Economic projects proposed for funding
Six business proposals in Montgomery County are considered “priority” projects for state economic development funding.
Fulton County has no priority projects for the the state’s third round of funding under a program established two years ago by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The announcement of actual funding for projects is expected later this year.
Fulton and Montgomery counties are part of the six-county Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council, and potential projects are submitted through that group.
Officials from Fulton County say they can’t force companies to submit the Consolidated Funding Applications, or CFAs, to the state Empire Development Corp.
Fulton County Center for Regional Growth President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Reese said the priority project proposals are not established locally.
“The rules of the priorities are set by the state of New York,” Reese said.
The Montgomery County projects that are listed as “priority” are listed by the council as follows:
Erie Canal RV Resort & Campground: project cost – $1.5 million; 20 jobs created.
Deer Run at River Ridge: project cost – $20.8 million; 70 jobs created. This would be a senior housing project next to an existing nursing home in Amsterdam.
GIANT Solutions: project cost – $158,225; two jobs. The project involves the expansion of an Amsterdam wireless engineering firm.
Erie Canal Distillers: project cost – $184,700; 15 jobs. This company would make distilled spirits and sell to liquor stores and bars.
Mohawk Lifts: project cost – $3.1 million; nine jobs. This Amsterdam auto- and truck-lift company would expand.
Hampton Inn and Suites Amsterdam: project cost – $5.8 million; 25 jobs.
Kenneth Rose, chief executive officer of the Montgomery County Business Development Center, said Monday his county doesn’t have any pet projects among the six that it is monitoring.
“Obviously, they are all extremely important,” Rose said.
Rose said the Erie Canal RV Resort & Campground project, whose total cost will be $1.5 million, is one of the biggest priorities for funding. The county is recommending funding of $200,000.
This project would be a tourism and waterfront project bordering the Mohawk River, along the Old Erie Canal and near the state Canalway Trail. The campground would have 125 sites consisting of riverfront, cabins, pull-through and back in sites, as well as tent sites. Amenities would consist of family-style bathhouses, laundry facilities, a riverfront area for biking, fishing, boating and walking.
In addition, the park would have two large playground areas, outdoor field games and a 4,000-square-foot horseshoe shaped swimming pool, hot tub and splash park. The main building would house an eatery named Old Lock 33. This 8,000-square-foot building would include hands-on educational exhibits for tourists to learn about the history and culture of the area, as well as an area for indoor games.
Another touted project for Montgomery County, Rose said, is the Hampton Inn and Suites in Amsterdam. Officials recommend $900,000 in funding for that project.
“We don’t have in our county a high-rent hotel,” Rose stated. “It definitely puts us at an advantage for Amsterdam.”
According to the project description, Hampton Inn would retro-fit the existing 125-room hotel at 10 Market St. in Amsterdam into a Hampton Inn hotel with and indoor pool and waterslide.
The state for 2012 awarded $8 million to the Mohawk Valley counties. In Fulton County, the funding included $750,000 in improvements being done at the Gloversville-Johnstown Wastewater Treatment Facility. The improvements are under way.
In December, Cuomo announced funding through grants to several Montgomery County projects. Among the projects is a $50 million indoor aquaculture facility that would produce more than 17 million pounds of fish annually and operate out of the Glen Canal View Business Park. TecMar NY’s project, which would create more than 175 jobs, would receive $1.4 million in state funding.
But Rose said this morning that TecMar NY is still trying to secure funding.
“They are still in the background,” Rose said.
Reese said Fulton County did have a proposed “priority” project for the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council to consider. He said a Wisconsin energy company proposed helping Fage USA in Johnstown sell some of its dry whey to turn into energy, but that company pursued a different possible funding agreement with the state.
“We searched for projects and there were no [business] projects,” Reese said.
But Reese said that doesn’t mean Fulton County isn’t pursuing funding from the state. He said the Empire State Development Corp. will consider earmarking some other alternative infrastructure funding to replace the Wisconsin project. He said that funding potentially could help area brownfield sites, the proposed Tryon site, and with improving local industrial parks.
In the last round of state funding under the program, Fulton County obtained a $2 million state grant to install new water and sewer lines and reconstruct a portion of the existing interior access road at Tryon. The county is working with the Fulton County Industrial Development Agency to secure title of the 56-building, 515-acre Perth property from the state. Local officials want to turn the site into a technology park and business incubator center.
Fulton and Montgomery counties also have two CFA-related state agency funding applications. The city of Johnstown in Fulton County has requested $200,000 for its Main Street 2013 project; and the city of Amsterdam in Montgomery County has requested $50,000 for an East End Streetscape project.
Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.