DLDC board OKs transfer of funds

When it comes to official meetings, a certain number of members is required to be present to conduct business.

The Dunkirk Local Devel-opment Corporation Board of Directors met recently, and eventually a sixth member of the 10-member board arrived to provide a quorum. Scheduled for 11 a.m., the DLDC took up business officially when Councilman Adelino Gonzalez arrived at 11:35 a.m.

The first order of business was the transfer of funds from the DLDC to the city for a repayment to the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development that the Common Council agreed to send to HUD.

“We have discussed this quite a bit in the past. This is in reference to the CDBG-R, the Clarion project from a few years back,” Development Director Steve Neratko stated. “Working with the Clarion, we were able to get them to pay the entire amount of their loan portion of this project, which is the $126,346.15 that is referenced in the resolution. We are authorized to reimburse this with these funds to the city of Dunkirk, who then reimburses it … to HUD.”

Board member and Coun-cilwoman-at-Large Stephanie Kiyak had a question about the difference between what the Clarion paid back on the loan and what the city is paying back to HUD.

“Where was this $27 grand from?” she asked.

Neratko explained it was a portion of the project.

“It was one entire project that the Clarion had worked with the city on. The total amount was $153,000 or so, the $27,172.48 was a grant,” he continued. “That grant was given to them with limited paperwork so we don’t have a whole lot more to pass this back. … They were willing to pay the loan portion back.”

“Did we request that they pay back the 27 grand as a gesture of goodwill since taxpayers will be paying it back instead?” Kiyak asked.

“We’ve had various discussions with them. They were willing to pay the $126 (thousand) back,” Neratko replied. “I think at that point we were happy with that. We were a little afraid that (City Attorney Ron Szot) had enough paperwork to really ask for that back.”

Board member Rosemary Banach asked about interest but was told that was all part of the payback.

“Any interest that we did receive, since it was a CDBG-R program, it would end up just going back to the federal government anyway. It isn’t an ongoing program, so you don’t get the program income and you can’t just go ahead and use it again,” Neratko explained.

With no more questions or comments, Neratko called for a motion.

“Somebody has to, I can’t,” he said of the motion after a brief wait. “I should go into the fact that we have been having ongoing discussions with HUD for quite a while. We were recently notified that we have a deadline to pay this back. The deadline is May 15. … This is something that while no one wants to do it, we have to. Somebody needs to make a motion.”

Gonzalez said to keep the process going, he would make the motion, It was seconded by Steve Sek and passed unanimously.

Next up was a resolution approving an agreement with the Chautauqua County Health Network.

“We had had a previous resolution a few months ago for the previous program. This is for 2014-2015, there is additional funding that we will receive,” Neratko explained. “The agreement, the draft agreement … kind of goes over everything involved in the program and the financial resources we will receive, which is $15,000. This does go into Complete Streets, the community garden, the farmers’ market.”

Kiyak asked if there was anything on the list “the city doesn’t feel comfortable with as far as managing the promises that we’re making to them.”

Neratko said he did not think so, but the programs were all in their first year. He added council will hold a public hearing on the Complete Streets resolution prior to its next meeting May 20. The new agreement was approved.

When the board moved to approve its three-part consent agenda, which included minutes of the board’s March meeting, Gonzalez registered a complaint.

“I’m being marked as absent instead of excused … You guys can’t meet after three o’clock?” he asked.

“I think in general, historically it’s been the 11 o’clock meeting. That is when we’ve been able to get the most amount of people,” Neratko replied.

Gonzalez pointed out the last few meetings have seen barely-met quorums.

“We had asked last year a few different times if there were times that would work better for everyone. This was the time that everyone gave that was good for them,” Neratko replied. “We can try meeting at another time, but I don’t know if it’s going to make much difference.”

“You can’t have it Monday?” Gonzalez asked.

Neratko replied an email would be sent to board members about meeting days and times.

“I’m free on Monday, or anytime after three o’clock,” Gonzalez stated.

“I understand, there’s also nine other people,” Neratko replied.

Gonzalez still was not happy and Neratko said he would check again with members

“In such case if you can’t get a quorum Monday, at least mail the packet to me before that,” Gonzalez replied.

Neratko said the absence will be changed to excused and the consent agenda was moved to the next meeting for approval.

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