all Board members have completed training. Technically, there is no expiration, although re-training in five years is recommended. Please forward your evidence of completed training to Maria’s administrative assistant, Joan Braciak at Joan.Braciak@erie.gov.
  • Activation of Governance Committee: The election of the Governance Committee took place in the February 15, 2013 BENLIC Board meeting. Members are Michael Siragusa, Brendan Mehaffy and Timothy Ball. Timothy Ball agreed to be Chair of Governance Committee. Committee will coordinate findings with Treasurer Joseph Maciejewski.
  • Need to meet ABO’s deadlines to avoid non-compliance.
  • Dale Morris of the Land Bank Working Group prepared a summary of documents for the Governance Committee to prioritize items to be addressed to meet the fiscal requirements.
  • PARIS – Annual budget report due 60 days (November 1) prior to fiscal year end. Wording example: “Our agency is seeking grant funding until that time”.
  • Other compliance requirements need to be identified. Maria Whyte suggested assistance from Joe Cercone of Erie County Budget Office. Also, Christina Orsi suggested contact with Dawn Boudreau of BUDC/ECIDA as she is experienced with ABO reporting. Dale Morris noted that Board action is required before information is given to ABO.
  • Brendan Mehaffy agreed to talk with Dawn Boudreau and report back to Timothy Ball.
  • The Governance Committee needs to meet 

5. Updates and Discussion

  • Maria Whyte stated the New York Attorney General application was electronically submitted with over 170 pages, including 6 pages of narration, attached financial statements, maps and letters of support.
  • Search Committee – Members will begin the search for BENLIC’s executive director by distributing a job description. A search for the administrative assistant position will not commence at this time. The committee should meet in early November after an announcement of the AG funding has been made. Chair Maria Whyte asked the following Board members to serve on the committee with her: Brendan Mehaffy, Christina Orsi, Joseph Hogenkamp, Frank Krakowski. A motion to create and accept the Search Committee was made by David Comerford, seconded by James Comerford. Motion was unanimously approved.
  • Municipality Navigation Mapping – Dale Morris presented a PowerPoint review on geographic mapping explaining how to access and navigate the electronic system. Features include foreclosed homes, community development plan, Project Pilot prospectus, tax links to eligible properties, and more. The website continues to be developed.
  • 2013 Pilot Project 
    • BENLIC will purchase the tax liens of 3048 William Street and 44A 
    • Windwood Court, both located in the Town of Cheektowaga, and 59 N. Main Street in the Village of Angola from Erie County for one dollar ($1.00) each. Then BENLIC will initiate foreclosure proceedings.
    • Charles Markel and Howard Frawley will draft a letter to communicate to residents of adjacent properties of impending property action.
    • 44-55 Pyle Court, Town of Tonawanda. Maria Whyte, Martin Polowy will meet with Mayor Caruana, James Hartz and John Flynn regarding the next steps to the property acquisition.
    • 39 Fowler Street, Town of Tonawanda. Awaiting Certificate of Liability Insurance before a property tour. Will need the town inspector participate in the tour.
    • Maria Whyte stated the BENLIC account is adequate to fund the Pilot Project. Erie County’s budget will not have 2014 funding for BENLIC.
    • The RFF deadline is November 1, 2013 for municipalities to participate.
  • Niagara Falls – Maria Whyte, Martin Polowy met with Mayor Dyster’s staff as the Mayor was unavailable. There may need to be a follow up meeting with Mayor Dyster. 
    • An amendment is needed to change the corporation to include the City of Niagara Falls. Approval is needed by the City of Niagara Falls for its participation and by the BENLIC Board. Martin Polowy stated that the By-laws and other BENLIC governing documents would need amending to add Niagara Falls.

6. The next Board meeting will be Friday, November 15 at 9 am, Room 1004, Rath Building.

7. Adjournment: A motion to adjourn was made by Michael Siragusa, seconded by Brendan Mehaffy. It was carried unanimously.

Board of Directors – 9 a.m. Friday, November 15, 2013
Location: Rath County Office Building, Room 1004

Recorded by: Joan M. Braciak
Submitted for Approval: Maria R. Whyte
Adopted by BENLIC Board Members on November 22, 2013

Last updated: November 26, 2013 1:44pm