Following a public hearing which drew no comments and discussion by legislators which including unsuccessful efforts to amend the resolution, Yates County legislators approved the sale of a loan fund by Yates County Industrial Development Agency to Finger Lakes Horizon Economic Development Corp. This will allow the  about $66,000 to be available for a forgivable loan to Catholic Charities for building renovations to expand employment and operations in the county.

The funds orginated as a $316,000 federal grant allocated to Yates County and IDA (Finger Lakes Economic Development Center) through a New York State Community Development Block Grant, which was used as a $300,000 loan to Esperanza in 2003 for renovations to the mansion. As Esperanza repaid the loan, FLEDC created a tourism loan fund. As loans were repaid, the fund grew to nearly $345,000.

The New York State CDBG program is now requiring that program income from loans be returned to the state by March 31. Steve Griffin, CEO of FLEDC says this arrangement allows area agencies to keep the funds working locally.

District I Legislator Elden Morrison said he would like an accountant to review the arrangement. He and District II Legislator Terry Button voted against the resolution.

Other business at the Feb. 11 County legislature meeting included: 

• Election: District II Legislator Timothy Dennis reported on changes in the election calendar which will result in potential candidates circulating petitions for signatures in late February through March. Dennis announced he does not intend to seek another term on the legislature.

• Distinguished Youth: The legislators recognized Seth Williams of Dundee as the Yates County Distinguished Youth.

• Road Projects: The legislators approved a project to rehabilitate the East Sherman Hollow Road bridge over Sugar Creek. The local cost is $156,000 for the project, which is eligible for 95 percent federal funds. They also approved a project for reconstruction of Friend Road (CR31) at a cost of up to $500,000. This project is eligible for state funding.

• Solar Power: District III legislator Daniel Banach announced that representatives from Abundant Solar Power will attend the March Public Works meeting to discuss a proposal to install solar panels on the county’s landfill property on Long Point Road in Torrey.

• PILOT agreement: Legislators approved the payment in lieu of taxes agreement with Keuka Shores townhome project in the town of Milo. The agreement includes property tax, sales tax, and mortgage tax abatements.

• Appointment: Legislators reappointed Public Health Director Deborah Minor to another six-year term until Jan. 31, 2025.

• Positions: Legislators authorized filling vacancies in the Public Health and Emergency Services Departments. With Morrison casting the lone “no” vote, the legislators approved the creation of a deputy sheriff position to enable a new deputy to enroll in the April 1 training academy and be available for field training Nov. 1 in anticipation of another deputy’s planned retirement.