CARS HOMES JOBS

State funds urged for projects big and small in Mohawk Valley

Priorities range from family firm to huge nanocenter

Sunday, September 29, 2013
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Projects that would bring guests to the Mohawk River, more food to New York City-bound residents and jobs to the region are being pitched to the state as ideal candidates for funding.

The Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council recently identified 37 business plans as priority projects for the region, which includes Fulton, Herkimer, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego and Schoharie counties.

The Mohawk Valley is one of 10 regions that will be pitching projects in hopes of securing state economic development funding. Announcements are expected in November or December.

In total, the council is recommending the state invest $25 million into $1,765,419,596 worth of development projects that are estimated to retain or create 1,832 positions — not including another 95 construction positions.

The totals include major development projects, including the development of a $1.5 billion Marcy Nanocenter in Oneida County.

One of the projects being proposed would help out a family in Fort Plain that’s struggling to overcome its second major natural disaster.

The MVEDC is hoping the state will put $10,000 into the development of a distillery called Erie Canal Distillers, a project estimated to cost $184,700. One of the project’s principals, contacted Friday by the Daily Gazette, declined to comment while the firm awaits word from the federal government on labeling and other elements of the distillery process. But he is optimistic it’ll soon be producing, distributing and creating 15 jobs.

A new campground in western Montgomery County is another project getting the support of the council, which is asking the state to put $200,000 into the $1.5 million effort to develop a new camping and recreational site not far from the St. Johnsville Marina and Campsite.

“That marina’s been very successful,” said Montgomery County Economic Development director Ken Rose, who said he believes there’s good prospects for drawing more tourists to the riverside in addition to the creation of 20 jobs it would generate.

Not all to be funded

Not all projects will get funded, and some that do won’t get what they’re asking for.

But Rose said since the regional economic council process began with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, he believes the county has seen benefits.

“Every project that we’ve promoted and we’ve submitted that we really wanted to see happen, it’s been funded at some level. We really can’t complain at all in relation to what we’ve received in funding for projects,” Rose said.

Corbin Hill Farm, an effort that’s bringing fresh produce from Schoharie County down to low-income people in New York City is another priority project for which the council is seeking $180,000 for a $1.8 million expansion.

The Corbin Hill Food Project seeks to build a permanent facility where produce from Schoharie County’s farms earmarked for delivery downstate can be gathered. The produce goes to the Bronx and Harlem. When it started, there were four farmers and now there are 19. Expansion will be limited without a new facility, according to the council.

Schoharie County economic developer Sara Blood said the project received $475,000 during the last round of funding and that helped several farms grow so they could participate.

“A number of them are farms that needed to grow and expand because of the Corbin Hill Food Project,” Blood said.

“This is helping to serve those families in the city that are located in what are, in essence, a food desert … they don’t have access to fresh produce,” Blood said.

A priority project in the city of Amsterdam aims to assist in the development of Deer Run at the River Ridge Living Center.

The $20.7 million project seeks $1.57 million in funding to help build senior housing units to serve 120 more senior residents.

A successful project there would create between 70 and 80 positions, according to the council.

“That’s huge for us,” Amsterdam Mayor Ann Thane said.

“Seventy-five new, permanent jobs. It’s construction jobs, it’s property tax and utilities. This all will benefit the city of Amsterdam,” Thane said.

Other proposals

Other projects being proposed for state funding by the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council in Montgomery County include:

Amsterdam-based Mohawk Lifts seeks to build a new facility to fabricate lifting equipment for vehicles it manufactures. The $3.1 million project seeks $180,000 in state funding and nine jobs would be created or retained under the project.

Giant Solutions of Amsterdam, a telecommunications and computer technology firm, seeks $40,000 for a $158,225 purchase of equipment and gear for work the company does for wireless companies including Verizon Wireless, Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile.

 The Best Value hotel at 10 Market Street would spend $5.8 million with the help of $900,000 in state funding to create a Hampton Inn hotel, adding an indoor pool and water slide and an additional 25 jobs.

People can find more information about the Mohawk Valley Economic Development Council’s plans online at http://regionalcouncils.ny.gov/content/mohawk-valley.

 
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