Montgomery County

Mohawk Valley gets $100.3M but ‘disappointed’

The six counties of the Mohawk Valley were awarded $100.3 million in the state’s Regional Economic D
Gov. Andrew Cuomo poses with representatives of the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council during the state economic development awards ceremony today in Albany.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo poses with representatives of the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council during the state economic development awards ceremony today in Albany.

The six counties of the Mohawk Valley were awarded $100.3 million in the state’s Regional Economic Development Council awards today, missing out on one of three $500 million awards in the new Upstate Revitalization Initiative.

The URI awards, announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in Albany, went to the Finger Lakes, Southern Tier and Central New York regions.

Mohawk Valley leaders had made a big push for URI money since the beginning of the year, forming the MV500 Initiative to draft a strategic plan for investment, which they called “Sparking Transformation.”

“I think we’re all disappointed, certainly, but on the flip side we were recognized as a top performer, and $100 million for the year is nothing to sneeze at,” said Fulton-Montgomery Community College President Dustin Swanger, who served as a co-chair of the MV500 Initiative. “We all wanted the big money, of course, but I think we have some good projects with the $100 million that will move the region forward.”

Even without the $500 million, he said, the MV500 strategy — which promised to spur $3.8 billion in private investment and create 17,000 new high-paying jobs over 15 years — will serve to guide the region in coming years.

“As we were putting that proposal together, we needed to not think of it as, ‘We’re doing this for $500 million,’” he said. “This needed to be a plan for the future, and we’ll figure out together how we acquire the money to make it happen.”

Even without the URI funding, the state’s annual REDC awards were higher across the board this year, according to officials.

At the announcement ceremony this morning, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul said every region this year received more than the winners last year.

“Everybody is going to win today,” she said.

The high-tech focus of the MV500 plan was reflected in the Mohawk Valley’s largest single award: $6.1 million to create a “multi-story nano-cyber Innovation Accelerator Center” near SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Marcy with a focus on training workers from the area’s low-income and refugee populations.

In Montgomery County, 12 projects were awarded about $7.9 million.

— The Amsterdam Industrial Development Agency was awarded $3 million for an expansion at the city’s AGT Services to add power-generating turbine services. The investment is expected to create 25 new jobs and retain 70 existing jobs

The AIDA also will get $50,000 for the creation of a new day care center.

— The city of Amsterdam was awarded $183,000 to install a new water disinfection system at its waste-water treatment facility and $115,000 to prepare plans for the relocation of the city’s Amtrak station from the West Side to downtown.

— Mair Magaw Information Systems, which recently announced plans to move its headquarters from Albany to Amsterdam, was awarded $400,000 to renovate a former Key Bank building downtown.

— The Fulmont College Association was awarded $3.7 million for FMCC’s Global Village project, which aims to expand housing for students and young professionals in the area.

— Funding also was awarded to a handful of park and trail projects throughout Montgomery County.

In Fulton County, $8.3 million was awarded to 12 projects:

— The Gloversville Public Library received $1 million toward its comprehensive renovation of the 111-year-old Carnegie-era library. As of October, the library’s capital campaign was within about $1 million of its $5 million private fundraising goal.

— A project to renovate a former YMCA facility in the city of Johnstown to serve as a food pantry, kitchen and emergency shelter was awarded $480,000.

— Nathan Littauer Hospital and Nursing Home is getting $740,000 for new primary care and dialysis facilities in Perth, Fonda and Gloversville.

— Gloversville’s 100-year-old Robison & Smith linen cleaners, which not long ago was considering moving out of the city, received $1.7 million to consolidate its two dated facilities into one “state of the art” facility.

— New Age Renewable Energy Corp. was awarded nearly $3 million to build a whey processing facility near the Fage yogurt factory at the Johnstown Industrial Park.

— Other funding will go toward water and sewer improvements and planning projects throughout the county, as well as infrastructure work at the Tryon Technology Park and Incubator Center.

Schoharie County was awarded just under $2 million, including $300,000 for the renovation of the village of Schoharie’s landmark Parrott House inn and restaurant and $90,000 for a trail-mapping project by Schoharie Area Long Term.

SUNY Cobleskill will get $125,000 for the Farm and Food System Incubator, a project to help agricultural entrepreneurs access supply chains and sell at scale.

Awards also were granted to a handful of tourism and infrastructure projects throughout the county.

Montgomery County Executive Matt Ossenfort said he and other MV500 leaders, in talks after the announcement this morning, tentatively agreed to maintain the ties they’d created and carry the momentum forward.

“I don’t think the effort was in vain,” he said. “There’s certainly some strong bonds that were built during this process. And in the discussions that I had, everyone wants to continue that.”

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