Bond has a long history of representing municipalities in New York State with an array of services to meet their varied and sophisticated needs.

Our public sector roster includes over 300 municipalities, including villages, towns, cities and counties as well as other public sector entities, such as public benefit corporations and numerous public authorities – housing, industrial and special districts. 

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Bond's administrative law, zoning and planning experience on behalf of municipalities includes subdivision applications and approvals, zoning legislation, variances, special permits and like matters involving towns, villages, cities and counties. Public hearings on various subjects are frequent and, from time to time, court proceedings are required. The firm represents municipalities, including municipal boards (planning and zoning boards), applicants/developers and community groups on planning and zoning issues.

On local planning and zoning issues, we represent clients in the review of applications for variances, subdivision and site plan approval, special use permits and applications for zoning changes. We also advise on all aspects of compliance with the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) and with other state and federal laws affecting local land use decisions such as the Historic Preservation Act, Wetlands Acts and the Federal Telecommunications Act. Our advice encompasses the proper use of mitigation fees and permissible project conditions. The firm also represents clients in judicial challenges to any administrative decision (typically, Article 78).

In addition to representation or and before municipal boards, attorneys from the firm represent clients before state and federal agencies such as the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Army Corps of Engineers. The firm is skilled in all aspects of administrative law practice and has extensive experience in appearance in formal adjudicatory hearings before these bodies. The firm also advises municipalities on the development and implementation of plans and public works projects including landfills, and water and wastewater treatment plants. Our attorneys address all aspects of municipal infrastructure project development and review, including applications for state and federal environmental permits, establishment of improvement districts and the adoption of needed local laws such sewer use laws. The firm was recently selected by the DEC to draft a guidance document on all legal aspects of financing the new MS4 requirements for municipal storm water systems.

Attorneys from the firm have also represented municipalities and private clients in the redevelopment of contaminated property, known as "brownfields." These projects use the both the firm's experience in land use and in environmental cleanup matters. Attorneys in this area work closely with attorneys in the following practices: environmental, public finance, government relations, litigation and real estate development and construction. 

Bond has represented the City of Syracuse, Department of Aviation since 1995, in connection with its proposed siting of a new 7,500-foot runway at Syracuse Hancock International Airport, and in connection with the proposed expansion of an existing runway. Both projects were subject to environmental impact reviews under SEQRA and NEPA. Bond has provided regulatory compliance counsel to the Department of Aviation in connection with storm water discharges and petroleum and chemical bulk storage. We have also counseled the Department of Aviation on SEQRA compliance for various construction projects for airport improvements. Bond has also assisted the Department of Aviation in obtaining funding from the Department of the Army to remove from Airport property equipment used during former military operations. In addition, Bond has been representing the City of Naples Airport Authority since 2002 in regard to its landmark ban of noisier Stage 2 jets.

Bond has acted as bond counsel to municipalities and school districts for more than 30 years. We are listed in the "Red Book" directory of nationally recognized bond counsel. Since January 1, 2008, we have issued approving opinions on more than $2.4 billion of note and bond issues. We are bond counsel for more than 50 New York municipalities and school districts, and also serve as bond counsel or transaction counsel for numerous industrial development agencies and other public benefit corporations.

In addition to traditional general obligation bond and note issues, we have also served as bond counsel for less traditional financing vehicles such as tax-exempt equipment leases, certificates of participation, tobacco bond issues, energy performance contracts, "63-20" financings and PILOT increment financings. We have extensive experience with financings through the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY), the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC) and the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development. Our public finance attorneys also represent municipalities in the formation or extension of sewer, water and other special improvement districts and in New York State Empire Zone matters.

We also counsel our municipal clients regarding the tax law requirements for municipal bonds and notes, such as private business use limitations and arbitrage rebate requirements. Our services include preparing post-issuance compliance policies and counseling clients on tax questions arising after bonds are issued, to help clients maintain the tax-exempt status of their bonds.

Our real estate development and construction practice serves all facets of the construction industry, but our practice is focused on legal services to owners of construction projects. Over the past five years, we have provided construction law services to a client base that includes more than 20 school districts and municipalities as construction owners.

Our services to school districts and municipalities commence with the negotiation of an agreement with the architect, engineer, or other design professional. We provide legal counsel on the competitive bidding statutes and regulations under which public owners procure construction services on public works projects. We understand the legal framework within which irresponsible bidders may be disqualified.

We participate in the negotiation and execution of construction contracts and other contract documents necessary for projects to proceed in a timely manner and within cost estimates. When disputes arise, we counsel our clients on negotiation strategies, and we prosecute litigation, arbitration, other forms of dispute resolution, and surety bond claims, as required.

Bond has considerable experience in counseling firm clients, including municipal clients, about legal obligations that can arise in connection with the purchase, sale, production and distribution of energy under New York State and federal laws and regulations. Our attorneys have recently worked on matters involving the siting of new electric generating facilities, electric and natural gas transmission facilities, negotiation of electricity, steam and natural gas purchase agreements, pipeline construction proposals and environmental compliance reviews associated with energy projects.

We have negotiated energy performance contracts for municipalities in New York State under Article 9 of the New York Energy Law. We also regularly provide advice regarding market and tariff analysis, power purchase agreements and related government approvals. Municipalities in New York State are increasingly considering whether to construct electrical generating facilities in an effort to serve load pockets and/or address electricity costs, and we provide strategic counsel regarding those issues.

Where applicable, we have worked with clients to identify and utilize beneficial governmental programs, including those offered by the New York State Energy Research Development Authority (NYSERDA). Our energy attorneys practice extensively before the New York State Public Service Commission, and have excellent governmental contacts that serve to benefit our municipal and school district clients. We would be pleased to meet with your municipality or school district to discuss energy issues of concern to you.

Our environmental law practice regularly assists municipalities and school districts to resolve environmental issues arising under local, state and federal environmental laws and regulations.

Regulatory Compliance. From the regulatory compliance perspective, we have experience in every New York State and federal environmental program. Our attorneys are proficient in all aspects of permitting and compliance under air quality, water quality, wetlands, hazardous and industrial waste management, storage tank, emergency planning and toxic substance programs, among others. Our permitting and regulatory compliance experience extends to successful representation of clients in proceedings before state and federal regulatory agencies, including the NY DEC, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers.

We have assisted municipalities and school districts to address legal requirements associated with site development initiatives, such as permit modification, historic preservation and SEQRA procedures applicable to facility construction and expansion. In the event of a release of petroleum or hazardous substance, our attorneys assist clients to comply with reporting requirements, and help implement any necessary investigation and remediation activities.

In addition, we have extensive experience in connection with the redevelopment of brownfield sites and have represented municipalities under the Brownfield Cleanup Program and the Voluntary Cleanup Program. We regularly provide advice on the legal and financial structure of brownfield redevelopment projects, and have provided counsel to Empire State Development under the ReBuild Now-NY program.

Environmental Enforcement and Litigation. Our environmental attorneys have represented clients in numerous administrative enforcement proceedings brought by the DEC and EPA, as well as other agencies. In these enforcement proceedings, our attorneys work to eliminate or mitigate monetary penalties that might otherwise be imposed, and to negotiate favorable terms in consent orders or settlement documents. They have an intimate understanding of New York State and federal penalty policies and procedures, and use their knowledge and experience of the enforcement process to secure favorable results for each client.

As appropriate, attorneys in our environmental law practice have also represented clients in environmental litigation in New York State and federal court, including SEQRA litigation. Environmental litigation is complex and the lawyer must understand the procedural rules that are particular to litigation, as well as the environmental laws and regulations forming the basis of a claim, and prepare technical and scientific arguments that are critical to the case. Our attorneys are well-versed in all of these areas.

As a result of our experience and involvement, our attorneys are well known and respected by state and federal regulatory representatives, both at the regional and headquarters level. Our environmental attorneys will be pleased to assist in the resolution of your legal concerns.

Our firm has represented clients, including municipalities, before the New York State Legislature, the Executive branch and all state agencies for over seventy-five years. We have drafted and shepherded through the legislature special legislation needed by municipalities in connection with water districts, bond issues and other special needs. We have represented clients in qualifying for Empire Zone benefits and brownfield benefits. We routinely appear on behalf of clients in administrative and regulatory matters before most state agencies including the DEC; Department of Labor; Department of Transportation; and Department of Taxation and Finance. 

The firm's labor and employment practice encompasses a full range of services. For clients with unionized workforces, this includes collective bargaining, labor arbitration and representation before the National Labor Relations Board (or the appropriate Public or State Labor Relations Board) in both unfair labor practice and representation matters. In each of these areas, as well as all others, the array of our services varies in accordance with client needs. For example, for many clients involved in collective bargaining, one of our attorneys is present at the bargaining table and serves as chief spokesperson; for others we are present during negotiations as a resource, but not as a chief negotiator; for still others we counsel behind the scenes, draft proposals, cost proposals and work with the management team to formulate a cohesive and effective bargaining strategy.

For non-unionized clients, our attorneys provide assistance in the preparation and/or review of employee handbooks and personnel policies, including counseling on employee screening and testing, supervisory training and advice in responding to union organizing campaigns.

Our practice not only deals with traditional areas of labor law, but also with the full range of equal employment litigation matters. This practice includes state and federal court representation of employers in breach of contract, employment-at-will and other employment-related claims. It also includes representation of employers before state and federal administrative agencies and courts involving claims of employment discrimination (e.g., race, sex, sexual harassment, age and disability discrimination). We also assist clients in the preparation of affirmative action plans and programs and provide representation during OFCCP audits and investigations.

Finally, our attorneys are experienced in the full range of other labor problems likely to be encountered by any employer, including state and federal wage/hour matters, OSHA investigations and hearings, state and federal veterans reemployment rights matters and ERISA matters.

The firm's litigation department has represented municipalities in a wide range of matters in both state and federal courts. The firm has defended municipalities in numerous Article 78 proceedings. Our trial attorneys also have experience in defending breach of contract and other claims, including construction disputes regarding municipalities. We have represented municipalities and their employees in Section 1983 and other civil rights actions in federal and state courts. We have handled disputes between municipalities and other governmental entities. Our litigation attorneys have represented school districts in various litigated matters, including issues regarding special education and the Individuals With Disabilities in Education Act, Section 1983 actions against school districts and their employees and construction and other breach of contract matters for school districts.

We have substantial experience with municipal dissolution and the variety of legal issues that arise in the planning and implementation of municipal dissolution and consolidation. We were counsel to the Village of Seneca Falls, reportedly the largest village to dissolve in New York State history, throughout its three year dissolution process. Attorneys from our municipalities practice are also experienced with shared municipal services, intermunicipal agreements and other methods of achieving local government efficiencies, as an alternative to municipal consolidation or dissolution.

Each of these areas of practice requires a detailed understanding of the methodologies used to determine the fair market value of real property. In the area of condemnation-appropriation, the practice also involves a review of the legality of the taking process, advice to condemnors on procedures to follow and negotiations with affected parties to resolve issues prior to litigation. In the area of real property taxation, the firm has done substantial work across the state on behalf of property owners and municipalities, addressing a variety of valuation issues associated with all types of property. We have had substantial contact with real estate appraisers, engineering valuation consultants, assessors, boards of assessment review, judicial hearing officers and the courts regarding a multitude of property valuation challenges. Our valuation proceedings experience covers land, private residences, seasonal resorts, domed stadia, private lakes and lodges, supermarkets, minimarts, commercial businesses, and a wide variety of industrial and manufacturing facilities including utilities. We are also asked to advise both municipal and corporate clients regarding PILOT negotiations and the tax implications thereof.

Our firm provides legal services to over 65 school districts throughout the state. Our school law services include preparation and review of Board policies, resolutions and legal notices; assistance with Board elections, budget votes and propositions; handling of FOIL and Open Meetings Law issues; representation before the Commissioner of Education, U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and other administrative agencies and in state and federal court; representation in student disciplinary proceedings and related appeals; advice and representation in FERPA matters; advice and representation in residency matters, home school matters, transportation matters and equal access matters; compliance assistance under IDEA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the ADA and state law and regulations concerning students with disabilities, as well as representation at impartial hearings and appeals to the State Review Officer; and representation in the full-range of labor and employment law matters, environmental matters, construction matters and bonding/financing matters.

Though not necessarily carried out on behalf of municipal or school district clients, the following large projects may be of interest to municipalities and school districts in terms of the scope of our experience. Other projects include coordination with state and local development agencies.

  • Construction of new and expansion of existing manufacturing facilities
  • Construction and development of major hotels, shopping centers and enclosed malls, commercial offices, warehouses, parking garages and condominium conversion of office buildings
  • The selection of suitable industrial plant sites
  • Advice regarding tax and business incentives available from state and local agencies
  • Negotiation of real estate tax or pilot agreements
  • Negotiation of water supply and waste disposal services with local governments
  • Preparation of special legislation
  • Negotiation of agreements for highway improvements and railroad sidings
  • Zone change applications
  • Condominium conversion registration documents