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Rebecca Webster/Recorder staff The Amsterdam Industrial Development Agency is shown at its monthly meeting Thursday in City Hall.

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AIDA members plan to get more involved

Friday, February 22, 2013 - Updated: 5:09 PM

By REBECCA WEBSTER

Recorder News Staff

Amsterdam Industrial Development Agency board members will soon be attending meetings with interested businesses alongside their director.

At Thursday's monthly board meeting in City Hall, AIDA Director Jody Zakrevsky told the board that the meetings with businesses are becoming much more frequent and he feels it would be best for the board "to take a more active role."

Zakrevsky said later in the meeting that it not only helps the businesses see that more people are interested in what they are hoping to do, but it also gives the board a better idea of what he does day to day.

During the meeting, which brought together a full table of members -- including new board member Michael Pepe -- the board gave its OK to committee assignments for the year, which included a Finance/Banking/Budget/Audit Committee, an Interagency Economic Development Committee, a Land and Buildings Committee, a Personnel/Governance Committee, and a Policy and Procedure Committee.

Prior to the committee appointments, board member Pat Baia expressed to his colleagues that his hope is to utilize the committees for more involvement.

"I'd like going forward to get the committees involved so we don't just have to hear news at these meetings," Baia said. "We can be involved at the committee level and help evolve some of these ideas or work with you (Zakrevsky) on some of these ideas."

As Zakrevsky gave his report to the board, his updates gave them a good look into the work continuing to expand with AIDA.

One of those updates was in regard to AIDA's building project on East Main Street at the former United Way building.

"One pipe in the building busted due to the cold weather two and half weeks ago, so we shut off the water," Zakrevsky said.

After getting authorization from the board, a company was authorized to rip out carpet and do some demolition on one of the floors, he said, and an asbestos project will soon be beginning, though it is still up in the air as to who will do the work for that.

As for what's to come for the building, Zakrevsky said, "We do have finalized bidding documents and final plans."

"We're planning on bidding phase one and phase two for a complete rehab of the entire project," he said. "We've got three contractors now who are interested in submitting proposals on it."

Among other updates, Zakrevsky informed the board on a new round of Consolidated Funding Applications.

"There's an extra $8 million that they're going to have a grant award on," he told them, adding that he has been working with a number of companies in Amsterdam who are interested in applying after seeing that other Amsterdam-based businesses were awarded some funding the last time around.

Companies have also come forward, he added, about being designated as an Empire Zone business.

One of the director's final notices to the board was about the possibility of getting a little bit of administrative help in the office, as there has been so much activity.

"I'd like to issue an RFP (Request For Proposal), not to award, just to see what comes back for assisting us with some of the grant administration and program delivery costs," Zakrevsky explained.

"That's a good idea," Baia responded.

Zakrevsky said it would free up some time for him and it's "always nice to have an outside firm" come in and look at what was done in the past to recognize changes that could be made.

But at this point, it is just to see who responds.

     

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