Overview

Bond has been engaged in public finance for more than 40 years and we are included in the "Red Book" (i.e. "The Bond Buyer's Municipal Marketplace") as nationally recognized bond counsel. Since January 1, 2013, we have issued approving opinions on more than $2.4 billion of note and bond issues.

Our attorneys are active members of the National Association of Bond Lawyers, have acted as panelists in seminars conducted by the National Association of Bond Lawyers and have participated in projects sponsored by the New York State Bar Association's Tax Section.

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Municipal Financing. We are bond counsel to cities, counties, towns and villages throughout upstate New York, including the Cities of Auburn, Rome, Troy and Utica, Greene County, Jefferson County, Rensselaer County, Town of Camillus, Town of Champlain, Town of Clifton Park, Town of Hannibal, Town of Henderson, Town of Sennett, Town of Springport, Village of Camillus, Village of Marcellus and Village of Pleasantville, among others. We handle traditional general obligation bond and note issues, as well as less traditional financing vehicles such as tax-exempt equipment leases, certificates of participation and tobacco bond issues. We also have extensive experience representing municipalities in financings through the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC) and the United States Department of Agricultural, Rural Development.

School District Financing. We are bond counsel for more than 20 New York School Districts, including Cato-Meridian, Jamesville-DeWitt, Marcellus, North Syracuse, Utica City, Oswego City, Valley Central, West Genesee and Westhill School Districts and several BOCES. Our bond counsel services include preparation of propositions and other authorizing proceedings, review of disclosure materials, preparation of financing documents, and issuance of our approving legal opinion on the financing. We have also represented our school district clients in financings of energy performance contracts and equipment leases, and in pooled financings through the New York State Dormitory Authority (DASNY). We also assisted school districts in refinancing outstanding bonds to adjust debt service payments to coincide with new building aid amortization rules of the State of New York.

College and University Financing. We have extensive experience as bond counsel or institution counsel in financings through local Industrial Development Agencies, Local Development Corporations and the New York State Dormitory Authority for college and university facilities. In recent years, we have been bond counsel in financings for Syracuse University, Utica College, Le Moyne College, Clarkson University, St. Lawrence University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). We have also served as institution counsel in connection with Dormitory Authority financings for Ithaca College, Hamilton College and Hartwick College.

Health Care Financing. We have been bond counsel or institution counsel in tax exempt bond financings for health care facilities involving a variety of credit structures, including obligated group financings using master trust indentures and financings secured by FHA mortgage insurance, letters of credit and municipal bond insurance. Representative clients include Community General Hospital of Greater Syracuse, Crouse Health Hospital, Albany Medical Center Hospital, Canton-Potsdam Hospital and Chenango Memorial Hospital.

Non-Profit Facility Financing. We have issued approving legal opinions for Industrial Development Agency civic facility bonds issued for many non-profit organizations in Upstate New York. For example, we were bond counsel in civic facility financings for Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute and Mohawk Valley Handicapped Services in Utica, Adirondack Historical Association (the Adirondack Museum), Potsdam Auxiliary and College Educational Services at SUNY Potsdam, the Museum of Science & Technology in Syracuse and the Arts Center of the Capital Region in Albany, among others.

Manufacturing and Other Exempt Facility Financing. We have served as bond counsel for a variety of bond issues on behalf of for-profit enterprises, including manufacturing facilities, solid waste disposal facilities and airport facilities, among others.

Public Authority Financing. We have been bond counsel to the Development Authority of the North Country since the Development Authority was established in 1985 to finance infrastructure improvements in connection with the expansion of Fort Drum. We have represented the Development Authority in financings of landfill, water pollution control and similar facilities pursuant to the Authority's Master Trust Indenture, including several current and advance refundings. We also have experience representing water authorities, solid waste management authorities and other public authorities issuing revenue bonds to finance public facilities.

Housing Finance. We are bond counsel to several local housing authorities, including the Syracuse Housing Authority, in connection with the financing of low and moderate income residential facilities. We also represent real estate developers in connection with housing projects financed with tax-exempt bonds, providing tax and business law services to developers.

Community College Residence Hall Projects. As counsel to Onondaga Community College (OCC), Bond was extensively involved in the development and financing of OCC's original residence halls in 2005 and OCC's newest residence halls scheduled to open in 2012. Our services included organizing and structuring a non-profit local development corporation to finance, own and operate the residence halls, serving as bond counsel and/or institution counsel in connection with several financing transactions and counseling OCC regarding a variety of legal matters regarding the residence hall development project.

Library Financing. Bond has substantial experience with tax-exempt bond financings for public library facilities. We have served as bond counsel and/or library counsel in connection with financings for the Salina Free Library, Oswego School District Public Library, Onondaga Free Library, Marcellus Free Library, Manlius Free Association Library and Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library District.

Bond's public finance practice provides a variety of services in addition to bond counsel and underwriter's counsel services in tax-exempt financing transactions. For example:

Sewer, Water and Other Special Improvement Districts. We have substantial experience representing our municipal clients in the formation of sewer districts, water districts and other special improvement districts. In recent years we have represented the Towns of Clifton Park, Hannibal, Henderson, Indian Lake, Sennett, Springport and Virgil, among others, in the formation or extension of special improvement districts.

Special Legislation and Other Services for Distressed Municipalities. As bond counsel to the City of Troy, we drafted special New York State legislation creating the Troy Municipal Assistance Corporation (Troy MAC). Troy MAC was central to the City's comprehensive plan to refinance and restructure its burdensome debt load. At the time, Troy had the lowest credit rating of any municipality in the State of New York and no ability to access credit markets to refinance maturing short-term obligations.

To help resolve Troy's financial difficulties, we developed special legislation designed to provide the City market access to refinance its maturing short-term obligations, to finance its accumulated deficits on a long-term basis, to provide independent financial oversight and to validate certain prior financings. We regularly met with legislative leaders in the Senate and Assembly, the Office of the New York State Comptroller and the municipal bond rating agencies to review draft legislation and to discuss the multitude of legal issues presented. The result was Chapter 187 of the Laws of 1995, which we were responsible for drafting.

Chapter 187 created only the second municipal assistance corporation in New York State history. The Troy MAC has authority to refinance City obligations, and provides market access for the City's future financing needs by creating an intercept of the City's state aid and local sales tax revenues for the benefit of bond and note holders. Since Troy MAC was created, we have, as the City's bond counsel, collaborated with Hawkins, Delafield & Wood, Troy MAC's bond counsel, on a number of financing transactions for Troy.

IDA Sale/Leaseback Transactions and PILOT Agreements. We have extensive experience in Industrial Development Agency sale/leaseback or "straight lease" transactions. In these transactions, IDAs provide sales tax, real property tax and mortgage recording tax exemptions for projects that do not involve the issuance of tax-exempt bonds. As bond counsel to the Oneida County and City of Utica Industrial Development Agencies, we represent these Agencies in all of their sale/leaseback transactions. We are also transaction counsel to the Oneida County Industrial Development Agency in connection with the redevelopment of the former Griffiss Air Force Base into a business and technology park.

We also represent businesses entering into sale/leaseback transactions with Industrial Development Agencies, and we have substantial experience negotiating and structuring payment in lieu of tax (PILOT) agreements for a wide variety of projects including large-scale wind farms, pipelines, distribution centers, hotels and other commercial and industrial facilities.

Empire Zones. Attorneys from our public finance, tax and government relations practices have been heavily involved in the New York State Empire Zone program. We represent municipalities establishing Empire Zones and businesses receiving tax credits and other benefits under this program.

Bond regularly serves as counsel to bond underwriters in public finance transactions. We have been underwriter's counsel in general obligation bond transactions as well as qualified 501(c)(3) bond, exempt facility and other types of bond issues involving many different credit structures. Representative clients include First Albany Corporation, George K. Baum & Company, Roosevelt & Cross, Jefferies & Company and RBC Capital Markets, among others.