Region nets $82M in economic grants

New York state awarded Fulton and Montgomery counties millions of dollars for 25 economic development projects, as part of overall statewide annual awards announced Thursday.

Overall in the Mohawk Valley, counties were awarded $82.7 million for 81 projects announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo as part of the Regional Economic Development Council awards that originated from Consolidated Funding Applications.

Cuomo announced statewide more than $761 million in economic and community development resources awarded through the 2019 Regional Council Competition. All 10 regional economic development councils received funding. The Mohawk Valley, Central New York, Southern Tier, Capital Region and Long Island were named “top performers” by the state.

“Throughout the Regional Economic Development Council process over the past nine years, we have seen unprecedented regional investment focusing on a ground-up, strategic model that has spurred tremendous growth in every corner of this great state,” Cuomo said in a news release. “By bringing together local leaders and stakeholders who are invested in their communities, we have replaced the ‘one size fits all’ approach to economic development with one that is unique to each community, creating opportunities for success all across the Empire State.”

Fulton County received funding for nine projects, while Montgomery County received funding for 16.

Ronald Peters, president and CEO of the Fulton County Center for Regional Growth, said Thursday that he was pleased that the Mohawk Valley Region was again a “top performer” for the second consecutive year.

“Gloversville did well,” Peters stated. “I’m very pleased with that. There’s some excellent projects.”

The city of Gloversville received three awards: $225,000 for the Brownfield Opportunity Area; $500,000 for the Gloversville Main Street Anchor Project; and $345,000 for Trail Station Park Improvements.

Elsewhere in Fulton County, Caroga Arts Collective received $41,700 for a workforce expansion. The general manager of Caroga Arts Collective will serve as a member of the leadership team, overseeing the administration, development, fundraising, and marketing and act as a liaison between the boards, staff, artists, volunteers, and community.

The CRG as applicant received $25,000 for an Adaptive Sports Complex Feasibility Study. An adaptive sports center will be developed that will support veterans, individuals with disabilities and others in the community to gain mobility, agility and independence. All will be empowered to build skills, confidence and tools to remain in or gain employment, enhance relationships and live more fulfilling lives.

Peters said this project will involve Lexington Center.

“That could be a real shot in the arm for Fulton County,” he said.

The CRG itself also received a $50,000 grant for a business incubator. The agency will renovate 10,000 square feet of office space in its building at 34 W. Fulton St. in Gloversville as a business incubator facility. The project will provide affordable office space for new startup businesses, and promote economic development in downtown Gloversville.

Peters said the $50,000 was the maximum the state will provide for such a project.

“That was a fair shot,” he said.

Snowdrifters of Stratford, Inc. was awarded $36,720. The club will purchase snowmobile trail grooming equipment to maintain trails located in Fulton and Hamilton counties.

The village of Broadalbin Wastewater Treatment Plant Disinfection system will receive $408,750. The village will install effluent ultraviolet disinfection at the village wastewater treatment plant. This project will improve water quality by reducing pathogens in the treatment plant’s discharge to the Kennyetto Creek.

Village of Dolgeville was awarded $138,600 to complete a Brownfield Opportunity Area Nomination Study for an area spanning approximately 52 acres running along either side of the East Canada Creek in the village with 12 potential brownfield sites. A primary anticipated outcome is the identification of areas for revitalization, future investment and growth within the downtown.

In Montgomery County, a big winner was the city of Amsterdam, which received $1.2 million for a Community Center Recreation Center Project. The city and Centro Civico will construct a new modern Community and Recreation Center in the east end of Amsterdam.

Montgomery County Business Development Center Director Kenneth Rose this morning was proud of the fact his county’s awards were spread through various sectors ranging from economic to community development.

“It was another good year for us,” he said.

Rose especially pointed to funding for the city of Amsterdam projects and the projects that will benefit the towns such as in Florida for its community park.

Montgomery County’s Schoharie Crossing Stabilization Project received another $500,000. The county will continue stabilization and restoration work at the Aqueduct at Schoharie Crossing, part of the original Erie Canal constructed in the 1840s.

The Amsterdam Free Library was awarded $800,000 for renovation and expansion. This project will create a new business incubator and STEM education facility in a state-of-the-art three story addition.

The town of Charleston was awarded $222,275 to construct a salt storage facility at its town Highway Department facility to protect its currently exposed salt pile. This structure will help prevent salt from entering a private drinking water well.

Other projects awarded state funding in Montgomery County included: Centro Civico, Inc. — $20,000 for a Neena Rao Daycare Center renovation; city of Amsterdam — $30,000 for a Collection System Improvements Study; city of Amsterdam — $50,000 for Local Waterfront Revitalization Program update; city of Amsterdam Industrial Development Agency — $190,000 for Whispering Pines Preschool purchase and renovation; Forest Preserve Users Inc. — $136,000 for purchase of snowmobile trail grooming equipment; Greater Mohawk Valley Land Bank Corp. —$20,000 for feasibility study for historic Stone Lodge property in Palatine Bridge; Mohawk Valley Collective, Inc. — $500,000 to assist in the renovation of Unity Hall, an anchor project located in the village of Fort Plain’s downtown; Western Montgomery County Wastewater System Asset Study — $12,500; Schoharie Crossing Stabilization Project — $50,000; Montgomery County IDA — $50,000 to structure a comprehensive Economic Development Strategy; town of Florida — $111,184 to create the town’s first community park next to the existing Town Hall and Veteran Park site; Schoharie River Center — $25,000 for the Schoharie River Center expansion of its arts education programming.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.

By Patricia Older

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