Saratoga County

Saratoga County to get $50,000 for economic development

An additional $50,000 will be going into Saratoga County’s economic-development efforts next year.

An additional $50,000 will be going into Saratoga County’s economic-development efforts next year.

The county’s Capital Resource Corp. board voted at a meeting Wednesday in Ballston Spa to give a grant to the county government, but did not specify how the county should use the money, other than for economic development.

“When we formed, we formed as another economic-development tool,” said corporation Chairwoman Anita M. Daly, who is also a county supervisor from Clifton Park. “We want to support job creation.”

The CRC was established as an independent local development corporation in 2012 to provide tax-exempt financing to nonprofit organizations. It has since financed or refinanced projects for Saratoga Hospital and Skidmore College, collecting substantial fees in the process.

The $50,000 grant will come from the corporation’s fund balance, which now exceeds $384,000, according to CEO Ray O’Conor.

The grant is being given as county government faces higher economic development costs in 2015.

Next year’s tentative county budget calls for allocating $750,000 to start up the county’s new marketing organization, the Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership. It is far more money than the county annually paid the Saratoga Economic Development Corp. before their partnership ended, but county officials said the partnership will need extra funding next year for the startup.

The Prosperity Partnership board is in the process of picking its first executive director and also must obtain commercial office space, county officials said.

At the same time, the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce is asking for an increase from $346,500 to $375,000 in the budget for tourism promotion, and Cornell Cooperative Extension is asking for $30,000 next year to update and publish a guide to the county’s agricultural operations. The Chamber of Southern Saratoga County is seeking an increase from $25,000 to $30,000.

Those increases were approved last week by the county’s budget deliberation committee, and are likely to be discussed at a full-board budget deliberation meeting at 3 p.m. today in Ballston Spa.

In a letter requesting the grant, county Board of Supervisors Chairman Paul J. Sausville, R-Malta, said the county’s economic development spending next year will top $1.1 million.

“This is a substantial sum, however, we believe that the demand for investment by the county and organizations like the newly formed Prosperity Partnership will far exceed the funding capacity of this appropriation,” Sausville wrote in the request letter.

The county board last April approved a county strategic economic plan that calls for trying to increase development in tourism, agriculture and high-tech manufacturing.

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