April City Council Preview

City Counselors

The first Wednesday of the month is upon us, and that means it’s time for City Council to reconvene take up some more City business.  Here’s what’s up tonight:

Public Hearings–Energy Programs

What it is:  City Council is considering several energy programs to support its carbon footprint reduction goals, and advance the environmental stewardship principles of the comprehensive plan.  In May, Council will take up local laws charging staff with the measurement of energy consumption in municipal facilities and benchmarking with peer cities, as well as a property assessed clean energy financing program.  Tonight’s public hearing is to take comment on the programs.

Why it’s important:  The City’s comprehensive plan charges us with reducing our environmental footprint.  The municipal facilities benchmarking program is designed and managed by the U.S. EPA to support municipalities in focusing on power use, comparing it with other municipalities, and taking steps to improve their relative energy consumption.  The PACE financing mechanism is managed by the State of New York, and enables commercial and not-for-profit entities to utilize state-sponsored financing for clean energy projects, with the amortization collected by the City via tax bills.  These two programs enable the City to focus clearly on environmental footprint.

What action is Council taking:  Tonight’s session is to take comments from the public only.  Action on the local laws is planned for next month.

Actions Regarding Lakefront Boat Trailer Parking

What it is:  Based upon feedback from Lakefront Park users, staff is working to manage parking considerations for all vehicles at the park.  Staff is proposing a parking permit system, which would provide for no-cost permits for residents and daily permit fees for non-residents for boat trailers at the City’s boat launch.  Trailers parked with no permit would be levied a fine under the City’s vehicle and traffic ordinance.

Why it’s important:  The Comprehensive Plan charges us with enhancing recreational opportunities in the City.  Council will determine whether the proposed changes address this goal.

What action is City Council taking:  An ordinance providing for permitted parking of boat trailers will be considered for first reading.  A resolution is under consideration that sets fees for non-resident trailer parking at $1 per day on Monday – Thursday and $10 per day on Friday – Sunday.

Resolution Establishing Public Hearing–Sale of Property (Gateway Parcels)

What it is:  The City’s North End Neighborhoods Brownfield Analysis identified the corner of North and Exchange Streets as an opportunity for redevelopment to improve aesthetics and develop a neighborhood retail center.  The City has worked with the IDA and LDC to assemble properties at this location.  City Council utilized grant funding to acquire several parcels as part of the project.  Council is considering action to transfer the properties to the IDA and LDC for marketing and redevelopment.

Why it’s important:  This intersection has been identified in both the Brownfield Redevelopment Plan and the Comprehensive Plan as in need of redevelopment activity.  Assembly of all parcels at this location will provide for ease of development and marketing of the site as a single parcel.

What action is City Council taking:  Tonight, City Council is being asked to establish a hearing on continued public use of the property.  The hearing would be scheduled for the May meeting.

Environmental Quality Review–Food Innovation Center

What it is:  The City of Geneva has been awarded a RESTORE NY grant for the development of the Finger Lakes Food Innovation Center; a proof-of-concept and shared production kitchen to be located at the Geneva Enterprise Development Center.  The funding agency requires that a review be conducted under the State Environmental Quality Review Act prior to expenditure of grant funds.

Why it’s important:  The Food Innovation Center is central to the Food and Beverage Innovation District, a core tenet of the economic development strategy outlined in the City’s comprehensive plan.  Environmental Quality Review is not only a requirement of the funding agency, but also ensures that environmental charges of the comprehensive plan are addressed.

What action is City Council taking:  City Council will review the SEQRA report from staff, and is being asked to make a determination that the project will not have an adverse environmental impact.

Resolution Affecting Property Sale–49 North Exchange Street

What it is:  The City has received a proposal for acquisition of a vacant lot at 49 North Exchange Street.  The lot would be incorporated into an adjacent property to expand the yard at the site.

Why it’s important:  The sale of this property completes de-concentration efforts at this site, and restores a property to the tax roll.  Both of these strategies reinforce principles of the comprehensive plan through enhancement of the corridor and strengthening the City’s financial position.

What action is City Council taking:  City Council will consider a resolution to sell the parcel to the adjacent property owner for $500.

Board and Commission Appointment–Local Development Corporation

What it is:  The Local Development Corporation is charged with neighborhood revitalization and economic development efforts in Geneva.  Board members are appointed by City Council to advance these goals.

Why it’s important:  The LDC has adopted a framework to directly address the strategies of the comprehensive plan.  The Board is comprised of seats tagged to specific sectors of the economy.  The subject seat for this appointment is reserved for a resident with strong ties to neighborhood revitalization.  This role is critical to ensuring that the needs of community residents are considered in LDC actions.

What action is City Council taking:  Council is being asked to ratify the nomination of Chevy DeVanney, an Historic North resident, to the Board of Directors.

The full agenda can be found here.  Don’t forget that Finger Lakes Television broadcasts Council meetings live, with replays throughout the month for true fans of the broadcast.  If you’re heading down for the live show, we’ll be at 255 Exchange Street at 7 p.m.




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