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Local projects get state funding

December 20, 2012
By MICHAEL ANICH , The Leader Herald

ALBANY - Projects in Fulton, Montgomery and Hamilton counties will receive millions of dollars in state funding, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday.

Among the Montgomery County projects is an aquaculture facility in the Glen Canal View Business Park. The state will provide $1.4 million to TecMar NY to construct the $50 million indoor facility, which is expected to create 175 jobs.

Among the major projects in Fulton County is $1 million to expand capacity at the Gloversville-Johnstown Wastewater Treatment Facility on Union Avenue in Johnstown. The expansion is needed to accommodate more waste from Greek-style yogurt maker Fage USA's $150 million expansion.

Article Photos

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during the regional economical development council awards announcement Wednesday in Albany.
The Associated Press

"That would be the big project," Fulton County Center for Regional Growth President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Reese said Wednesday of the sewer plant upgrade.

He said the state Wednesday formally awarded $1 million for the upgrade, but additional funding may be available to increase the award to more than $2 million.

"I think for Fulton County, we did well for what we hope will be $2 million toward the sewer upgrade," Reese said. "I think it's one of the better projects for the Mohawk Valley region."

The sewage treatment plant had sent a funding application to the state for an estimated $4.5 million project involving expansion of the sewer plant to help deal with more industrial waste expected from Fage. The application sought a 50 percent share of an estimated $4.5 million

project, or about $2.25 million in state funding. The other half of the costs for the sewer plant upgrade will be paid for with local money.

Fage's expansion is expected to create 150 jobs at its Johnstown Industrial Park facility, but no new jobs are expected with the sewer plant upgrade. plant consultant George Bevington said today.

Sewer plant Wastewater Engineer Tyler Masick said today the upgrade will involve a low-energy way to pretreat the influx of dairy waste from Fage.

"It's kind of an innovative process," Masick said.

In Montgomery County, $1.37 million was awarded to Mohawk Fabrics, a manufacturer and distributor of industrial and commercial textiles and fabrics in Amsterdam. The company plans to expand its manufacturing facility, invest in two knitting machines and install a solar energy system to accommodate demand for new orders and eliminate out-of-state outsourcing.

Also in Montgomery County, the village of Canajoharie will receive $600,000 to upgrade its wastewater treatment plant.

Canajoharie Mayor Francis Avery said today its wastewater treatment plant was upgraded in the 1990s.

Beech-Nut Nutrition Corp. moved its baby-food plant to the town of Florida after Canajoharie, in the 1990s, borrowed about $5 million to build a large water and sewer system meant to entice the company to stay. After the company moved away, it left behind a village with about $2.8 million in debt and a water system officials said was too big for the village and costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to maintain.

Avery said the sewer plant, built in the late 1970s, is now bigger than is needed, especially after Beech-Nut left.

"The technology is so outmoded, it costs a huge amount of money to run," the mayor said.

Avery said the $600,000 will be used to reconfigure the plant, make technical changes and cut off power to one-third of the plant but maintain all its capacity. He said if the village hadn't received the state award, sewer bills would have gone from $8 per $1,000 gallons of water to $19 within four years and the plant would have shut down.

He said the changes will help attract more business to the Palatine-Fort Plain-Canajoharie area.

In another Montgomery County project, St. Mary's Healthcare in Amsterdam will receive $307,000 to build a 34,000-square-foot outpatient pavilion.

Hamilton County will receive $1.7 million to improve broadband connectivity in the county.

The governor announced $738 million in funding for projects statewide. The funding involves mostly tax breaks.

Among other local project awards:

$75,000 to Northville so it can develop two parks on the south basin of Northville Lake, providing waterfront access to the public.

$255,000 to the Amsterdam Industrial Development Agency. The money will help with the expansion of ProZone Lockers.

$600,000 for the city of Amsterdam to implement a storm-sewer separation program.

$425,000 to the city of Amsterdam to revitalize the city's central business district.

$100,000 for Richardson Brands in Canajoharie to buy new equipment.

$40,000 to Fort Plain for the construction of the Old Military Road Trail.

Last year, Cuomo created 10 regional councils to develop long-term strategic plans for economic growth for their regions. These councils are public-private partnerships made up of local experts and stakeholders from business, academia, local government and non-governmental organizations.

The state awarded $785.5 million for projects last year.

All of the projects are intended to keep or create jobs.

The largest package this year is $96.2 million for 76 projects in the Finger Lakes region. Among them, it lists $5 million for Health Sciences Center for Computational Innovation, a partnership between the University of Rochester and IBM; and $5 million for equipment purchases at the recently completed Rochester Institute of Technology's Golisano Institute examining sustainability in product development.

Other large packages are $93.8 million for 73 projects in central New York, such as $3.1 million for the Syracuse Community Health Center to establish a center at the former Superior Electric facility. Another $92.8 million was announced for 84 projects in the mid-Hudson Valley, with $3 million to establish the Cloud Computing and Analytics Center at Marist College, meant to help technology-based companies by workforce training and by reducing overhead.

Larger regional awards from the $738 million total announced Wednesday are $91.1 million for the 62 projects in the Southern Tier and $90.2 million for 82 projects in the North Country.

Others are $59.7 million each for 86 Long Island and 70 Mohawk Valley projects, $52.8 million for 58 projects in western New York, $50.3 million for 84 Capital Region projects and $51.4 million for the New York City area. Among the city's 50 projects are $1.5 million for the New York Genome Center, a partnership of 11 academic, medical, pharmaceutical and other institutions, to create research space in Manhattan.

U.S. Rep. Bill Owens, D-Plattsburgh, on Wednesday said, "Today's announcement is an important step forward in our ongoing commitment to help create jobs throughout New York."

Cuomo said in a news release, "For too many years, top-down economic development policies have failed communities across the state and not truly invested in the unique resources and strengths of each of New York's regions. The strategic plans created during this process have given each region a comprehensive, locally created plan for future economic growth."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at



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