October City Council Agenda

City Counselors

It’s that time again!  City Council meets on the first Wednesday of each month for regular business at 7 p.m. at the Public Safety Building, 255 Exchange Street, in downtown Geneva.  If you’re planning on attending, or just want to know what’s up, here’s a preview:

Presentation:  Seneca Lake Trout Derby

What it is:  The Seneca Lake Trout Derby takes place each year during Memorial Day weekend on Seneca Lake.  The Derby’s main weigh station and headquarters is in Geneva’s Lakefront Park.  The Derby Board will be on-hand to provide an update on the event.

Why it’s important:  The Derby’s governing board, Finger Lakes Sports-O-Rama, has gone through some significant changes in the past year, and the new board is looking to make a splash (ahem) for the 2017 event.  Board representatives will be providing City Council members with information on planned changes for the upcoming year.

What action is Council taking:  The presentation is for informational purposes.  Council will be receiving the info and asking clarifying questions.  There is no action scheduled on this item.

Public Hearing:  2017 Budget

What it is:  The 2017 General, Water, and Sewer Fund budgets were released in August.  The City Charter requires that a public hearing is required before Council takes any action on the budget.

Why it’s important:  The budget contains critical spending priorities and is an overview of how the City will invest taxpayer resources in 2017.  This is your opportunity to provide feedback to City Council on the spending plan.

What action is Council taking:  Public Hearings are designed to gather input for Council consideration.  Council will not be taking any action on the budget at this meeting.  Work sessions are scheduled for October 11th at 6 p.m. and October 19th at 6 p.m.  Final adoption is scheduled for October 25th at 6 p.m.  All meetings are held at the Public Safety Building.

Public Hearing:  Tax Cap Override

What it is:  In 2012, the State of New York enacted a statutory property tax cap for all local taxing jurisdictions.  The statute sets a formula for how much growth in property tax levy a municipality can use for general operations.  In 2017, the State’s formula effectively caps our levy at just over 1/4 of 1%.  The law allows City Council to override the cap by local law.  In order to affect this override, Council must first hold a public hearing.

Why it’s important:  Thanks to growth in the tax base, and maturation of Payment in Lieu of Tax Agreements, the City has been able to hold the tax rate even for 2017.  In order to achieve this, the budget must capture the tax base growth that occurs when properties become more valuable and benefit agreements result in new payments from PILOT holders.

What action is Council taking:  Public Hearings are designed to gather input for Council consideration.  Council will not be taking any action on the budget at this meeting.  Work sessions are scheduled for October 11th at 6 p.m. and October 19th at 6 p.m.  Final adoption is scheduled for October 25th at 6 p.m.  All meetings are held at the Public Safety Building.

Payment in Lieu of Tax Agreement:  St. Francis Senior Housing

What it is:  The Geneva Housing Authority’s not-for-profit subsidiary, the Finger Lakes Community Development Corporation, is developing a housing project for low-income seniors in the former St. Francis school building on Exchange Street.  The project, which technically qualifies as a tax-exempt property, has offered to support the City by entering into a payment in lieu of tax agreement (PILOT).

Why it’s important:  City Council has endorsed this project at several turns, including the acquisition of state grant funding.  This support has been premised on the contribution of tax payments from the property.  This agreement provides for such payments for the duration of the project’s operation.

What action is Council taking:  Council is set to approve a 40-year agreement, which will provide for approximately $35,000 per year in payments.

Ordinance Prohibiting Right on Red–Linden at Seneca

What it is:  The Geneva City Code spells out which intersections do not permit right turns when the signal is red.  This ordinance proposes prohibition of such turns from Linden onto Seneca.

Why it’s important:  Council is consistently seeking out ways to improve pedestrian safety.  This provides for additional safeguards in downtown.

What action is Council taking:  Ordinance changes require two readings.  Council is conducting the final reading at this meeting.

Resolution Authorizing Grant Application–Improvements to GEDC

What it is:  The Geneva Enterprise Development Center is the City’s production and service incubator, providing low-cost manufacturing and office space for budding companies seeking to locate in Geneva.  The State of New York has released a grant application round, which provides for improvements to buildings to foster business growth.  This resolution authorizes the City Manager to submit the application.

Why it’s important:  The GEDC supports over a dozen companies and nearly 100 employees.  In order to support additional business growth, critical improvements must be made to vacant areas of the building.  This grant will support up to $450,000 in building enhancements at the site.

What action is Council taking:  Council is being asked to support an application for $450,000, to be matched by $50,000 in Industrial Development Agency or tenant funds.

 

Don’t forget, 7 p.m. at the Public Safety Building, 255 Exchange Street.  If you can’t make it, catch the live broadcast on Finger Lakes TV.

 

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