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Rail, tech aided by state grants for industries

Rail, tech aided by state grants for industries

The Capital Region won the smallest pot of a total $738 million in regional economic development fun
Rail, tech aided by state grants for industries
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Wednesday that $738 million has been awarded through Round Two of the Regional Economic Development Council initiative. Seen is the Gloversville-Johnstown Joint Wastewater Treatment Facilities, located at 191 Union Ave. in J
Photographer: Marc Schultz

The Capital Region won the smallest pot of a total $738 million in regional economic development funding awarded by the state Wednesday.

Ten councils made up of business, education and community leaders competed in the second round of the Gov. Cuomo initiative, designed to create jobs and boost economic development throughout the state’s diverse regions. A total of 725 projects received awards.

The Capital Region was awarded $50.3 million for 84 projects. Last year, it got $62.7 million for 88 projects.

By the numbers

Capital Region awards

• $11.5 million to the city of Albany Industrial Development Agency to renovate a 179-unit affordable senior housing development.

• $4 million to Fuller Road Management Corp. to preserve the historic nature and long-term value of Kiernan Plaza, attracting economically stable and synergistic high-tech companies to downtown Albany.

• $1.795 million to the city of Albany to improve water quality and reduce runoff by incorporating bioretention, permeable pavement and storm water street trees throughout the Quail Street Corridor.

• $1 million to University at Albany’s College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering to design a 100,000-square-foot zero net energy building at its Albany campus.

• $1 million to install a new biomass-fueled cogeneration plant and gas-fired steam turbine to produce additional steam and electricity at the Watervliet Arsenal to preserve the existing Army research and development and manufacturing operations, as well as attract new businesses to the Watervliet Arsenal.

• $950,000 to redevelop the Albany Waterfront into a premier destination for waterfront events and performances, as well as a local and regional destination for recreation, waterfront access and services, and Hudson River-based tourism.

• $850,000 to support rebuilding efforts in the town of Prattsville focused on new homes, parks and streetscape improvements.

• $775,000 to allow the Hudson Valley Agribusiness Development Corporation to expand food processing and distribution capacity for firms that serve New York state farms.

• $500,000 to support the NY CAP Research Alliance to encourage collaborative research among member organizations, including RPI and Albany Medical Center, and to attract future federal and industry funding.

• $500,000 to Albany County to construct a 9-mile section of the Albany County Rail Trail, linking the town of Bethlehem to the city of Albany.

• $500,000 to Albany Medical Center to initiate the Park South Mixed-used Redevelopment project.

• $325,000 to the city of Saratoga Springs to develop a 3.9-acre waterfront property on Saratoga Lake.

• $300,000 to Mohawk Resources in Schenectady, which will expand its facility to manufacture large vehicle lifts, invest $7.5 million and create six new jobs.

• $250,000 for RPI to develop a shared-use laboratory facility in the Rensselaer Technology Park Campus. An existing facility in the tech park will be acquired, updated and renovated for use by collaborating academic and industry research groups, supporting the regional research initiatives and alliances.

• $200,000 to Capitalize Albany to rehabilitate nine abandoned properties in the city.

• $200,000 to Housing Visions Consultants, Inc. to construct an affordable mixed-use building in the city of Albany.

• $150,000 for the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences to upgrade its laboratory facilities for student and research use, including the installation of precision instrumentation.

• $132,500 to the town of Halfmoon for the final design and construction of a new multi-use Champlain Canalway Trail segment.

• $100,000 to the city of Mechanicville to stabilize and reuse the historic Delaware and Hudson passenger rail station.

• $100,000 to Free Form Fibers LLC to research and develop recycling of hazardous air emissions that can be used as feedstock for the manufacture of ceramic fibers.

• $100,000 to the Pepsi Bottling Group in Albany to train 250 workers in total productive manufacturing, maintenance education and high performance work systems.

• $100,000 to Yincae Advanced Materials, LLC to provide on-the-job training for 32 newly hired workers in modern assembly processes and advanced materials product packaging.

• $76,000 to the town of Waterford to make needed repairs in and around the Canal Harbor Visitor Center.

• $75,000 to the town of Clifton Park to provide multi-purpose visitor access to numerous unique sites along the Mohawk River and the Old Champlain Canal route in Clifton Park.

• $65,000 to Retronix International Inc. of Malta to provide on-the-job training to 10 newly hired workers in fabrication processes and equipment.

• $55,000 to National Heritage Trust to provide docking and other infrastructure on the Champlain Canal for waterfront access to the Saratoga Historic National Battlefield.

• $50,000 to the Corporation of Yaddo to complete the initial phase of repainting the mansion’s exterior, an integral part of the historic Yaddo Gardens.

• $50,000 to Schenectady County to reconstruct approximately two miles of the existing Erie Canalway multi-use trail in the town of Rotterdam.

• $37,500 to the town of Stillwater to develop a revitalization strategy for its Hudson River waterfront area.

• $30,000 to the village of Corinth in Saratoga County to complete an engineering report assessing the existing wastewater collection and treatment system and upgrades to the equipment and electrical systems.

Mohawk Valley awards

• TecMar NY LLC will construct a sustainable indoor, high-tech aquaculture facility in the Glen Canal View Business Park with the help of a $1.4 million state award. Overall, TecMar will invest more than $50 million and create 175 jobs.

• St. Johnsville will get a bit of a $950,000 pot awarded to Dolgeville-based Gehring Tricot Corp, whose parent company operates Helmont Mills, a knitting plant in the Montgomery County village.

• The village of Canajoharie will upgrade its wastewater treatment plant with the help of a $600,000 award.

• The city of Amsterdam will receive $600,000 to implement the second phase of a storm sewer separation program that rids the storm and sanitary cross connections in the city. Leaking and broken sewer lines and deteriorated manholes will also be replaced.

• Schoharie County will receive $475,000 to assist farms and agri-businesses affected by Tropical Storms Irene and Lee. The state funds will be used to purchase up-to-date technology, equipment and inventory.

• The city of Amsterdam will receive $425,000 to revitalize its central business district, finalize designs and renovate two vacant Main Street buildings.

• Schoharie County was awarded $400,000 to help expand Howe Caverns.

• St. Mary’s Healthcare in Amsterdam was awarded $307,000 to help build a new 34,000-square-foot outpatient pavilion.

• The Amsterdam Industrial Development Agency was awarded $255,000 to help expand ProZone Lockers, a manufacturer of custom lockers for schools, universities, sports complexes and locker rooms.

• Richardson Brands, a candy, gum and mint company in Canajoharie, was awarded $100,000 to purchase equipment, repair and upgrade the interior and exterior of its facility.

• The village of Northville will receive $75,000 from the state to develop two parks located on the south basin of Northville Lake, providing waterfront access to the general public. The Fulton County village will construct a handicap accessible bridge along the shoreline, linking the two parks and eliminating an existing pedestrian safety hazard. Improvements will include picnic areas, docks, boat launch and fishing access.

• The village of Fort Plain received $40,000 to construct the Old Military Road Trail, which will connect the Canalway trail to the Fort Plain Museum and beyond.

“It’s not just about the money we get from the state,” said Capital Region co-chair and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute President Shirley Ann Jackson. “It’s how money is leveraged as well as the investments each enterprise puts in the game itself.”

In Schenectady County, Railex was awarded one of the largest local grants for a project that is expected to create 100 new jobs in Rotterdam.

Railex received $1 million to expand the Rotterdam MultiModal Center, an energy efficient rail transportation project that has already received a $12 million private investment. It will add 64,000 square feet to Railex’s 228,000-square-foot facility inside the Rotterdam Corporate Park.

“We are very grateful that the Railex expansion was selected for state funding through the Regional Council competition,” said County Legislature Chairwoman Judy Dagostino.

Railex employs 300 workers and plans to add 150 more next year from the expansion.

Transfinder, a Schenectady-based transportation logistics company, was awarded $150,000 to help create the NYBizLab, a business accelerator that will be geared toward technology startups and software companies.

Transfinder is currently building a $5.5 million four-story headquarters at 440 State St. The accelerator will occupy the First Niagara building just down the road at 263 State St. Overall, the new project will cost $750,000.

The Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority submitted the applications on both projects.

The Mohawk Valley, which includes Fulton, Montgomery and Schoharie counties, received slightly less than last year’s $60 million award with a $59.7 million this year for 70 projects.

One of the largest awards in the pot went to Mohawk Fabric Company in Amsterdam. The textile and fabric manufacturer received $1.38 million to help expand its manufacturing facility at 96 Guy Park Ave., among other enhancements.

Last year, Mohawk Fabric completed a 14,000-square-foot addition and sought state funds to purchase new equipment and boost job numbers. The regional council award will allow it to accommodate new orders and eliminate several outsourcing processes by acquiring two knitting machines. The company will also reduce energy costs with the installation of a 50- to 70-kilowatt solar energy system.

“It’s an exciting time,” said Mohawk Fabric owner Dominic Wade. “It’s good to be recognized for our hard work and our commitment to staying in New York, particularly in such a hard time for everybody and in a difficult industry.”

The company has been in Amsterdam for 90 years. It began to expand in 2010, doubling employment of five to six workers to about 12. Further expansion should add a few more employees over the next two years, said Wade.

Equipment was nearly eight decades old, and in order to remain competitive it had to be replaced, he said. Knitting machines can run anywhere from $200,000 to $300,000.

“These are very expensive pieces of equipment,” he said. “And as we have more equipment, we’re going to need more personnel to run it.”

The Gloversville-Johnstown Joint Wastewater Treatment Facility was awarded $1 million to expand capacity to accommodate increased outflow from the $150 million Fage expansion project. The yogurt maker plans to build a 180,000-square-foot addition to its yogurt plant in the Johnstown Industrial Park.

Mohawk Valley Regional Co-Chair Bjong Wolf Yeigh said that last year’s awards were invested in infrastructure that will help build jobs.

“One of the biggest investments we made was Fage, which has a focus on both agriculture and high-tech,” said Yeigh, president of SUNY Institute of Technology. “Now, of course, I’m greedy. So we want more. But these investments will continue to be made by the state and I thank Gov. Cuomo and the legislature for all the support they have given.”

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