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State OKs $120M in economic development grants

State OKs $120M in economic development grants

More than $120 million in state money is heading to the Capital Region and Mohawk Valley as part of

More than $120 million in state money is heading to the Capital Region and Mohawk Valley as part of the state’s Regional Economic Development Councils.

Making the list

A look at where some of the $120 million in economic development money will go:

FULTON COUNTY

Gloversville: Housing Rehabilitation Program, $400,000

Johnstown: Fage USA Dairy, $750,000

Town of Johnstown: M.H. Stallman Company manufacturing site, $5 million

Perth: Tryon Technology Park and Incubator Center, $2 million

MONTGOMERY COUNTY

Amsterdam: Quandt’s Foodservice Distributors Inc., $903,021

Amsterdam: Embassy Millworks expansion, $1.3 million

Amsterdam: Storm sewer separation, $600,000

Fort Hunter: Schoharie Crossing Parking lot, $75,000

Fort Hunter: Schoharie Crossing signage, $20,000

Amsterdam: ProTerra Lighting renting a facility, $750,000

Amsterdam: Waterfront development, $25,000

SCHOHARIE COUNTY

Village of Cobleskill: Open the Cobleskill Brewery, $750,000

Town of Cobleskill: Route 7 water and sewer upgrades, $4.1 million

Schoharie County:, Schoharie County Microenterprise Assistance Program, $200,000

Howes Cave: Expansion of W. Kintz Plastics, $53,908

Blenheim: Start up Blenheim Hill Farm, $60,000

Gilboa: Housing rehabilitation program, $400,000

SARATOGA COUNTY

Saratoga Springs: Introduction of semiconductor supply facility, $1.5 million

Mechanicville: Microenterprise program, $200,000

Waterford: Improvements to the Day Peckinpaugh Barge Museum, $191,000

Saratoga County: Dix Bridge rehabilitation, $300,000

Saratoga County: Manufacture a clean room environment, $158,900

Saratoga County: Regional visitor Center, $191,000

Halfmoon: Restore part of the Canalway Trail, $150,000

Ballston Spa: Rehabilitate 21 homes, $278,200

Ballston Spa: Improve 21 units, $289,800

Corinth: Neighborhood Revitalization, $307,000 and $198,000

SCHENECTADY COUNTY

Schenectady: Repairs to Proctors, $100,000

Schenectady: Community Land Trust, $75,000

Glenville: Extend sewer and water to airport, $284,089

Schenectady County: Apprentice program, $6,000

Schenectady: Development of Alco Trail, $479,735

Schenectady: Job training at Community College, $14,000

Nearly six months after Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a potential $1 billion investment by the state, his administration committed $785.5 million for regional projects and business plans. The biggest prizes, of more than $100 million, went to the four regions that were deemed to have submitted the best long-term plans.

The Capital Region and Mohawk Valley economic councils were not the big winners, receiving $62.7 million and $60.2 million respectively, but the winners of project grants were happy.

“It feels like a big old fat Christmas present,” said Amsterdam Mayor Ann Thane, whose city received more than $3.5 million toward five projects in the Mohawk Valley Economic Council.

The biggest projects for the city include $1.3 million for Embassy Millworks to expand wood milling operations and $903,021 for Quandt’s Foodservices to construct a new warehouse. Regarding Quandt’s, Thane said the state investment kept the company from leaving the city and taking jobs with it.

She was excited about $600,000 the city would be using to eliminate problems in the storm and sanitary systems that have led to sewage flooding into the river. “Improving infrastructure is key to all of the aging cities in New York state,” Thane said.

Also in the Mohawk Valley region was $5 million to move MH Stallman Company into the town of Johnstown, in the former site of Callaway Golf, and $2 million to transform the recently vacated Tryon Juvenile Detention Facility into the Tryon Technology Park and Incubator Center.

Jim Mraz, executive director for the Fulton County IDA, was pleased with the Tryon developments, which he said could be taken over by the county in 2012. The grant money would be used to reconstruct roads and make other improvements that would prepare the 500-acre plot for new businesses. Mraz added that they weren’t picky about the potential companies, saying, “We just want to create some jobs here in this county.”

“The concept was to take a negative situation … and create an opportunity for creating new jobs and new business,” he said.

Seed money

Mohawk Valley Economic Council Co-chair Bjong Wolf Yeigh, president of the SUNY Institute of Technology, predicted that the funding will kick start economic development in the region and said most of the funded projects had come from their strategic plan. He said that for every dollar the state invested, there would be $6 to $10 in private investment.

Capital Region Economic Council Co-chair Michael J. Castellana, president and CEO of SEFCU, said the $62.7 million for projects in the region was a victory.

“While we were absolutely disappointed that we didn’t win … I think it will benefit us,” he said. “It will benefit the entire state. There are no losers here. We absolutely wish we came in on top, but we cannot complain about $62 million.”

Metroplex Development Authority Chairman Ray Gillen touted the $479,735 awarded for development of the former Alco property in Schenectady and the $284,089 grant that will help the Schenectady County Airport develop into a business park.

Gillen said the 60-acre ALCO site has the potential to generate $200 million through residential and commercial development. The area stretches along the Mohawk River just west of Freemans Bridge.

He said the investment at the airport would go toward extending sewer and water services into the site. The goal at the airport would be to create seven or eight spots that could be open to business and cited a $4 million investment by Fortitech as what they want to generate. “A lot of people build business parks on airports,” Gillen said. “It’s a great location.”

Proctors in Schenectady received $100,000 for restoring three sections in the main auditorium. Proctors CEO Philip Morris said he expects them to take on one section this summer.

One notable project that didn’t receive funding in the Capital Region was a supercomputer at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, which was a $25 million request by the council.

Council co-chair Shirley Ann Jackson, president of RPI, said she still plans to bring the supercomputer to campus “one way or another.”

The Regional Economic Development Councils must monitor the funds allocated on Thursday and will likely assemble next year for a second round of funding.

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