Meeting of Build Baton Rouge Board of Commissioners
Minutes June 18, 2020 9:00 AM Zoom Conference Call
MEETING CALLED BY: Rodney Braxton
TYPE OF MEETING: Build Baton Rouge (BBR) Board of Commissioners – Regular Meeting
NOTE TAKER: Tara Titone
ATTENDEES Attending Board Members: Rodney Braxton, Chairman; Brian Haymon, Vice Chairman; Susan Turner, Treasurer; Theodore Major, Secretary; Charles Landry
Also Attending: Christopher Tyson, BBR CEO; Tara Titone, BBR COO; Matthew Johnson, BBR Staff Attorney; Rebekah Strickland, BBR Administrative Assistant; Heather LeBlanc, V. Graham (BBR CFO); Amanda Spain, Baker Donelson; Timothy Boone, The Advocate; Phillip Lillard, EBR Resident
CALL TO ORDER: RODNEY BRAXTON
DISCUSSION: The meeting was called to order by Mr. Braxton at 9:00 AM
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: RODNEY BRAXTON
DISCUSSION: The board reviewed the minutes from the May 21, 2020 meeting.
ACTION: Mr. Landry made a motion to approve the minutes. Mrs. Turner seconded the motion. The May 21, 2020 minutes were approved unanimously.
FINANCIAL REPORT: CHRISTOPHER TYSON
DISCUSSION: Mr. Tyson presented the board with the YTD Profit and Loss Actual vs. Budget, Program Statement of Activity, and Monthly Cash Flow Projections for the period ended May 31, 2020. There is money outstanding from City Parish on the reimbursable OCD grant. BBR grants staff is currently working on submitting the reimbursements to the City and BBR expects a quick turnaround in payment.
CEO UPDATE: CHRISTOPHER TYSON
DISCUSSION: Administration: Mr. Tyson reported that the name change bill to allow the agency to use ‘Build Baton Rouge’ as a trade name has reached the Governor’s desk and will be signed soon. Mr. Tyson extended his thanks to Mr. Braxton for following the bill through the legislature.
Funding: Mr. Tyson reminded the Board that BBR was a JP Morgan Chase Pro Neighborhoods grant recipient in 2018 for the creation of the Plank Rd. Master Plan. BBR has since been invited to apply for a JP Morgan Chase Advancing Cities initiative grant. BBR is applying for a $5 million neighborhood grant, to be applied over three years, to address Plank Road Master Plan implementation. Project partners incude Metromorphosis, TruFund, and the Co-City team. BBR and partners have reached the final stages of application review with JP Morgan Chase, and the final grant submission is due next week.
The 2021 budget request to the City Parish is due June 30th. The documents were just received from City, and Mr. Tyson and Ms. Titone will prepare the request. Last year BBR requested $880,000 as a standstill budget. BBR anticipates requesting approximately $1,000,000 to fund its 2021 operations.
BBR will appear before the LA State Bond Commission at their July meeting to approve the CAFA line of credit.
Ardendale: The HUD-required environmental clearance for the transfer to land to the Housing Authority is almost complete. This will allow for the first phase of housing to be constructed as part of the HUD-awarded Choice Neighborhoods grant.
Plank Road: Yesterday , the EBR Metro Council approved the final rezoning request for the Plank-Calumet development. Mr. Tyson continues work on assembling financing to bring the deal to fruition.
RESOLUTION ADOPTION: CHRISTOPHER TYSON
DISCUSSION: Mr. Tyson asked for the adoption of an updated General Empowering Resolution for the Authority, naming Mr. Tyson as the President and CEO.
ACTION: Mr. Landry moved adoption of the resolution to adopt the updated General Empowering Resolution, naming Mr. Tyson as the President and CEO. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Turner, and was approved unanimously.
DISCUSSION: Mr. Tyson asked for the approval of a resolution to authorize, empower and direct Mr. Tyson, President and CEO of the Authority, to execute a MOU with CAFA for a line of credit, in an amount not to exceed EIGHT HUNDRED SIXTY-FIVE THOUSAND AND NO/100 DOLLARS ($865,000.00), from which funds may be drawn by the Authority for the purchase, new construction, and/or rehabilitation of immovable property.
ACTION: Mr. Landry moved adoption of the resolution to authorize Mr. Tyson to execute a MOU with CAFA for a line of credit, subject to approval of the LA State Bond Commission. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Turner, and was approved unanimously.
NEW BUSINESS: RODNEY BRAXTON
DISCUSSION: Mr. Tyson shared, that in a letter dated June 11, BBR received an open meetings complaint from the Office of the Attorney General. The Attorney General stated it will not take any action but recommends that BBR reviews its agenda for more specificity. Mr. Tyson will share the letter and BBR’s response with Board.
Mr. Braxton asked for an update on the Roof Reset program. Mr. Tyson said that the program as been on a hiatus posed by COVID-related impacts. BBR is currently assessing, on a case by case basis, the comfort level of contractors and homeowners to enter into homes for repair. This has, in effect, slowed up the expenditure of HUD dollars, and BBR has kept HUD abreast of the delays in their monthly meeting update calls. Mr. Tyson explained that this is something HUD is currently experiencing around the country.
PUBLIC COMMENT: RODNEY BRAXTON
DISCUSSION: Ms. Titone read around an email email received from Mr. Phillip Lillard on 6/11/20.
“Dear Commission Members: Related to Agenda Items V and VI as follows: V. Update to General Empowering Resolution Action Item: Adopt General Empowering Resolution for the CEO VI. New Business Again I do not believe there is adequate information included on the meeting Agenda for me to study the issues or know what the issues are prior to the actual meeting. Even the “action item” does not include any detail of what the general empowering resolution for the CEO includes. Also Item VI does not even state if there is any new business or not, and if there is any new business, what the new business consists of. Because of the lack of information on Item V, I have to advise I am against Item V.”
Mr. Landry said he appreciates Mr. Lillard’s interest and desire to know more. He would like to strongly urge Mr. Lillard to contact the CEO and make specific requests that the CEO and Board Chairman can address. Mr. Landry said he believes the information provided on the agenda regarding the resolution adoption is adequate for public notice, and that it is unnecessary to get into the specifics regarding the conventional authority inherently given to the President and CEO per the statute and bylaws. The Board agreed that the purpose of “New Business” on any agenda is to allow someone to inquire about something not already included on the agenda.
ADJOURNMENT TO EXECUTIVE SESSION: RODNEY BRAXTON
DISCUSSION: Mr. Braxton adjourned the public meeting at 9:29 AM to enter into Executive Session to discuss Real Estate Transactions.
ACTION: Mr. Landry made a motion to enter into Executive Session. Mrs. Turner seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously, and the Board moved into Executive Session at 9:29 AM. A motion was made by Mr. Major to adjourn Executive Session. Mrs. Turner seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously, and the Board moved out of Executive Session at 10:28 AM.
ADJOURNMENT: RODNEY BRAXTON
DISCUSSION: Mr. Braxton reported that no action was taken in Executive Session. Mr. Braxton adjourned the meeting at 10:32 AM.