Block grants will create jobs at Howe Caverns, elsewhere

State grants totaling $900,000 will help create at least 60 new jobs in Schoharie County.

State grants totaling $900,000 will help create at least 60 new jobs in Schoharie County.

Expansions at Howe Caverns, at Sharon Springs-based AMT Inc. as well as four efforts in Albany County are among 15 projects sharing in $4.2 million from the Community Development Block Grant program, according to the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Howe Caverns this summer opened up its new Howe High Adventures feature with a four-tower zip line and multilevel ropes course as part of a multiphase expansion plan.

A total of $750,000 in federally funded CDBG money will be put toward infrastructure improvements including site work and buying equipment for the Dinosaur Canyon, a future addition expected to boost the site’s annual draw of 170,000 tourists.

Howe Caverns will be putting $1.5 million into the effort to create an attraction featuring lifelike automated dinosaurs. An RV park is also part of the future phases.

Howe Caverns general manager Robert Holt said Tuesday he hadn’t heard confirmation the grant funding was approved.

Cobleskill Town Supervisor Tom Murray said the money will go a long way toward helping to boost Howe Caverns’ economic impact in the town and county.

He said he has already noticed more people coming into the community following the opening of Howe High Adventures.

“I think it’s wonderful because it’s going to give [Howe Caverns] a leg up in getting this infrastructure up this winter,” Murray said. The town is applying for more than $2 million in federal funding in hopes of expanding town water and sewer services to the site, he said.

According to the announcement, Howe Caverns expects to create 50 new full-time jobs.

Ten new positions are expected from a $150,000 grant for AMT in Sharon Springs, according to the governor’s office.

The company manufactures precision castings, like molds, for the computer, aerospace, automotive, medical and other industries, according to its Web site. State grant funding will go toward machinery and equipment and lead to 10 new jobs within two years, according to the state.

Also announced this week is project funding for job-creating efforts in Albany County as follows:

Bethlehem: $516,000 for expansion at Owens Corning Insulating Systems to create 93 new jobs.

Watervliet: $105,000 for expansion at Wicked Smart LLC, to create seven new jobs and retain 10 positions; $50,000 for L&M Family Properties, to renovate McIntyre’s Restaurant and create two new jobs; and $200,000 for a microenterprise grant program.

Categories: Business, Schenectady County

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