WATERLOO — Three years ago, Seneca County formed the Finger Lakes Regional Land Bank to acquire, rehabilitate and re-sell tax delinquent properties.
This spring, the bank may finally begin to do just that.
The Seneca County Board of Supervisors Finance, Assessment & Insurance Committee met Tuesday and was told the land bank has its eye on at least four properties when the county conducts its tax foreclosure sale April 1.
Land Bank Board of Directors President and CEO Bill Bordeau told the committee that it has a $150,000 state grant that must be spent by August.
He presented a “hypothetical” scenario of buying properties at the tax sale for $15,000, $20,000, $21,000 and $24,000. The bank has budgeted $40,000 to fix up the four properties.
Administrative costs were estimated at $30,000, accounting for all of the $150,000 grant.
“After we fix them up and sell them as owner-occupied houses, the proceeds will be used to buy more properties and we repeat the process,” Bordeau said.
He said the bank also has applied for another $500,000 state grant.
In motions that will be voted on by the full board March 14, the committee:
• Voted 4-0 to recommend the appointment of Brandi Deeds as county finance director for a two-year term, effective Jan. 1 and ending Dec. 31, 2018.
The action was taken after the state Civil Service Commission designated the job as non-competitive.
County Manager John Sheppard amended the motion to state that Deeds “has demonstrated her knowledge and capability to excel in serving as the county’s director of finance.” She had been serving on a provisional basis.
• Voted 4-0 to request state legislators to introduce a home rule statute allowing the county to extend the additional 1 percent county sales tax for another two years.
The county is authorized to charge a 3 percent sales tax and needs to get state approval every two years for the additional 1 percent.
• Voted 4-0 to recommend the acceptance of a bid from POMCO of Syracuse to administer the county’s worker compensation program. The bid was $19,500, the lowest of three bidders.
Administration of worker compensation is now being done by county insurance director Greg Pelicano. Seneca is one of only two counties in the state that self-administers workers compensation.
Pelicano said there are 115 cases on file, some dating back to the 1970s.
Supervisor Greg Lazzaro, R-Seneca Falls, asked if Pelicano would be working part-time if the board approved the bid.
Sheppard said he plans to divert some of Pelicano’s workload to include safety programs, the Employee Assistance Program and staff development tasks.
In other action, Supervisor Cindy Lorenzetti, D-Fayette, distributed a list of ways to improve communication between the board and the county Industrial Development Agency.
Her suggestions were to have the IDA director or a board member at the monthly Supervisors meetings, financial statements at supervisor meetings, a list of companies that have PILOT agreements and their status, listing of jobs that PILOT companies said they would produce and if they have met those goals, conducting public hearings for IDA incentives after 5 p.m. to aid public attendance, forming a sub-committee among the IDA, the supervisors and the Chamber of Commerce to welcome new businesses to the county and filling the vacancy on the board with a supervisors appointment.