Mohawk Valley development plan includes several local projects

Economic developers are seeking funding for an $18 million project in Montgomery County as part of t

Economic developers are seeking funding for an $18 million project in Montgomery County as part of the new Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council’s strategic plan.

The council, representing Fulton, Montgomery, Schoharie, Herkimer, Oneida and Otsego counties, identifies 13 “priority projects” which, if supported with $63.5 million in state funding requested, could generate an estimated $484 million in investment.

The Mohawk Valley council is one of 10 statewide vying for a $40 million pot of money based on the plans submitted by the state’s deadline this week.

Considered important, locally, for state economic development funds are a $100 million expansion at yogurt maker Fage USA in Johnstown; assistance bringing a brewery to the former Guilford Mills site in Cobleskill; and an effort to attract a footwear assembly company looking to invest more than $25.8 million in Montgomery County.

Also eyed for Montgomery County is an initiative dubbed “Project Snax” — an expansion of an as-yet unnamed, existing wholesale distribution business that’s looking to build another facility on the state Route 5S corridor that’s drawn investment in new sites from companies like Beech-Nut, Target and Amsterdam-based Hill & Markes.

With a total investment estimated at $18 million, the expansion across from the Florida Business Park west of Amsterdam would require a new access road connecting a 40-acre parcel to Route 5S.

The road would serve a new 126,000 square-foot facility and create 25 new jobs, according to the 217-page strategic plan.

Montgomery County economic development director Ken Rose on Tuesday said the council’s plan appears to lean heavily toward the western part of the Mohawk Valley region, in terms of requests for large investments. The council placed a high priority on a goal to build a 120,000 square-foot facility to house the SUNY Institute of Technology–College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering Computer Chip Integration and Commercialization Center in Marcy, Oneida County, with a request for $4.6 million.

Though there’s competition among the different regions for the bigger pot of economic development money, Rose said the projects named for Montgomery County hold potential regardless of the outcome of the state’s review of plans.

“They’re viable projects, and obviously, they’re very important to the local economy,” Rose said.

Many of the plans, he said, include a request to establish small business loan funds to make money available for opportunities that might arise. The Mohawk Valley regional strategy also focuses on infrastructure, with requests for spending on sewer and water systems in Amsterdam and Cobleskill.

Increasing broadband Internet access in Schoharie and Otsego counties are named as part of longer-term goals over the five-year time period the plan covers.

The council’s pitch highlights five strategies aimed at boosting jobs: enhanced regional concentrations, workforce alignment and education, innovation-enabling infrastructure, increased spatial efficiency and strengthened government and civic effectiveness.

The plans, now submitted to the state, will go under competitive review, with four of the 10 to receive $40 million towards projects spelled out in the plans, for a total of $160 million. The remaining six regional economic development council regions will share the remaining $40 million.

A strategic plan review committee is being established, according to an email from Empire State Development spokesman Austin Shafran. That committee will analyze and grade the plans and could announce its decision next month.

The plans are available on the Internet at

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