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Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council Announces Funding for Community Revitalization and Job Creating Projects

Rural Initiative Fund, Community Revitalization & Shovel Ready Programs to assist projects across the region
(August 16, 2012)

Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council Announces Funding for Community Revitalization and Job Creating Projects

The Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council today announced that 10 projects will receive funding through the $8 million in awards made available to the STREDC through the Rural Initiative Fund, and the Community Revitalization and Shovel-Ready Programs, as part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Regional Council initiative. These projects, which have the potential to create over 1,000 jobs, will help to revitalize communities, bolster the farm-based economy and generate substantial private sector investment.

The Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council today announced that 10 projects will receive funding through the $8 million in awards made available to the STREDC through the Rural Initiative Fund, and the Community Revitalization and Shovel-Ready Programs, as part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Regional Council initiative. These projects, which have the potential to create over 1,000 jobs, will help to revitalize communities, bolster the farm-based economy and generate substantial private sector investment.

“Today’s announcement is a great step forward in advancing our vision for immediate and long-term regional economic growth,” said Tom Tranter, President & CEO of Corning Enterprises and Co-Chair of the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council. “These three programs are a great example of the innovative approach to economic development that Governor Cuomo and the Regional Council have taken under this initiative. By providing the tools and resources for these projects to move forward, we will soon see our downtowns and communities rejuvenated and attracting job-creating private investment that will drive our economy forward.”

“Governor Cuomo created the Regional Councils because he understands that those who live, work and do business in a region best know its strengths and what projects and industries will grow the economy,” said David Skorton, President of Cornell University and Co-Chair of the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council. “These three programs are proving to be a great innovation and have allowed the Council to work with businesses and communities in the Southern Tier to align state resources with locally-driven strategies that will grow our economy. As a result, communities across the region will see their downtowns get a much-needed facelift, our farmers and agriculture industry are being provided with the tools they need to succeed and we are attracting private investments that will create jobs and encourage immediate and lasting business growth.”

Last year, a total of $785 million was awarded through the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) for job creation and community development projects consistent with each region’s strategic plans. As part of that process, $8 million in economic development resources were allocated to the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council (STREDC) to support three regional job creating initiatives.

The Rural Initiative Fund Program ($3 million), Community Revitalization Program ($2.5 million) and Shovel Ready Program ($2.5 million) established regional low-interest loan and grant funds to facilitate economic site development and business promotion across the Southern Tier. After reviewing and evaluating project applications, 10 projects have so far been awarded resources through the three programs.

Shovel Ready Sites Infrastructure Program Awards

Airport Corporate Park South Business Park – Town of Big Flats (Chemung County) A funding award of $1.3 million will support infrastructure development for a 200 acre site located south of Interstate 86 in the Town of Big Flats, Chemung County. The project supports the STREDC’s objectives to attract businesses, give the Southern Tier a competitive edge, and position the site to receive NYS Shovel Ready Certification. A market analysis study states that the area is favorable for several types of operations, including call center, customer service center, back office support operations, light manufacturing, technology-based manufacturing, and distribution center. The projected new business investment for the site is $40 million as well as a projection of more than 500 new jobs.

Wayland Business Park Infrastructure Extension – Town of Wayland (Steuben County) A $1.15 million cash flow loan will assist this project, which involves water and sewer infrastructure development for a 150-acre multi-tenant business park site located at the Exit 3 Interchange of I-390 in the Town of Wayland, Steuben County. This will establish shovel ready sites in the northern part of the County and along I-390, major corridor connecting the Southern Tier to the Rochester area, where there currently are none. This site was identified as among the prime development sites in Steuben County in three studies conducted between 2010 – 2012, including the Steuben County Economic Development Plan, the I-86 Corridor Development Plan and the recently completed Revitalizing the Interstate 86 Corridor Plan. The projected new business investment for the site is $200 million as well as a projection of more than 500 new jobs.

Community Revitalization Program Awards

The Commons Renovation Project – Ithaca (Tompkins County) A $500,000 loan will support the development of 5 new housing units (4,700 square feet) and 1 new commercial space. The project involves total interior renovation of a 40-year old, 4-story mixed-use building located on The Commons in central downtown Ithaca that has been consistently vacant at a 75% level. Rehabilitation includes installation of a new elevator, creation of five apartment units on floors 2-4, creation of one new commercial office space on the first floor retail space, and renovation of spaces for two existing first floor retail tenants. The demand for housing is documented in the 2011 Danter Housing Market Study, and the project supports the objectives named in the Downtown Ithaca 2020 Strategic Plan and the Tompkins County Economic Development Strategy.

Margaretville Downtown Recovery Project – Margaretville (Delaware County) A grant of $307,940 will be used to create a grant fund to be administered by The MARK Project to support the final stages of rebuilding and rehabilitation of six (6) contiguous historic buildings in a single target area known as the “Cheese Barrel Block” on Main Street in downtown Margaretville. The buildings were severely damaged by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Leo in 2011. The objective is to return each property to code compliance condition, improve the façade appearance, and incorporate energy efficiency design in the rebuild. Each building will receive an average grant of $45,000.

10 East Market Street Renovation Project – Corning (Steuben County) This $325,000 loan will aid in creating 4 new housing units and one new commercial space, as well as the renovation of one building on Market Street in Corning’s Gaffer District. The project involves total interior rehabilitation and façade renovation of a designated historic 3-story, 5,600 square foot building and will result in a mixed use property, with a new first floor retail space and four 1-bedroom apartments on the upper floors. Demand for rental housing is documented in both the Corning’s Gaffer District Strategic Plan and the Corning Area Housing Study (2011). Best practices for energy conservation in historic building will be employed.

South Broad Street Revitalization – Norwich (Chenango County) A $200,000 loan will be used for building renovation and asbestos removal as part of a project that involves the total interior rehabilitation and exterior façade renovation of an anchor property in downtown Norwich, which is a vacant and blighted 9,000 square foot, single story building. The first floor will be occupied by a retail tenant, and the lower level will be renovated for a customized art studio, business incubator space, and a community space. The project conforms to the City of Norwich’s Comprehensive Plan and the Chenango County Economic Development Strategic Plan (2006), and has been identified as the downtown’s #1 economic development priority. Green construction techniques will be employed as allowed.

18-22 West Market Street Renovation Project – Corning (Steuben County) A $500,000 loan will help renovate two buildings and create one new commercial space, along with four new housing units. The project involves the total interior renovation and façade restoration of a historic two-story building and adjacent three-story building at 18-22 Market Street in Corning’s Gaffer District. The result will be one large first floor retail space (3,500 sf) and four upper story apartments (4,860 sf). Demand for rental housing is documented in both the Corning’s Gaffer District Strategic Plan and the Corning Area Housing Study (2011). Best practices for energy conservation in historic buildings will be employed.

Rural Initiative Fund Awards

CNY Wood Products Expansion – Berkshire (Tioga County) A $98,850 loan will help CNY Wood Products acquire new equipment needed to grow the company’s existing “packaged firewood” market and add new product lines allowing it to enter the rapidly growing Wood Fiber market. Specifically, the equipment with allow CNY to process the scrapwood and timber tops, currently left at the log site, to produce new products such as clean debarked fine grind for playground carpet (mulch) and hardwood BBQ grilling diskettes. The company is expected to create two new jobs due to increased market competitiveness.

Sunrise Family Farms Business Expansion – Greene (Chenango County) Sunrise Family Farms, Inc. is a specialty yogurt manufacturer based in Norwich, has out grown its existing 6,000 square foot plant. The STREDC is providing a $300,000 loan to purchase equipment for the pasteurization area of the new 25,000 square foot food plant in Greene that the company is expanding into. The expanded capacity will allow the company to increase capacity by 250%, respond to market demand, create 14 jobs and support growth of regional dairy farms.

Purdy & Sons Foods Business Expansion Project – Sherburne (Chenango County) Purdy & Sons Foods, Inc. is a federally approved protein processor and local foods distributor. The company will undergo a 3,000 square foot expansion of the existing warehouse, acquisition of two trucks and grounds maintenance equipment, IT equipment for inventory control, and the Rural Initiative Fund is providing a $370,000 loan for equipment and working capital for inventory and employee training. The project will allow the company to expand both the number of farmers served and its distribution service area, as well as create 15 jobs. Purdy & Sons provides warehousing and distribution services for small to mid-size farm operations, in addition to food inspection, food processing, and customer cut and packaging of meats. The foods are distributed to schools, institutions, government agencies and restaurants in Central NY.

For more information or to submit an application for the Rural Initiative Fund Program, Community Revitalization Program and Shovel Ready Program, please visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov/content/southern-tier.

To learn more about each regional council and their economic development plans, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov. For information on how the New New York is working for business, please visit www.thenewny.com.

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