$50 million available from RESTORE NY

Governor Cuomo has announced that municipalities will be able to apply for $50 million from the RESTORE NY Communities Initiative. The funds are available to revitalize and stabilize downtowns and neighborhoods. Funding of the RESTORE NY program has been a priority of NYSEDC’s Community-Based Economic Development Committee for the past two years.

ESD, which administers the program, has held informational meetings for municipalities that want to submit applications.

Photo from The Leader-Herald, by Arthur Cleveland

Photo from The Leader-Herald, by Arthur Cleveland

Since the program’s inception, more than $200 million has been invested in the removal and restoration of blighted properties – particularly in urban centers and distressed cities throughout New York State. Now in Round 4, $50 million in funding is available to continue these efforts.

Cities, towns and villages are eligible to apply for support for projects that include demolition, deconstruction, rehabilitation, or reconstruction of vacant, abandoned, condemned and surplus properties. In addition, funds can be used for site development needs including, but not limited to water, sewer and parking. The program places a strong emphasis on projects in economically distressed communities.

Information and an application are available online. The intent to apply deadline is Wednesday, July 13, 2016 at 5 p.m. and the deadline for completed applications is Monday, October 3, 2016 at 3 p.m.

Fage gets NY thank you for doubling production in Johnstown

In a nod to the enormous investment the yogurt producer has made in Fulton County, Empire State Development Corp. has awarded $780,000 to Fage USA Dairy Industry to cover the costs of new machinery and equipment.Fage Yogurt silos in Johnstown, NY

In September, the 87-year-old Greek company completed a two-year, $82 million expansion of its yogurt factory in Johnstown, part of a plan to retain 160 existing jobs and create 130 new ones. The company is advertising for lab technicians, maintenance technicians, warehouse and field operators, and according to ESD, has already created 113 new positions.

FAGE is one of 28 yogurt manufacturers in New York, double the number in 2000. FAGE continues to ride on the growing popularity of Greek yogurt as it faces growing competition from other major players including Chobani and Alpina USA.

To keep pace, FAGE has invested $200 million in the City of Johnstown since the company began production there six years ago.

“It’s good news. Fage is a good corporate citizen of Fulton County and a good employer,” said Ron Peters, the president of the Fulton County Center for Regional Growth.

County awards $1.8M in bids for Tryon Technology Park

County OKs bids for Tryon work

Park’s second construction phase planned

Originally published in the Leader Herald August 11, 2015
Reprinted by permission. Read Story on Leader Herald’s Website

By MICHAEL ANICH , Leader Herald

JOHNSTOWN – The Fulton County Board of Supervisors on Monday awarded more than $1.8 million in contracts for the second construction phase of the Tryon Technology Park project.

Action by the board followed recommendations Monday by the board’s Finance Committee, which discussed the next phase of the project in detail.

“The construction time for this [part of the] project is 330 days,” county Planning Director James Mraz told the committee.

A portion of the project is being offset by a $180,000 Empire State Development Corp. grant.

The county, as well as the Fulton County Industrial Development Agency – owner of the 515-acre Tryon site in the towns of Perth and Johnstown – are converting the park into parcels for commercial development. The park’s first tenant is Empire State Health Solutions, which is occupying a 20-acre piece of Tryon to manufacture medical marijuana.

The county originally received a $2 million grant from the Empire State Development Corp. to pay for the first phase, which included 2,500 feet of new road, 3,500 feet of new water line and 600 feet of new sanitary sewer line.

The second phase of Tryon work includes disconnecting the waterline servicing Tryon from the elevated water storage tank at the state’s Hale Creek Correctional Facility, constructing a new water-pumping station at Tryon, constructing a new 300,000-gallon elevated water storage tank at Tryon, and dismantling an existing ground-mounted water storage tank.

“It’s more expensive to use the existing tank than get a new one,” Mraz said.

Supervisors on Monday awarded a $1.78 million bid to W.M. Schultz Construction of Ballston Spa for the second phase infrastructure improvements at Tryon. Costs of overall construction will actually increase to about $2 million, with such costs as contingency allowances. The county fund balance will be appropriated for the project.

County Budget Director Alice Kuntzsch told supervisors the county has to use the fund balance, and not 2016 capital plan funding, for the second phase because state law says such contracts need an obligation and not a future set-aside.

“You have to obligate that money,” Kuntzsch said. “You need to put that money behind it.”

The board also authorized a $60,720 agreement with C.T. Male Associates of Latham for construction inspection services for the project.

Engineers from C.T. Male Associates originally estimated the second phase of Tryon construction would cost about $1 million, although the low bid came in much higher, at nearly $1.8 million.

Finance Committee members asked C.T. Male engineer Chad Kortz what happened with the estimate. He said the tank manufacturer came in with prices higher than expected, in part because the price of steel is high.

“We usually don’t have that problem,” Kortz said.

Supervisors also passed a resolution “congratulating” Empire State Health Solutions on its recent successful licensing from the state Department of Health.

“ESHS’s new pharmaceutical manufacturing facility is the first business to locate at the Tryon Technology Park as it launches this new technology to benefit patients across the state,” the resolution read. “The occasion of this successful licensure initiates a new partnership between county government, the Fulton County IDA and Empire State Health Solutions to foster its one-of-a-kind medical model that provides the safest medications to the patients of New York.”

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