Local projects get state funding

ALBANY – The city of Johnstown was awarded $200,000 to renovate downtown, and the town of Broadalbin will receive $500,000 for a park the town has been planning for years.

Those projects are among the local ones that have won state funding, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday.

Cuomo announced a third round of regional economic development awards totaling $716 million statewide, including money for projects in Fulton, Montgomery and Hamilton counties.

The Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council, which includes Fulton and Montgomery counties, received $82.4 million for 76 projects. The council secured one of the highest amounts and was named a “top performer” by the state.

Fulton County had two projects funded in the city of Johnstown and the town of Broadalbin, while Montgomery County won funding for 12 projects.

According to Cuomo’s office, Johnstown will receive $200,000 in New York Main Street Grant funds to help the owners of mixed-use buildings complete commercial and residential renovation projects along Main Street.

“I’m just thrilled for the downtown area,” Johnstown Mayor Sarah Slingerland said today. “It will be a nice shot in the arm.”

Johnstown 3rd Ward Councilwoman Helen Martin said the grant award represents a “very, very good thing” for downtown. She said City Engineer Chandra Cotter deserves much of the credit for the city securing the award.

The Johnstown Common Council previously approved the grant application, which will help businesses and property owners pay for downtown streetscape and building improvements. The grant would pay 75 percent of streetscape improvements up to $15,000 per project, with the city matching 25 percent toward improvements. The grant also would pay 75 percent of building renovations, with building owners matching 25 percent toward improvements.

The state announced the town of Broadalbin will receive $500,000 for a park development project. A detailed site plan has been prepared for the development of a park in the town, which does not have any parks or recreation facilities. The 29-acre site at Route 29 and Honeywell Corners Road will be developed to provide a wide range of recreational facilities, including baseball, softball and soccer fields, and a basketball court. Other facilities will include a pavilion and playground area, access roads and parking.

“I’m happy for it,” Broadalbin Supervisor Joseph DiGiacomo said today. “We’ve been trying for three or four years. This will actually give a kick- start to it. There’s been a lot of behind the scenes work on it.”

Montgomery County’s 12 projects awarded were topped by a $1 million award for the Deer Run Senior Housing Project. The project involves construction of an assisted-living center along with a rehabilitation center. The total project is estimated at $20.8 million, and 70 jobs would be created. This would be a senior housing project next to an existing nursing home in Amsterdam.

The other 11 Montgomery County awards were:

Hampton Inn, Amsterdam – $880,000 to retro-fit the existing 125-room hotel in downtown Amsterdam.

Amsterdam – two separate $30,000 and $50,000 awards for GIANT Solutions’ expansion of wireless and communication operations.

City of Amsterdam – $600,000 for a city proposal to implement a storm-sewer separation project to eliminate storm and sanitary cross connections.

Fort Plain – Two separate $10,000 and $20,000 awards for a project setting up a distillery to make alcohol for sale to liquor stores and bars.

Mohawk Resources Ltd. – $250,000 to relocate, renovate, and expand into a 55,000-square-foot facility.

Erie Canal RV Resort Campground – $200,000 for a 125-site campground with amenities in St. Johnsville bordering the Mohawk River.

Village of St. Johnsville – $150,000 to expand the existing municipal marina with improved services.

Village of Canajoharie – $600,000 to implement improvements to the local water system.

Fultonville – $400,000 for a flood-mitigation project, which will consist of installing flood- control gates and two drainage culverts that extend under the state Thruway.

Among projects for Hamilton County, which is part of the North Country Regional Economic Development Council, is an $80,000 award to Dedicated Residents to Area Grooming, or DRAG, of Speculator, to buy a reconditioned snow-grooming machine and drag, and replace a set of tracks on one of the club’s grooming machines. The machinery will help with maintaining an increased number of snowmobile trails.

Cuomo announced awards for counties in all 10 of the state’s regional councils established by the governor in 2011. The announcement at the Egg Center for Performing Arts on Wednesday included funding for projects administered through the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council. That council consists of Fulton, Montgomery, Herkimer, Oneida, Otsego and Schoharie counties.

This year, all 10 New York state regions competed against each other. The councils are public-private partnerships composed of local experts and stakeholders from business, academia, local government and non-governmental organizations.

“In the last three years, we have put New York’s fiscal house in order by controlling spending and cutting taxes, and the global business community has taken notice,” Cuomo said. “We are transforming New York state into a top destination for companies from around the world to locate, invest and grow with initiatives like START-UP NY to provide tax-free areas and support to businesses.”

According to a news release issued by Cuomo’s office, the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council’s goals focused on creating pathways to innovation, reviving existing infrastructure and forging new partnerships. This year, the Mohawk Valley endorsed priority projects that fulfill those visions, including continued investment in the Marcy Nanocenter.

Other top-performing councils receiving awards were: Long Island – $83 million, Capital Region – $82.8 million; Southern Tier – $81.9 million and North Country – $81.3 million. Additional councils receiving awards were: Central New York – $66.9 million; Western New York – $60.8 million; Finger Lakes – $59.8 million; Hudson Valley – $59.6 million; and New York City – $57.4 million.

Area economic development officials, including Fulton County Center for Regional Growth President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Reese and Kenneth Rose, chief executive officer of the Montgomery County Business Development Center, couldn’t be reached for comment this morning.

State officials said that in the first two rounds of the regional council initiative, the Mohawk Valley region was awarded $119.2 million for more than 150 projects across the region. Of those projects, more than 83 percent are now under way. Once completed, officials say the projects awarded funding in the Mohawk Valley region through the 2011 and 2012 application process will provide a significant boost to the local economy and result in the creation and retention of more than 3,300 jobs. The CFA awards will leverage more than $575 million in public and private-sector investment, officials said.