County cuts mean changes for AIDA, too

Budget cuts in Montgomery County will trickle down and be felt at the Amsterdam Industrial Develo

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Categories: Schenectady County

Budget cuts in Montgomery County will trickle down and be felt at the Amsterdam Industrial Development Agency as well, thanks to cooperative efforts between the two development promotional entities.

The county’s Economic Opportunity and Development Department will lose two staff members and about 25 percent of its budget in 2011.

The department is also assuming tourism promotion tasks pulled from the Chamber of Commerce as a cost-cutting measure, said its director, Ken Rose, so it will no longer be able to handle administrative duties for AIDA.

With the financial benefits of consolidation in mind, AIDA signed a $35,000 agreement and the county department started coordinating AIDA’s work and meetings in August.

“We saw it as the first step in consolidation … obviously this will be a slight step backward for now,” Rose said.

There were some accomplishments at AIDA during the five-month period, including two loan closings under the Jobs for Amsterdam program.

Rose said staff also rewrote application guidelines for the loan program and straightened out schedules for Payment in Lieu of Taxes agreements.

AIDA board Chairman Daniel DeRossi on Monday said reductions in the county development department will be felt countywide because economic development anywhere in the county impacts everybody.

“It was a win-win situation,” DeRossi said of the arrangement.

In the absence of any changes at the county level, DeRossi said it’s likely AIDA will have to hire a director to coordinate loan programs and development efforts.

“There’s a lot of people that want to come down to Amsterdam and we have to be open and find places for them,” DeRossi said.

He said he doesn’t expect any decisions regarding AIDA administrative leadership until after the start of the new year.

Amsterdam Mayor Ann Thane said she is meeting with county officials later this week to discuss the city’s options.

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