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Councilman Mark Hennessey appointed to IDA

In a relatively brief meeting Wednesday, Feb. 10, the Bethlehem Town Board voted 4-0 to appoint Councilman Mark Hennessey to the Bethlehem Industrial Development Agency.

He will take the place of Supervisor Sam Messina, who said he's decided to resign his seat but will remain on as a nonvoting member.

Hennessey abstained from the vote.

The Bethlehem IDA is aimed at attracting business to the Bethlehem area through financial assistance and other incentives.

Hennessey worked for two years in the state Assembly Local Governments Committee, which oversees such IDAs statewide. He said he plans to bring that experience to the table in Bethlehem to hopefully expand the town's commercial business tax base by providing some good, clean economic development to the town.

He said the IDA should look to small, local startup business in addition to considering larger, national companies for placement in town.

Hennessey works in the Medicaid Inspector General's Office.

The next IDA meeting is Monday, March 22, at 8 a.m. at Bethlehem Town Hall.

In other business:

-Former Zoning Board of Appeals Chairman Michael Hodom was recognized for his 20 years on the ZBA, including 16 as its chairman. Supervisor Sam Messina presented him with a formal resolution.

"You have done a great job and been a credit to our community," Messina said.

Hodom received a standing ovation from the audience.

-The Town Board voted 4-0 to authorize the supervisor to sign an Administrative Services Contract between the town and IDA for the year 2010. Hennessey abstained, citing his position on the IDA.

The contract stipulates the IDA reimburse the town for what services it uses while conducting business at Town Hall, where the entity is headquartered and meets. The projected payment for 2010 is $50,000, according to Town Comptroller Suzanne Traylor.

-The board voted 4-1 to renew the agreement with the City of Albany to set the 2010 tipping fee for use of the Rapp Road landfill. Councilman Hennessey dissented, and later said he did so because he has reservations about the proposed expansion of the landfill.

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