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.