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10/10/2018 Commissioners Public Meeting Minutes

Warren County Commissioners Public Meeting

October 10, 2018 12:00 p.m.

Jackson Courtroom

 

Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin called the meeting of the Warren County Commissioners to order with Commissioner Cindy Morrison and Commissioner Jeff Eggleston present.

 

Staff Present: Pamela Matve, Chief Clerk; Eric Hern, Fiscal Director, Ed Burris, Kim Exley, H.R. Administrator, and Phil Gilbert

 

Citizens Present: Josh Cotton (WTO), Joe Scully, John Able, Nancy Freenock and Solicitor John Shreve

 

Announcements:

 

Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin listed the meetings to which either two or all three Commissioners were together, stating that no actions were taken.

 

Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin then stated that we did receive a letter from the City of Warren and asked Ms. Freenock to speak on this,

 

Nancy Freenock stated that the Hudson Group out of Sharon would like to build a 38-unit housing development for those 55 and older on Pennsylvania and Liberty Street, formerly known as the Lynch Building,

 

They need to show a 15-year revenue plan, and they are asking that after the first three-year LERTA program, the other taxing bodies agree to a PILOT program. Currently you get nothing as the City owns this building. Before the next meeting she stated that she hopes to have more definite figures.

 

Commissioner Cindy Morrison asked what the county would receive on this program to which Ms. Freenock stated the county would get $2,600 as opposed to the $7,700 per year. But that is $2,600 more than what you are getting now.

 

Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin stated that today is informational only. He then asked what the time line is. Nancy stated that they must have the application turned in by November 1.

 

Commissioner Cindy Morrison stated that she would like to do her due diligence before deciding, and maybe a state assessor needs to be hired.

 

Commissioner Jeff Eggleston asked if EOC has been part of the conversation, to which Nancy stated yes, the group has spoken to them.

 

Commissioner Cindy Morrison asked Nancy Freenock to draft up the PILOT agreement so that we can review it.

 

Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin stated that PILOT must be to us before the 22nd work session for discussion, then possible approval at the next public meeting on October 24.

 

Public Hearing:

 

Public Comment:

 

Consent Agenda:

 

Agenda Content: Commissioner Jeff Eggleston asked to add to the agenda a Discussion/vote to determine a handful of properties from the D.A. forfeiture. He then gave a quick background.

 

            Minutes from the September 26, 2018 Meeting: There were no changes to be made to the minutes.

 

            Fiscal Report: Eric Hern, Fiscal Director stated there was cash on hand of $2,866,527.00 and in     the Erie bank account a balance of $197,322.00. The total payouts are approximately $55,000.00.

 

Eric Hern, Fiscal Director then stated that we should be right in line to pay back the TAN by the       end of October.

 

 

Motion was made by Commissioner Cindy Morrison, seconded by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston to approve today’s agenda, the September 26, 2018 minutes, and the fiscal report as presented. Motion carried unanimously.

 

Old Business:

 

New Business:

 

Repository Tax Bid(s): Motion was made by Commissioner Cindy Morrison, seconded by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston to approve the repository tax bids from Dean Kestner in the amount of $250.00 for parcel WN-845-1794 and from City RDA $930.00 for parcel WNH-574-6622. Motion carried unanimously.

 

Hampton Inn Tax Appeal: Commissioner Jeff Eggleston stated that during the budget meetings we had an executive session due to a tight deadline to file an appeal on the decision made by our Judges on the Tax Appeal for the Hampton Inn. I am asking today just for public affirmation.

 

Motion was made by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston, seconded by Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin to appeal the recent court decision made by Judge Skerda.

 

Commissioner Cindy Morrison started that the case was settled in court by Judge Skerda. Litigation is very expensive and how can we put this burden on our tax payers.

 

Commissioner Jeff Eggleston stated that John McGraw appealed his taxes six years ago, no one has been singled out. Everyone should be paying their fair share of property taxes. They are paying 1/3 of what they should be paying. We had a settlement a year ago, that Mr. McGraw decided he no longer wanted. The county has paid out money to fight this appeal. I feel that the cost of an appeal is worth it, as the tax payers will benefit from this. I feel that the county has a very good case.

 

Commissioner Cindy Morrison said to clarify, is that the only way the tax payers are going to pay is if we raise taxes.

 

Commissioner Jeff Eggleston stated that he assumes someone will back him on this; what large companies pay reduced taxes, it must be made up somewhere. When taxes are raised we all pay for the large companies who do not pay their fair share.

 

Joe Scully asked if there have been any conversations with Conewango Township Supervisors as this is a tax loss for them.

 

Commissioner Jeff Eggleston stated yes, I have had conversations with them.

 

Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin stated that the debate allowing the Hampton Inn to pay a lower amount is unfair, we did not ask for this.

 

After nothing further, the above motion was called.

 

Motion carried two to one with Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin and Commissioner Jeff Eggleston for and Commissioner Cindy Morrison against.

 

Executive Session: Motion was made by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston, seconded by Commissioner Cindy Morrison to move into an executive session. Motion carried unanimously.

 

Executive 12:40 – 12:51

 

At this time the regular meeting resumed.

 

Properties turned over to the county in error: Motion was made by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston, seconded by Commissioner Cindy Morrison to authorize the solicitor to effectuate three properties that were acquired to the county by asset forfeiture.

 

Commissioner Jeff Eggleston stated that by this motion it is his understanding is that the solicitor is to incur any cost and move forward at minimal or no cost. My interest is to get these back to the property owners.

 

Joe Scully asked how did the county get these properties?

 

Commissioner Jeff Eggleston stated there was as asset forfeiture, the county received these by court order, but no one notified the commissioners. We should not have gotten these properties.

 

Joe Scully then asked if they are blighted, to which Commissioner Jeff Eggleston stated they are vacant, and the properties are tax delinquent.

 

Nancy Freenock asked if corrected deeds will be filed.

 

D.A. Robert Greene stated that in a nut shell, the Drug Task Force took over these properties. We did not do our research which would have picked up the sewer liens. It was an error by my office.

 

Nancy Freenock stated that it is not a fair assumption, as we offed to take a deed, but your office did nothing.

 

The above motion was withdrawn.

 

Motion was made by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston, seconded by Commissioner Cindy Morrison to authorize the Solicitor to remove three properties from county ownership and potentially incur costs as part of the effort. Motion carried unanimously.

 

Personnel Report:

 

Warren County

Personnel Transaction Report

As of

October 10, 2018

 

New Hires for Warren County

 

 

 

 

Changes for Warren County Employees

 

 

Separations

 

Motion was made by Commissioner Cindy Morrison, seconded by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston to approve the personnel report as presented. Motion carried unanimously.

 

Closing:

 

Commissioner Comments:

 

Adjournment:  Motion was made by Commissioner Cindy Morrison, seconded by Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin to adjourn the meeting. Motion carried unanimously.

 

Meeting adjourned 1:04 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,                                                   Approved:

 

Pamela J. Matve                                                             Jeff Eggleston, Secretary

Chief Clerk                                                                    Warren County Commissioner