Microenterprise Grant Program Loan Awarded

Cosmetics firm nails new loan

By MICHAEL ANICH, Originally printed in the Leader Herald, reprinted with permission

CRG President and CEO Ronald Peters today indicated the company receiving only the second loan through the CRG program is SW Skin Care & Cosmetics, Inc. of 86 Briggs St. He said the closing on the grant was Friday.

The CRG on Friday morning had declined to name the company at its board of directors meeting at Crossroads Business Park.

SW Skin Care & Cosmetics offers services such as facials, waxing, massage, makeup and nails. It was formed by Sherry Wieszchowski to provide the “best possible skin care and make-up services in the region,” its website says. The small company has attracted clients from all over New York, as well as from Massachusetts, Vermont, Virginia, Florida and Canada, the site says.

CRG President and CEO Ronald Peters said the Microenterprise Grant Program, funded by the state, is administered by the CRG. He said it has been successful so far, although awards have been slow in closing.

“That program’s going good,” he stated. “It takes time.”

Offered is federal Community Development Block Grant funding filtered through the state Office of Community Renewal to be administered to local businesses in the county.

The CRG previously awarded a $25,000 check to L&L Embroidery of Johnstown through the Microenterprise Grant Program. The program is helpful for small start-up businesses and young companies, providing seed money to grow. A microenterprise is defined as a commercial enterprise that has five or fewer full-time employees, one or more of which owns the enterprise at the time of application.

“The state wants to move the process up,” Peters said. “We’re told our program is real successful.”

Peters also reported the county had 21 Consolidated Funding Applications seeking funding go into the state this year. He said that hopefully some of the applications will be successful and assist further development of the Tryon Technology Park in Perth.

“I’m excited about it,” Peters said of the CFA process. “I think we’re going to hit a home run.”

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

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.