Fulton County CRG 2017 Fall Gala

Fulton County Center for Regional Growth is pleased to announce the

2017 Fall Gala

November 9, 2017 at Lanzi’s on the Lake

Hors D’Oeuvres and Networking start at 5:00 p.m.

Dinner will be served at 6:30, accompanied by musical selections from Community Winds.

At 8:00 p.m. the award presentations will begin, followed by the announcement of winners of a silent auction, which will take place throughout the evening.

Tickets are $50.00 per person. Payment can be made by mail to the address below or the night of the event. 

Want to attend the Fall Gala and get special recognition on the program, either as an organization or an individual? Consider attending as a Supporting Sponsor. The cost is $125.00 – it includes one free ticket to the event and a listing on the event Program. It is the perfect way for someone to attend the event while giving that extra gift of support! To become a Supporting Sponsor, simply email me your request! Thanks for considering this special sponsorship level.

Registration for this event will close on Monday, November 6 at 10 a.m., so make your plans TODAY.

Use this link to RSVP now online

Or print this pdf invitation to RSVP by mail.

                Awards will be presented to:

Established Business Award:  Frasier EnterprisesSign in front of Frasier Enterprises, an award recipient at the CRG 2017 Fall Gala

Expanded Business Award:  Pioneer Window Manufacturing Corp.Sign in front of Pioneer Window, an award recipient at the CRG 2017 Fall Gala

Start-Up Business Award:  No. 22 Bicycle Company

Head welder Frank  Cenchitz joins titanium tubing on the bike frame, at No.22 Bicycle, an award recipient at the CRG 2017 Fall Gala

Hidden Gem Award:  Stump City BreweryMatt Sherman, Nick Sherman and Casey Oare, the brains and muscle behind Stump City Brewing, an award recipient at the CRG 2017 Fall Gala

Thanks to our sponsors:

Marquis sponsor

logo for Realty Gift Fund, a sponsor of the CRG 2017 Fall Gala

Platinum Sponsor

logo forPatriot Federal Bank , a sponsor of the CRG 2017 Fall Gala

Gold Sponsors

logo for Fulton County IDA, a sponsor of the CRG 2017 Fall Gala

logo for Center for Economic Growth, a sponsor of the CRG 2017 Fall Gala

logo for Nathan Littauer Hospital, a sponsor of the CRG 2017 Fall Gala

td-bank-logologo for West & Co , a sponsor of the CRG 2017 Fall Gala

logo for The Leader Herald, a sponsor of the CRG 2017 Fall Gala

logo for Studio Herbage , a sponsor of the CRG 2017 Fall Gala

Gloversville Downtown Development Specialist hired

jennifer-jenningsFulton County Center for Regional Growth and the City of Gloversville, in conjunction with the downtown development team, are pleased to announce that Jennifer Jennings has been hired for the position of Gloversville Downtown Development Specialist.

Ms. Jennings is a graduate of Bryant College in Smithfield, RI. She spent several years in London, United Kingdom, where she earned a master’s degree in Urbanization and Development from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Upon her return to the states, she began a career in farm advocacy and area food systems. She has worked as an outreach consultant for the Agricultural Stewardship Association before moving on to work as a Food Industry Relations Associate for the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York. Most recently, Ms. Jennings worked as Market Manager for Schenectady Greenmarket.

“I am very excited about this new challenge,” Ms. Jennings said. “I have a deep affection for the city of Gloversville and see so much possibility in our area. While studying abroad, I began to connect the information I was learning with my home in the Mohawk Valley, specifically with Fulton and Montgomery Counties. My experiences provide me with a unique perspective on how to approach the problems of redevelopment. I can’t wait to get started.”

“We look forward to having Jennifer join our office,” CRG President and CEO, Ronald Peters, stated. “Our downtown team developed a specific job description when considering what we needed this position to do for downtown Gloversville. We conducted a thorough candidate search and are confident that we chose a qualified, energetic and enthusiastic employee in Jennifer Jennings.”

Gloversville Mayor Dayton King is also excited about Ms. Jennings joining the CRG. He added, “This position will be great for the City of Gloversville as we continue to move revitalization forward. I have enjoyed working with Ron Peters as we (the City of Gloversville) have renewed our partnership with CRG. The addition of Jennifer as the Gloversville Downtown Development Specialist will only help our relationship to grow.”

The downtown development team supporting the Gloversville Downtown Development Specialist position is made up of a consortium of downtown business owners and downtown groups. This team has collectively funded the position for a three-year contract and will assist CRG in overseeing the progress and direction of the position. The team consists of: the City of Gloversville, Downtown Gloversville Business Improvement District, Fulton County Center for Regional Growth, Gloversville Economic Development Corporation (AKA Promote Gloversville), the Hohenforst Family, and Ronald Zimmerman.

Ms. Jennings will start her new job with CRG on January 3, 2017. Downtown Gloversville businesses are encouraged to reach out to her as of this date via phone (518-725-7700, ext 107), email (jenniferj@fccrg.org), or at CRG’s office, located at 34 West Fulton Street.

Gloversville microbrewery takes shape 

Microbrewery to open in Gloversville: From left, Matt Sherman, Nick Sherman and Casey Oare, the brains and muscle behind Stump City Brewing. PHOTOGRAPHER: DANIEL FITZSIMMONS

Microbrewery to open in Gloversville: From left, Matt Sherman, Nick Sherman and Casey Oare, the brains and muscle behind Stump City Brewing. PHOTOGRAPHER: DANIEL FITZSIMMONS

Originally published in The Daily Gazette

By Daniel Fitzsimmons, December 18, 2016

For brothers Matt and Nick Sherman, along with their childhood friend, Casey Oare, nearly every weekend for the past three years has been spent building a shared dream conceived nearly six years ago in the Shermans’ garage: to open a brewery together that Gloversville could call its own.

Standing in the now-functioning brewery and taproom recently, which lacked only the finishing touches, the trio — and Stump City Brewing — have come a long way from the garage where they experimented with different homebrew recipes and fantasized about doing something bigger.

“Our motto is ‘from the ground up,’” said Matt Sherman, 34, a reference to the do it yourself-ethos that informs nearly everything they do, from building the structure that houses the brewery and taproom themselves to slogging through the mountains of state and federal paperwork required to operate a brewery.

The other defining feature of Stump City Brewing is their devotion to Gloversville and the surrounding area, and their drive to source everything — from the ingredients in their beer to construction materials — locally.

The bar in the taproom is made from the trees that were cleared to make way for their building. The ceiling is lined with corrugated sheet metal, giving it a rustic look, that a friend had stockpiled and given them. The plank floor is made of reclaimed wood from a nearby house that was gutted.

The project took three years’ worth of weekends because all three men have day jobs. Matt Sherman is a school counselor, Nick Sherman sells bus parts, and Oare is a paramedic and firefighter. Weekends were all spent bringing the dream to life.

Stump City is also taking advantage of New York’s farm brewing law, which provides incentives like decreased permitting requirements to New York-based brewers in exchange for the brewers sourcing a portion of their ingredients inside the state. The purpose of the law is to spur hop and grain production in the state and increase demand for local products.

Under the farm brewery law, at least 20 percent of the brewery’s hops must come from inside the state, and 20 percent of all other ingredients must be native to New York. Those ratios increase to 90 percent each in 2024.

But the Shermans and Oare are already there, sourcing 90 percent of their grain bill from a farm outside Rochester, and all of their hops — for now — from Goddard Tree Farm in Johnstown. Nick Sherman, 30, said there’s a need for increased hop and grain production in the state, which is ideal for growing such crops.

“It’s just a matter of convincing these farmers that there’s money to be made in growing those crops,” said Nick Sherman. “The startup costs are high.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, their name is local too. Before the area was called Gloversville it was known as “Stump City,” after all the trees that had been cut down to supply bark for the leather tanning process.

The brewery is located on West Fulton Street extension, behind the Sherman family home on land donated by the Shermans’ dad, Jerry Sherman, who is also a partner in the brewery and provided funds to help get the project off the ground.

“We grew up playing in these woods,” said Nick Sherman, looking out the back door of the brewery.

About $13,000 in additional funds was raised through an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, which Matt Sherman said was crucial to the finishing of the brewery.
“Without the Indiegogo this wouldn’t have happened,” he said, noting that contributors, depending on how much they donated, will receive perks like Stump City clothing and gear or even the chance to brew an original beer.

And while other crowdfunding campaigns might draw donations from around the world, virtually all of the donations made to Stump City were from friends, relatives and others within the group’s orbit.

“I don’t think there’s one donor we don’t know,” said Matt Sherman. “The support in the community has been huge.”

“We all grew up here,” said Casey Oare, 31. “And for the people who stayed there’s a certain amount of pride being from the area, and we want to be a part of that.”

The group’s goal is to sell beer in their taproom and at local beverage centers where people can fill up their growlers — large, reusable glass containers used to store beer for personal use — with Stump City beer. Eventually they’d like for the brewery to support one of them as a full-time employee, and from there start increasing capacity, which currently stands at around 31 gallons per batch.

They currently have three brews that will be in regular rotation at the taproom; their Cayadutta Cream Ale, which they said is a good entry point to craft beer, a pale ale and a red ale.

Oare said there’s lots of buzz around when the taproom will open, and that he gets questioned by local residents on when they’ll be able to come in for a beer.
“Everybody wants to know when we’re opening,” Oare said.

The group said they want to do a soft opening for family, friends and supporters in the coming weeks, and open the taproom to the general public in the spring.
But they’re in no rush. The Shermans and Oare take a lot of pride in the beer they make, their local roots, and building something that those in Gloversville and the surrounding area can take a measure of ownership in.

“We want to make people proud,” said Matt Sherman. “We want people to be able to say, ‘that’s my beer.’”

When people of vision work together

Mohawk Harvest Cooperative Market is a vivid demonstration of the good that can happen when people of vision work together. To secure the downtown market’s front and center Main Street location, a group of private citizens purchased a building in a foreclosure auction and formed a corporation to act as landlord. The co-op’s rent is tied to its revenues, giving the nascent business the strength to grow, succeed and provide downtown Gloversville with a stable anchor store.

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What is on your wishlist for the next phase of Gloversville’s evolution?

More people living downtown? What kinds of stores, businesses and services? Join the conversation by posting your constructive comments on FCCRG’s Facebook and Twitter with #GloversvillePositive. (You’re also welcome to share the good things the city already is.)


Read more about Mohawk Harvest Cooperative Market in this Gloversville Leader-Herald article about founding (and outgoing – in more ways than one) co-op general manager Chris Curro:

The Start of Something Big
Chris Curro’s vision has made Gloversville a better place

“Chris had a keen understanding of how downtowns work and what’s necessary to keep downtowns working the right way.” Ron Peters, FCCRG President

By JASON SUBIK, Business Editor jsubik@leaderherald.com, Published Dec.11, 2016

GLOVERSVILLE — At Chris Curro’s checkout counter, conversation was almost always on the menu. Whether it was talking about a new locally made product or the hidden costs to retailers from credit card transactions — the freshness of locally grown food from the Mohawk Valley Produce Auction or the importance of going corn-syrup free or fair trade versus free trade — it was always about more than just the sale.

“So many people enjoy talking to Chris,” Mohawk Valley Cooperative Market President Bob Galinsky said. “After he announced he was leaving, I looked at all of the comments people made on Facebook, so many people talked about their conversations with Chris at the register, how much they enjoyed that. At any other store, how many people talk about their conversations with the clerk at the grocery store?”

Since the Mohawk Valley Cooperative Market was first conceived in a small meeting of about 15 people at the First Presbyterian Church on West Fulton Street in 2009, Chris Curro has been its only general manager . Co-op Vice President Vince DeSantis was there when the market was formed and was part of the decision to hire Curro.

“It was a unanimous decision and kind of a no-brainer to hire him. He wanted the job, and he said he would be the general manager and work for free for the first three months, so for the first three months, he worked for no pay at all and said we could decide what to do after that,” DeSantis said. “He put the thing together. There have been a lot of people involved in the co-op, but I don’t think the co-op would have really thrived without him, because not only did he have an understanding of the store in the beginning, the things to order, how to fill the shelves, but he also had an innate sense of business and the third thing he had was a physical toughness and an energy to put in a lot of effort and a lot of time. For all of the years that we’ve been open, he has worked way, way above and beyond what anyone would expect for an employee, for a manger like that. He put his heart and soul into it.”

Curro announced last week that Jan. 31 would be his last day as general manager for the co-op and that he was moving to another state to pursue a new opportunity. The Mohawk Valley Harvest Co-op has announced it has hired Sean Munk, an assistant manager at the store with a background that includes a degree from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park.

But Curro’s decision will affect more than just Mohawk Harvest.

He served on the Center for Regional Growth’s board of directors and over the past seven years had become one of the leading voices in the movement to revitalize downtown Gloversville.

DeSantis said it was originally Curro’s idea to move the co-op from its first location, a smaller store at 51 N. Main St., to the location of the former Open Window Gift Shop in the Schine building, which at that time had been acquired in a foreclosure auction by the Crossroads Incubator Corp. DeSantis said the relocation of Mohawk Harvest proved to the catalyst that motivated a collection of private citizens to purchase the Schine building for $70,000 and form a corporation called Schine Memorial Hall LLC, which acts as the landlord for the co-op, allowing its rent to be tied to its revenues. That has allowed it to grow and succeed, providing downtown Gloversville with a stable anchor store.curro

“There were several alternative places that we were considering, and Chris said ‘this is a natural place for the co-op’,” DeSantis said. “From the first week we were in that store we knew it was the perfect place. And I really believe that things have started to progress because of the co-op’s existence and the new energy that we feel in Gloversville, the new attitude has been because the store has stood the test of time — it’s been there for going on eight years — and it gives you a physical example of what a downtown can look and feel like.”

Moving on

Curro said he plans to move to Arizona, where a friend lives, and that he has big plans for when he gets there, but he won’t yet say what they are.

He said he’s leaving for personal reasons and said he’s moved many times, living in places like Madison, Wisc., where he went to college, as well as California, and his decision to move to the Fulton County area in 2007 from Sioux Falls, S.D., was also due to personal reasons.

“My wife, at the time, got a job here and my brother lived in the Saratoga-area, and I knew the area from having visited here several times. I knew it was a beautiful place, and I knew it had a lot of history,” he said.

Curro said his professional and educational background before working at Mohawk Harvest was in teaching. He said he was a high school tutor working as part of grant-funded program at Centro Civico in Amsterdam when he randomly heard from a friend about a meeting in Gloversville to discuss the possibility of creating a food co-op market.

“I said, ‘I’ve got nothing to do tonight’, so I went,” he said. “During the planning process I thought, these are a lot of really good people with some really great ideas and super intentions and they wanted to make our community more livable, more walkable, the kind of place anybody would want to call home, and I said I wanted to be a part of that.”

Curro said he tried to take the principles he learned teaching advanced placement economics as a high school teacher and put them into practice in a retail store. He said the co-op started with about 100 members and a loan from a retired dairy farmer. After operating at its first location for almost two years, it moved to 30 N. Main St. in the Schine building, and the business grew tremendously.

“We doubled our sales in the new spot and the next year we grew by 50 percent and then the next year we grew by 35 percent, so we continued to grow,” he said.

Curro said he recalls many of the moments from the early years of the store, like moving all of the inventory of the former location in shopping carts, discovering 30 N. Main St. still had a hardwood floor under two layers of sub-flooring, and battling an early plumbing problem and trying to plug a leak with his finger.

“I wanted to take what I had taught, economic theories, and put them into practice, but the real revelation was how economic theory meets human relationships because this store, like any good business, is really about the customers. If you don’t know them, if you don’t listen to them, if you don’t understand what they want and get to know them personally, it won’t work,” he said. “The co-op mission for us was local, healthy food with an orientation toward the community, because its community-owned and I took that vision to heart. Before we moved [out of 51 N. Main] our membership had doubled, which showed the community was supporting it, and we’ve since more than tripled that doubling, to about 625 members and the members represent about one-third of our customers. Last year, we had more than 19,000 transactions, so people are finding something of value here.

Galinsky said the co-op recently had a membership drive over the summer and added 30 new members. He said co-op members have access to special discounts at different times of the year and if the co-op turns a profit, which he said it has a couple of times, it can issue a dividend to members. He said most of the store’s revenues have been channeled into growing its product lines with new equipment, products and employees.

Curro said there’s more than $600,000 worth of equipment at the Mohawk Valley Harvest and he believes the co-op is poised for additional growth after his departure.

“It’s very hard, to leave, because this has really become one of my creative outlets, but with that said, it’s being placed in such good hands. The new GM, Sean Munk, is more experienced in retail than I was. He’s got more experience in food than I’ve had and I think he can take it to the next level,” he said. “If this business succeeds, I think the community succeeds. I said this on the CRG board, Gloversville is just the biggest downtown that we have, if it takes off, not only do you have a region in focus, but you have the model for the next downtown, whether it’s downtown Mayfield, downtown Johnstown, whatever, Amsterdam, Northville. The goal here was to prove a concept, that you can put together a high-quality food establishment, purchasing locally,  and bring people to a downtown location that a lot of people had given a bad rap to, and I think we proved the concept to be true and it’s replicable.”

Fulton County Center for Regional Growth President Ron Peters said he recruited Curro for a position on the CRG board after seeing Curro’s commitment to local products. Peters said Curro will be missed.

“Chris was a real asset to our board, and he contributed heavily to our thought process. Chris had a keen understanding of how downtowns work and what’s necessary to keep downtowns working the right way. Chris is very good at that,” he said. “We’re looking around now [for another downtown advocate for our board]; we’ve got some feelers out there. He’s not leaving until February, so we’ve got a little bit of time.”

Business Beginnings Fall Networking Event

Fulton County business owners:

No. 22 Bicycle Co. Production facility in Johnstown, NY

No. 22 Bicycle Co. in Johnstown, NY

FCCRG’s fall networking event…

“Business Beginnings”

will be

November 17, 2016
Holiday Inn, Johnstown at 6:00 p.m.

The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich Vireo Health Chief Horticulturalist Chuck Schmitt checks out some cannabis seedlings Wednesday at the Tryon Technology Park.

Vireo Health in Tryon Technology Park

 

The event will celebrate the newest businesses in Fulton County — 5 years or younger.

To be one of the featured businesses, please register here:

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For more information or to become a sponsor of this event, contact Becky at 725-7700 ext. 100 or email: beckyh@fccrg.org

Up to $25K available for startup companies in Fulton County

Small and startup companies in Fulton County can get a piece of a $185,000 grant pool called the Microenterprise Grant Program, but they must apply soon.

La Villa Dog Works, which describes itself as a two-person, one dog shop, makes dog collars and leashes and sells them online and its retail store in Johnstown. It's expansion was boosted last year with a loan from the Microenterprise Grant Program administered by CRG.

La Villa Dog Works, which describes itself as a two-person, one-dog shop, makes dog collars and leashes and sells them online and its retail store in Johnstown. Its expansion was boosted last year with a $25,000 loan from the Microenterprise Grant Program administered by CRG.

 The Fulton County Center for Regional Growth administers the program, which seeks to boost the chances of young and start up businesses with five or fewer full-time employees, one of whom is the owner. The program offers up to $25,000 in seed money per applicant to be used for new businesses or expansions that create jobs. The money comes from a federal Community Development Block Grant, filtered through the state Office of Community Renewal.

CRG President and CEO Ron Peters said the CRG hopes to award money by July. Applicants must go through a training process that includes a general overview of business; accounting, taxes and finance; marketing and e-commerce; and development of a business plan. There is a $100 fee for the training, which can be expensed to the Microenterprise Grant funds.

L&L embroidery

In last year’s round of Microenterprise Grant Program Funding, L&L Embroidery of 258 County Highway 142, Johnstown received $25,000. The company does custom embroidery on apparel and accessories.

Facial room at SW Skin Care & Cosmetics in Johnstown NY

SW Skin Care & Cosmetics, Inc., an esthetician and day spa in Johnstown, received $15,000 from the Microenterprise Grant program last year.

Training sessions will be held June 15-16, and June 22-23 at the Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce office on North Main Street.

Companies that received Microenterprise Grant Program funding in 2015 included LaVilla Dog Works, 11 S. Market St., Johnstown – $25,000; SW Skin Care & Cosmetics, Inc. of 86 Briggs St., Johnstown – $15,000; and L&L Embroidery of 258 County Highway 142, Johnstown – $25,000.

Southern Adirondack Wine & Food Festival


Southern Adirondack Wine & Food Festival Logo

 

Sunday, June 12, 2016

1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

2 N. Main Street

Gloversville, NY

Isntitsweet

Tastings of wine, cider and whisky

Hudson-Chatham WineryHummingbird Hill WineryLedge Rock Hill WineryPazdar Winery, Nine Pin CiderYankee Distillers

◊ Delicious local food

The Brass Monkey, On A Roll, Mohawk Harvest Co-opNYC PizzaSugar PearlPalatine CheeseIce Delites, Isn’t It SweetThe Nut LadyFork Art

Live music

Chelsea Reeves
GCM Wind Quintet
Baker Brass Trio
Cosby Gibson & Tom Staudle
Doghouse Trio
Penny Jar

Wine seminars

The basics of wine making and wine tasting

Art  and Craft Shows

Primitive Pimp Design
My Inner 1800s 
The Leaning Tree

◊ Architectural tours

In historic downtown Gloversville

◊ Plus….

French-themed Paint N Sip ($5 additional fee for supplies)

The Southern Adirondack Wine & Food Festival is sponsored by:

GOLD SPONSOR:
Fulton County Center for Regional Growth

SILVER SPONSORS:
Adirondack Wood Floor Co.
Mohawk Harvest Co-op
The Still Point Acupuncture

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CRG set to reopen loan pool for city

April 20, 2016

By JASON SUBIK , Leader Herald 

GLOVERSVILLE – The Fulton County Center for Regional Growth is set to soon reopen a $900,000 loan pool for city businesses.

“That fund has not been active. We’re going to be creating what will be called the Gloversville Loan Fund and we’re setting up a joint administration of that with the city and CRG,” CRG President Ron Peters said.

Peters said the loan pool, which is made up of money from the federal Urban Development Action Grant-funded loan program, had been inactive since at least 2012 when Gloversville initiated two lawsuits against the CRG and its precursor entities, the Fulton County Economic Development Corp. and the Cross Roads Incubator Corp. Gloversville had given the UDAG money to the Fulton County EDC to administer, but sought the return of the funds in the lawsuit.


I think in business, in the real world, you cut your losses and you move forward. We don’t want to be at war with CRG or anybody else. We want to make partnerships. [The New York Innovative Communities Network’s conference] last week wouldn’t have happened if we’re suing each other.” Gloversville Mayor Dayton King


On April 12 the Common Council voted unanimously to drop the lawsuits, forgiving approximately $1.2 million in Gloversville UDAC loans. These were the loans forgiven: $750,000 for the CIC Estee Commons project; $200,000 to the CIC for the construction of 110 Decker Drive, formerly the site of the CRG’s headquarters; $25,000 to Beebie Printing; and a $179,190 loan the city government had borrowed from the fund. Prior to the loan forgiveness, the 110 Decker Drive project had paid down the principle of its loan to $151,854, Beebie Printing had paid down its loan to $13,562, but neither the city nor the Estee Commons project had paid back any portion of its loans.

Mayor Dayton King said he and the Common Council evaluated the likelihood of recovery of any of the forgiven loans and decided it was in the city’s best interest to end the lawsuits.

“We were probably never going to get any of that money back,” King said. “We also realized that if we ever did get that money, it was never going to go back to our general fund. We did get a project out of it, the Estee Commons project, out of that initial grant money. We could have kept beating our heads against the wall and saying no on principle – that was really the theme from the last Common Council, ‘No, no matter what, this is the right thing to do and I don’t want to explain to my taxpayers why we’re forgiving these loans.’ But I think in business, in the real world, you cut your losses and you move forward. We don’t want to be at war with CRG or anybody else. We want to make partnerships. [The New York Innovative Communities Network’s conference] last week wouldn’t have happened if we’re suing each other.”

Peters said at its peak level, the Gloversville UDAG loan fund had approximately $2.2 million in it. As of Jan. 31, the loan fund has $900,000 in it and has three outstanding loans that are receiving monthly payments:

Peters said Gloversville’s decision to forgive the $1.2 million in non-performing loans was crucial to the CRG’s ability to move forward and reopen the UDAG loan fund.

“The issues had to be straightened out,” he said. “We’re going to create a new board – we haven’t had the organizational meeting yet -but we’re going to sit down and organize our new loan committee and it will be made up of the city and the CRG. We’re going to do this in the next week to 10 days.”

King said the new governance board for the Gloversville UDAG fund will include the mayor of Gloversville, three Common Council members and three members from CRG, giving Gloversville elected officials a one-vote majority control of how the money in the fund will be loaned out.

The largest portion of the forgiven money was $750,000 for the Estee Commons project. Peters said the rules of the federal program that governs UDAG loan pools require the UDAG loan to be paid off last for projects that have multiple funding sources. In the case of the Estee Commons project, the project has a $1.9 million private sector mortgage, which is known as the “first position” in the repayment structure.

Peters said Estee Commons, which now has an occupancy rate of between 93 and 100 percent for its 39 apartments, currently brings in about $21,000 per month in rent revenue after expenses, but has about $19,000 in monthly mortgage payments, not counting taxes or insurance. He said at its current rate of payment it won’t repay its private sector mortgage for at least another 15 years.

Peters said the purpose of the Estee Commons project was to help spark urban renewal in the neighborhood in which it was built, but so far the prevailing market rent rates in that neighborhood have not risen to the level necessary to repay both the private and public sector financing for the project. He said rent revenue would need to be about 60 percent higher than it currently is for it to have reasonably repaid its $1.7 million private sector mortgage and the $750,000 from the Gloversville UDAG loan fund.

Until recently, Estee Commons only had about a 60 percent occupancy rate, which Peters attributes to the CRG having only a two-member staff, down from the eight-member staff the Fulton County EDC had at its peak. Peters said the CRG increased the occupancy rate by hiring Schenectady-based property management company Maddalone & Associates, which is paid about 7 percent of the rent revenues for the site.

Peters said Estee Commons was effectively unsellable so long as the $750,000 UDAG loan was still a lien against the value of the property.

“It would be like buying a $20,000 car and saying ‘I know its worth $20,000, but I’m going to give you $40,000 for it,” he said.

King said the low probability of Estee Commons ever selling for a price high enough to repay the UDAG loan was a key part of the city’s decision to drop the lawsuit.

CRG recently relocated its headquarters from 110 Decker Drive, one of the projects which had a loan forgiven, to the former OHM Laboratories building at 34 W. Fulton St. in Gloversville, a 35,000 square foot location the CRG plans to use as a business incubator.

King said there was never an explicit quid pro quo agreement for Gloversville to forgive the Decker Drive loan and the CRG to move to downtown Gloversville, but he’s glad the organization made the move.

100 years of great businesses in Fulton County

The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan  The Fulton County Center for Regional Growth's free networking event entitled "Business Jubilee" celebrated Fulton County businesses that have been in business for 50 years or more.

The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan
The Fulton County Center for Regional Growth’s free networking event entitled “Business Jubilee” celebrated Fulton County businesses that have been in business for 50 years or more.

Fulton County Center for Regional growth celebrated the “deep roots, strong hearts and unbridled optimism” of the county’s most venerable businesses at a Business Jubilee in November.

With generous support from community sponsors, the FCCRG highlighted and honored 29 businesses and organizations that have operated in Fulton County for 50 years or more.

The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan  Jack Scott of WENT radio speaks during the Fulton County Center for Regional Growth's "Business Jubilee."

The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan
Jack Scott of WENT radio speaks during the Fulton County Center for Regional Growth’s “Business Jubilee.”

Jack Scott of WENT Radio, noted: “The businesses represented here tonight have survived and thrived. And only the strong survive.”

Scott described the common threads all the businesses share: strength of character, the ability to adapt, dedication, optimism, resilience, a commitment to serve their markets with outstanding products and customer service.

The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan  FCCRG President Ron Peters

The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan
FCCRG President Ron Peters

About 150 people attended the networking event, which was a part of an ongoing effort by the CRG to show the advantages Fulton County has fostered for more than a century to entrepreneurs looking for places to settle and expand. At the same time, the event supported and encouraged the growth and strength of existing businesses.

“It’s about working together – 2016 is the year of cooperation and collaboration,” CRG President Ron Peters said.

The CRG had a poster made describing the history of each honoree business. To order a commemorative booklet of all of the posters from the event, please contact Becky either by phone or email (518-725-7700 or beckyh@fccrg.org).

The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan  Jeannie Moller, left, and her daughter Amie Waddle, both of Caroga, look at a display which features Bowman's Market in Gloversville during the Fulton County Center for Regional Growth's free networking event entitled "Business Jubilee."

The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan
Jeannie Moller, left, and her daughter Amie Waddle, both of Caroga, look at a display which features Bowman’s Market in Gloversville during the Fulton County Center for Regional Growth’s “Business Jubilee.”

77 years: Bowman’s Market, 50 East Pine Street, Gloversville
54 years: Brown’s Ford, 121 North Comrie Avenue, Johnstown
64 years: Capano’s Barber Shop, 27 West Fulton Street, Gloversville
100 years: Century Linen & Uniform, 335 North Main Street, Gloversville
161 years: Cherry Valley Memorials, 141 South Main Street, Gloversville
59 years: Coldwell Banker Realty, 363 North Comrie Avenue, Johnstown
51 years: Derby Office Equipment, 25 North Arlington Ave., Gloversville
136 years: Frontier Communications, 137 Harrison Street Gloversville
51 years: Fulton County Board of Realtors, 32 Spring Street, Gloversville
123 years: Fulton County YMCA, 213 Harrison Street, Gloversville
96 years: Fulton Montgomery Chamber of Commerce, 2 North Main Street, Gloversville
76 years: Glove Cities Veterinary Hospital, 35 Harrison Street, Gloversville
101 years: Glove Theatre, 42 North Main Street, Gloversville
135 years: Gloversville Public Library, 58 East Fulton Street, Gloversville
125 years: Gloversville Sewing Center, 50 East Pine Street, Gloversville
62 years: Lexington ARC, 127 East State Street, Gloversville
81 years: Lohse Florist, 93 East State Street, Gloversville
97 years: Main Motorcar, 224 West Main Street, Johnstown
90 years: Mr. G’s Hair Gallery, 55 West Fulton Street, Gloversville
79 years: New York Lunch, 21 Bleecker Street, Gloversville
57 years: Robert M. Halgas Funeral Home, 111 County Highway 140, Johnstown
93 years: Rossbach Shoe, 10 West Fulton Street, Gloversville
66 years: Ruby & Quiri, 307 North Comrie Avenue, Johnstown
202 years: Saltsman’s Hotel, 104 County Highway 140, Fort Plain
107 years: Taylor Made Group, 66 Kingsboro Avenue, Gloversville
128 years: The Leader Herald, 8 East Fulton Street, Gloversville
71 years: WENT Radio, 138 Harrison Street Ext., Gloversville
75 years: WEST & Company, 97 North Main Street, Gloversville
107 years: Willing Helpers Home for Women, 226 West Madison Avenue, Johnstown

“I’m surprised by the amount of people who came out. It’s positive and uplifting,” said Richard Smith, owner of Century Linen and Uniform Service. The business – until this year known as Robison & Smith – has been operating in Fulton County for 100 years.

“It’s really good to showcase hometown businesses, to look at what they’re doing right,” Gloversville 5th Ward Supervisor Greg Young said.

The CRG is grateful for the generous support of the following businesses who made this event possible to be free and open to the public.

  • Century Sponsor: The Leader Herald
  • Golden Age Sponsor: Patriot Federal Bank
  • Jubilee Sponsors: Lexington, Fulton County Chapter, NYSARC Inc.;
  • West & Company; Nathan Littauer Hospital and Nursing Home; Frontier Communications
  • Sweets Sponsor: Fulton County Board of Realtors
  • Carving Station Sponsors: Ruby & Quiri; Wells Fargo Advisors

Fulton BoardofRealtors logoR&Q logows_logo WEST-Logo
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See local newspaper coverage By MORGAN FRISCH in The Leader Herald    

Fulton County scores $8.49M in grants

The Mohawk Valley came away with $100.3 million for 92 projects through Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Upstate Revitalization Initiative. It was the largest amount granted to any of the regions that did not win one of three $500 million prizes in what critics have dubbed Cuomo’s Hunger Games.

Proposals from the Southern Tier, Finger Lakes and Central New York took those top prize packages.  The four other regions in the competition took away consolation prizes worth $100.3 million to the Mohawk Valley, $90.4 million to the Mid-Hudson region, $85.1 million to the North Country and $98.1 million to the Capital Region.

Fulton County departments and organizations received 16 grants totaling just over $8.49 million from the Regional Economic Development Council.  Fulton County projects to receive funding from various agencies and sources are:

Town of Johnstown Food Pantry, $400,000
Housing and Community Renewal Community Development Block Grant for Public Facilities to be used to rehabilitate the One Church Street facility, which houses a food pantry and soup kitchen.

St. John’s Episcopal Church, $80,000
An Empire State Development grant to assist with the conversion of the former YMCA building at One Church Street to for a commercial kitchen and dining room on the first floor and an emergency shelter on the upper floors.

Jumpstart Fulton County, $51,000
Empire State Development Grant to construct and install infrastructure upgrades at two locations linking the City of Gloversville and the city of Johnstown municipal water systems.

Fulton County Development Strategy, $20,000
Empire State Development grant to allow Fulton County to develop a County Development Strategy Plan outlining a 10-year vision for the County’s projects and strategies.

Fulton County Microenterprise Program, $200,000
Housing and Community Renewal Community Development Block Grant to assist in the Microenterprise Program for the advancement of small and startup businesses.

Tryon Technology Park, $10,000
Empire State Development grant for the demolition of three buildings and clearing of about 100 acres at the Tryon Technology Park.

Tryon Technology Park, $30,000
Empire State Development grant for renovating a building at Tryon Technology Park.

Fulton County Hydroseeding Program, $31,500
Department of Environmental Conservation Water Quality Improvement Project Program grant for the Fulton County Soil and Water Conservation District to continue a hydroseeding program that provides critical area seeding at the County landfill and stabilizes road ditches. In addition, the District will provide educational opportunities to municipalities throughout the county on the benefits of hydroseeding. The project will continue to reduce the amount of sediment entering waterbodies throughout Fulton County.

Gloversville Public Library, $500,000
An Empire State Development grant to assist with a $7 million capital campaign by the Gloversville Public Library, a building funded in 1904 by Andrew Carnegie. This grant focuses on renovations to bring the Beaux-Arts building into compliance with NYS building code and ADA Standards.

Gloversville Public Library, $500,000
New York State Parks Recreation & Historic Preservation grant for repair projects vital to the structural integrity of the 111-year-old public building, offering an opportunity to install energy efficient alternatives.

Gloversville Johnstown Wastewater Treatment Facility, $1.1 million
Department of Environmental Conservation Water Quality Improvement Project Program grant to install a disinfection system at the Gloversville-Johnstown Joint Wastewater Treatment Facility. The outcome will be to fully treat the effluent, which reduces environmental contamination.

Nathan Littauer Hospital Nursing Home, $740,000
An Empire State Development grant to help construct primary care and dialysis medical facilities in Perth, Fonda and Gloversville.

New Age Renewable Energy, $2,000,000
An Empire State Development grant to Johnstown Renewables, which will build an acid whey treatment facility in the Johnstown Industrial Park to provide and economically sound and environmentally sound process for dealing with yogurt-making byproducts.

New Age Renewable Energy Corporation, $940,000
A second Empire State Development grant for the acid whey facility.

Robison Smith, Inc., $1,700,000
An Empire State Development grant to retain the 100-year-old industrial laundry company in Fulton County by assisting in the consolidation of two antiquated plants into a single state-of-the-art facility.

Mohawk Valley Path Through History Cycling Trails, $291,500
An Empire State Development grant to the Workforce Investment Board of Herkimer, Oneida and Madison counties to implement the next phase of its original multi-year plan to develop and market cycling trails to connect the existing Erie Canalway Trail to historic sites throughout the project area. The plan aims to increase visitation, sales and occupancy tax revenues.

The Fulmont College Association for the Global Village project at Fulton-Montgomery Community College was awarded $3.7 million to put in a sewer line for wastewater.

Neighboring Montgomery County and several of its villages will receive a total of $455,000 from the New York State Parks Recreation & Historic Preservation, Department of State Local Waterfront Revitalization Program and the Canal system. Improvements will be made to Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Park in the Village of St. Johnsville; the Mohawk River Scenic Overlook Waterfront Access Facility in the Village of Fultonville; a new Canalside Park off South Bridge Street in the Village of Fonda; and the Bike Trail Restoration project.

The Bike Trail restoration will focus on existing portions of the State Canalway bike trail from Fort Hunter to Fultonville and from Fultonville to Root. These spans will be paved to create a cohesive trail system with the other already paved sections. The smioother roads will cut down on maintenance and create a safer, more inviting experience for bicyclists, runners and pedestrians.

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Even though the larger multi-county proposal from the Mohawk Valley did not win one of the half-billion grants, Montgomery County Executive Matt Ossenfort said the URI competition created an opportunity for the people of the Mohawk Valley to come together to develop long-range thinking and coordinated plans. That process made the counties forge closer relationships.

“We’ve worked very well with Fulton County for many years, and Schoharie County to some extent. But when you add in Otsego, Herkimer, Oneida…there’s definitely a stronger bond there than previously, and I would argue, probably many, many years.”

The Cuomo administration said Round V of the Regional Economic Development Council Initiative has added $2.25 billion to projects throughout the state.

Cuomo said he plans to provide additional funding for the four regions that did not take home the $500 million top prize.

“I’m going to propose in the budget next year, to my colleagues in the legislature, for those regions that are not successful today in the URI grant, we allocate an additional $50 million to those regions, to those four regions, so they know they get $50 million to fund their top priorities, because there are no bad proposals,” Cuomo said.

Democratic Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi of Utica said the Mohawk Valley region has also received more than $500 million in state investment into the Nano Utica Project, including GE’s Quad-C facility and ams’s semiconductor manufacturing plant.

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