Wednesday, January 21 2015
HORSHAM LAND REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
WEDNESDAY • January 21, 2015 • 3:33 PM
W. William Whiteside, III, Chair
Joanna M. Furia, Vice Chair
Dr. Curtis Griffin
Michael J. McGee
Mary Eberle, Esquire
Chairman Whiteside called the meeting to order at 3:33 p.m. in the Horsham Township Building at 1025 Horsham Road, Horsham PA 19044 and led those in attendance in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag.
Mr. Whiteside started the meeting by asking if there were any questions or comments from the public, there were none.
Mr. Whiteside asked for the will of the board regarding the Election of Officers for 2015. It was moved by Mr. McCouch, seconded by Dr. Griffin to nominate W. Winston Whiteside as Chair, Joanna Furia for Vice-Chair and William Walker as Secretary/ Treasurer for 2015. All voted in favor, motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Whiteside asked for the will of the Board regarding minutes of the HLRA meeting on October 15, 2014. It was moved by Mr. McCouch, second by Dr. Griffin to approve the minutes for the October 15,2014 HLRA meeting. All voted in favor, motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Whiteside asked Mr. McGee for the Executive Director’s Report. Mr. McGee noted that the Board had been busy over the past several months reviewing the extensive amount of information relating to the master developer proposals.
Mr. McGee updated the Board that the Navy has slipped again in the schedule for the transfer of land to the HLRA. Mr. McGee advised the Board they should not begin negotiating prices for 862 acres until the EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) is complete. The HLRA had hoped to have 862 acres of land transferred in early 2015 but due to the EPA’s findings of perfluorinated chemicals in the groundwater on the base and in the surrounding areas, the transfer is now delayed to late 2015 or early 2016, instead of late 2014 or early 2015. The reasons for the slippage include on-going revisions to the draft EIS document and changes in leadership positions within the Navy’s chain of command. At a recent meeting with the Navy, they stated that they are hopeful that the EIS will be completed by the summer of 2015.
Mr. McGee noted that even though the Navy has slipped in their proceedings that the HLRA Board still has many items to accomplish before the transfer of land. The list involves selecting a master developer, negotiating an Exclusive Negotiation Agreement and a Master Development Agreement with the chosen Master Developer and negotiations with the Navy concerning the purchase of the land.
Mrs. Eberle clarified that the selection of a master developer only meant that the Board would begin negotiations on an Exclusive Negotiation Agreement relating to providing assistance in negotiations with the Navy and may lead to resolving the details of master development agreement.
Mr. McGee noted that the Board had reviewed submissions from eleven firms and after interviewing each, the Board shortened the list to four (4) Master Developers. Mr. McGee asked the board to consider choosing a Master Developer at today’s meeting or in the near feature. Choosing the Master Developer would be the correct step for the HLRA to take to be immediately prepared for redevelopment of NAS-JRB as soon as the Navy completed the proper steps to transfer the land. He reminded the public that the master developer selection was part of a real estate transaction and the details of the proposals were not currently available to the general public. The proposals contain elements of pricing proposals and strategy and would only be available after the property transfer deal is completed with the Navy.
Mr. Whiteside thanked the Board members for attending all of the briefing and visits to various developer sites. He also thanked the HLRA staff for all the time and effort involved in the process. He noted that all eleven firms had submitted excellent responses and the final four firms were all highly qualified. He asked the other Board members for their comments.
Mr. Donnelly stated that all the four proposals were excellent and were very detailed but now was the time to move on with a decision. He moved that the Board direct the HLRA staff and attorneys to prepare an Exclusive Negotiation Agreement for Master Development Services with Catellus Development Corporation.
Mr. McCouch agreed with the decision to move forward. He stated that the four firms did a fantastic job in their proposals and he looks forward to putting together the best possible plan. He thought that Catellus stood out from the other firms and had demonstrated to him that they were very capable. He is comfortable with the Catellus team and with the decision.
Dr. Griffin concurred with the others; his review focused on a critical aspect: Catellus’ ability to finance the redevelopment over the long term. He believed that Catellus had demonstrated a strategy to go out to the national market looking for a corporation or organization to relocate to the Horsham area. Dr. Griffin seconded the motion.
Ms. Furia commented that the process of redeveloping the former base was long and arduous; today’s decision was the next step in the process. Taken carefully, these steps will allow Horsham to end up in the right place. The physical size of the project will dramatically shape the future of the community. Selecting Catellus as a “partner” is appropriate at this time and she is prepared to make a decision at this time.
Mr. McGee noted that the Navy will retain ownership of the environmental liabilities on the base (per the BRAC law) and the US Department of Defense (DOD) is providing financial assistance through the grants received by the HLRA.
At the conclusion of the Board’s comments, Mr. Whiteside called for a vote. All voted in favor, Motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Whiteside asked for the Solicitor’s Report. Mrs. Eberle noted that she had been working diligently to support the Board by reviewing all the materials submitted thus far in getting to this point in the process.
Mr. Whiteside asked for the will of the Board regarding the list of checks. It was moved by Mr. McCouch, seconded by Ms. Furia, to approve the list of checks in the amount of $130,512.44. All in favor, motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Whiteside indicated the next item on the agenda was the approval of the meeting schedule for 2015. Ms. Furia moved to approve the HLRA meeting schedule as presented and for the meetings to remain on the third Wednesday of every month at 3:30pm in Horsham Township Council Chambers. The move was seconded by Mr. McCouch. All voted in favor, motion passed unanimously.
The proposal for auditing services for the year end December 31, 2014 was next discussed. It was moved by Mr. McCouch, seconded by Mr. Donnelly, to approve the proposal from Maille, LLP to provide audit services for the 2014 year. All voted in favor, motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Whiteside announced that the next Horsham Land Redevelopment Authority meeting would be on February 18, 2015 at 3:30 p.m. in the Horsham Township Municipal Building. There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 3:55pm.
William T. Walker