The Secrets of Tryon

Mohawk Valley Makes Its Case for $500M URI prize

The MV500 strategy “Sparking Transformation” – our plan for regional revitalization for the REDC Upstate Revitalization Initiative – was presented in Albany on Wednesday, October 21. The final part of the presentation was a video overview of the Mohawk Valley and its bright future. Thank you for believing in our region! Please watch and share – and stay tuned for further developments as we wait for the final announcements in the next few months.

Reflecting the voices of thousands from across Fulton, Herkimer, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego and Schoharie counties – and the efforts of hundreds of community leaders and volunteers – the MV500 plan describes how our region is ready for transformative change. Its strategies lay the groundwork for the Upstate Revitalization Initiative’s potential infusion of $500 million at a time when the Mohawk Valley is already seeing the beginnings of its long-awaited rebirth. As a strategy document, it describes our potential for meaningful and sustainable growth in STEM-related industries, Agribusiness, and Tourism as well as advancing investments in the Opportunity Agenda and Vibrant Downtowns.

URI has been nicknamed “Upstate New York’s Hunger Games” Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan divides upstate New York into seven regions and sets those regions in competition with each other for one of three $500 million economic development prizes. The awards require a $100 million match from the winning coalitions.

Read a PDF copy of the full plan here.


Remains of Vail Mills Drive-In to become office building

CMK & Associates has begun construction of a 2,800-square-foot office building at the site of the Vail Mills Drive-In. The Northville-based real estate company said its rapid growth since forming in 2008 prompted the expansion.vail mills

“We are thrilled to be expanding our fast-growing company once again,” said CMK broker/owner Christian Klueg. “Building an office at this site is not only momentous for us as a business, but we are also excited to be growing on the footprint of such a historic landmark.”

Klueg said CMK’s sales volume is up 35 percent over last year to date, with agents handling $24 million in sales volume under contract. The company expects to close $60 million in sales this year.

CMK Associates has offices in Northville, Burnt Hills, Amsterdam, Speculator and Johnstown, with more than 50 agents and staff. CMK agents and staff currently working in the CMK office across the street from Vail Mills will move into the new building when it is complete.

 A team from CMK Marketing, the real estate company’s sister agency, will move to the new building from an office in Northville. CMK Marketing also has an office in Clifton Park. The certified public accounting firm of LCS & Z, LLP will also be housed on the new site, in an adjacent office space.

“The opening of this new office is of great benefit to the entire CMK team,” said CMK principal broker Bryn Brown. “We plan to use the new facility for training and ongoing education, which will help keep us on top of our game and allow us to bring even greater value to our clients.”

 The drive-in opened in 1948 and has been closed since 1987. Land has been sold from the original parking field to neighboring businesses and developers. The marquee from the drive-in days remains on the property and has been used to advertise the sale of modular homes.

 CMK plans to restore the sign.

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 and Incubator Center 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

ESD announces REDC and URI Proposals


 Presentations To Take Place In Albany Next Week

For Immediate Release

Contact: Jason Conwall | | (800) 260-7313; ESD Press Office | | (800) 260-7313

 Empire State Development (ESD) President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky today announced the 2015 Strategic Implementation Assessment Team (SIAT), led by Secretary of State Cesar Perales, will soon review the 2015 Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) Progress Reports and Round V proposals recently submitted by New York’s 10 REDCs, as well as the Upstate Revitalization Initiative (URI) plans submitted by the seven participating regions. As in years past, the SIAT will be composed of State officials and outside economic development experts, each of whom have years of experience working on community and economic development projects and planning.

 “The SIAT’s assessments on how to best leverage State and local resources with private investment are very important because of the members’ extensive experience in economic and community development,” Zemsky said. “Thanks to Governor Cuomo’s Regional Council initiative, we are already seeing results — with thousands of projects leveraging billions in private investment and supporting the creation and retention of 150,000 jobs across the state. This year’s competition is sure to continue to strengthen and diversify New York’s economic landscape in Round V.”

In addition, Commissioner Zemsky today announced each of the 10 REDCs will present their Round V proposals to the SIAT in Albany on Tuesday, October 20, Wednesday, October 21, and Thursday, October 22. Each region will have up to 45 minutes to provide an in-person presentation to the SIAT, which will include updates on their strategic plan goals, progress achieved on priorities from previous rounds, and outlines of their Round V strategies. The presentations will be followed by 30 minutes of questions from the review team.

“The locally-led and driven Regional Economic Development Council process has been instrumental in spurring investment and creating jobs throughout New York State, reinforcing Governor Cuomo’s successful vision of a bottom-up competitive approach for economic growth,” said New York Secretary of State Cesar A. Perales, Chair of the Governor Cuomo’s Strategic Implementation Assessment Team. “I look forward to hearing about the progress made thus far by the Regional Economic Development Councils and about their respective plans for the Upstate Revitalization Initiative.”

The REDCs will present their Round V proposals according to the following schedule:

 Tuesday, October 20, 2015

9:30 a.m.        Mid-Hudson Presentation

11:45 a.m.      Capital Region Presentation

3:00 p.m.        Southern Tier Presentation

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

9:00 a.m.       Mohawk Valley Presentation

11:15 a.m.      North Country Presentation

1:30 p.m.        Finger Lakes Presentation

3:45 p.m.        Central NY Presentation

Thursday, October 22, 2015

9:30 a.m.        Western NY Presentation

11:45 a.m.      New York City Presentation

2:00 p.m.        Long Island Presentation

The REDC process has transformed economic development by streamlining the funding application process and creating a statewide framework for regional economic growth in New York State. Since 2011, nearly $3 billion has been awarded to support over 3,100 projects that are supporting the creation or retention of more than 150,000 jobs statewide.

Through the past four rounds of the REDC competition:

  • Western New York REDC has delivered $272.5 million for 304 projects;
  • Finger Lakes REDC has delivered $305.5 million for 355 projects;
  • Southern Tier REDC has delivered $303.2 million for 298 projects;
  • Central New York REDC has delivered $344.5 million for 311 projects;
  • Mohawk Valley REDC has delivered $261.9 million for 264 projects;
  • North Country REDC has delivered $338.1 million for 291 projects;
  • Capital Region REDC has delivered $255.8 million for 365 projects;
  • Mid-Hudson REDC has delivered $302.2 million for 350 projects;
  • New York City REDC has delivered $236.1 million for 231 projects; and
  • Long Island REDC has delivered $326.2 million for 347 projects.

In April, Governor Cuomo launched Round V of the REDC initiative, officially kicking off the 2015 competition for up to $750 million in state economic development resources. The Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) opened to applicants on May 1 with a deadline for submissions on July 31 to provide businesses, municipalities, not-for-profits, and the public with the opportunity to apply. Through a single application, assistance from dozens of state funding programs was made available to support job-creating economic and community development projects throughout the state.

In Round V, to continue to generate investment opportunities and job creation, the REDCs will compete for up to $150 million in capital funds and $70 million in Excelsior Tax Credits for projects and activities identified by the Councils as priorities in their regions. Additionally, up to $530 million from state agency programs will be awarded through the CFA process.

 There are 11 state agencies participating in Round V, including Empire State Development; Canal Corporation; New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA); Environmental Facilities Corporation; Homes and Community Renewal; Department of Labor; New York Power Authority (NYPA); Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; Department of State; Department of Environmental Conservation, and Council on the Arts.

 This year, the competition is focused on:

  • Regional Industry Clusters;
  • Global NY;
  • Project Pipeline;
  • Strategic Plan Implementation;
  • Workforce Development;
  • Performance Measures; and
  • Ongoing state priorities and regional initiatives.

For more information on these components of the competition, visit the 2015 REDC Guidebook at

 The 2015 Regional Council awards will be announced this fall.


Upstate Revitalization Initiative (URI): $1.5 billion

In addition to the REDC competition, in January of this year, Governor Cuomo announced the Upstate Revitalization Initiative (URI) and the partnership between the Regional Economic Development Councils (REDC) to invest $1.5 billion in Upstate New York. The URI is an opportunity for the communities to address the economic challenges of their regions and work together in bringing jobs back Upstate. The URI is a separate competition and deadline from the CFA. The URI includes up to $500 million for three selected REDCs to implement over a five-year period. On October 5, 2015, the following regions submitted revitalization plans: Capital Region, Central New York, Finger Lakes, Mid-Hudson, Mohawk Valley, North Country, and Southern Tier.


The three URI winners, to be announced later this fall, will receive approximately $130 million each this year ($100 million in URI funding, and an estimated $30 million from Round V of the REDC competition). Aside from those regions, three regions will earn “Top Performer” distinction in the REDC competition and will receive approximately $105 million each. Finally, the remaining four regions will receive approximately $90 million each through the REDC competition – which is more than the average amount awarded to the top place finisher in prior years.

To learn more about the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, click here.

About the Regional Economic Development Councils  

The Regional Economic Development Council initiative (REDC) is a key component of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s transformative approach to State investment and economic development. In 2011, Governor Cuomo established 10 Regional Councils to develop long-term strategic plans for economic growth for their regions. The Councils are public-private partnerships made up of local experts and stakeholders from business, academia, local government, and non-governmental organizations. The Regional Councils have redefined the way New York invests in jobs and economic growth by putting in place a community-based, bottom up approach and establishing a competitive process for State resources. After four rounds of the REDC process, nearly $3 billion has been awarded to more than 3,100 job creation and community development projects consistent with each region’s strategic plans, supporting the creation or retention of more than 150,000 jobs. For more information on the Regional Councils, visit

  About Empire State Development

Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s chief economic development agency ( The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of “I Love NY,” the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, visit and

Yogurt plant’s wastewater helps power electrical grid

Maintenance supervisor James McMillan checks a waste water to energy generator at the Gloversville-Johnstown Wastewater Treatment Facility Thursday Oct. 8, 2015 in Johnstown, NY. (John Carl D'Annibale / Times Union)

Maintenance supervisor James McMillan checks a waste water to energy generator at the Gloversville-Johnstown Wastewater Treatment Facility Thursday Oct. 8, 2015 in Johnstown, NY. (John Carl D’Annibale / Times Union)

Yogurt plant’s wastewater helps power electrical grid

Fage provides a cultured energy resource

Medical marijuana ‘harvest’ set for fall


Dr. Kyle Kingsley, left, CEO of Minnesota-based Vireo Health, is shown with Michael Newell, chief operating officer of Empire State Health Solutions, at the Tryon Technology Park in July. Leader-Herald file photo

Cultivation under way at new Perth plant

October 2, 2015

PERTH – Empire State Health Solutions at the new Tryon Technology Park and Incubator Center could start producing its medical marijuana products by late November, but won’t be able to legally dispense the medicine until the start of the year.

Dr. Kyle Kingsley, CEO of Minnesota-based Vireo Health, which counts Empire State Health Solutions as its newest operation, said his company’s product will be sought by many in need.

Empire State Health Solutions’ four medical marijuana distribution sites, or dispensaries, will be in Albany, Broome, Queens and Westchester counties.

“I think there’s probably easily going to be hundreds of people in New York state,” Kingsley said of the customer base.

He added, “We’re well into the cultivation process.”

Empire State Health Solutions is operating a 208,000-square-foot medical marijuana manufacturing plant on 20 acres of the Tryon Technology Park and Incubator Center campus off County Highway 107. The Fulton County Industrial Development Agency owns the new park.

Kingsley said the facility will have its “first harvest” this fall, with production starting in late November or early December. He said the company probably will be ready to sell its product by year’s end, but can’t legally sell it until January.

The company has started hiring people for the operation, which expects to eventually employ about 100 sometime next year.

Empire State Health Solutions was one of five groups to gain state Department of Health permission July 31 to make and process licensed medical marijuana in the state.

In July 2014, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature enacted the Compassionate Care Act, and the state Department of Health is implementing the medical marijuana program. The program will ensure medical marijuana is available for certified patients with serious conditions and is dispensed and administered safely. Patients with certain diseases – including cancer, AIDS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy – will be allowed to get prescriptions to obtain forms of the drug that are edible or vaporized, but not smoked.

Kingsley said the employment process for the Perth facility is ongoing.

“We’re actually looking for lab technicians and lab supervisors,” Kingsley said.

He said his company wants to hire chemists and people who have worked in labs, as well those who have worked on the manufacturing of medical devices.

Meanwhile, the IDA is finalizing sale of the Tryon building to Empire State Health Solutions – the park’s first tenant.

“We’ve authorized the sale,” IDA Executive Director James Mraz said Wednesday. “We’re just finalizing the terms and language.”

Mraz said local economic officials, including those from the IDA and Fulton Center for Regional Growth, continue to recruit for more companies for the Tryon park.

“It’s a daily grind,” he said. “We’ve got a number of industries out there. We have a number of things [we are] going to try to generate more leads.”


Calling Fulton County Businesses Over 50

Fulton County is a great place to live and do business. The Fulton County Center for Regional Growth is celebrating a cross section of its community that has shown loyalty and commitment for 50 or more years.

If you are one of these special Fulton County businesses, please let us know by sharing your story with us in this online form. We’ll make a display of your accomplishments at

The Fulton County Business Jubilee
Friday, November 13, 2015
Holiday Inn, Johnstown at 6:00 p.m.

Main Motorcar

The Business Jubilee will celebrate businesses with 50 or more years of commitment to Fulton County, NY.

This event is free and open to the public thanks to the support of a growing cadre of generous sponsors. We do need an RSVP from those who will be attending by November 9, 2015, via email or by calling  518-725-7700 Ext. 100.

The evening will feature a presentation by CRG President and CEO Ronald Peters and select business owners. Guests will be treated to an array of hors d’oeuvres and food stations courtesy of event sponsors. Additional sponsorship opportunities are still available.

CRG set to hold networking event for companies

September 26, 2015

CRG Executive Assistant Becky Hatcher provided some details of the event to the agency’s board of directors Friday at the Crossroads Business Park.

Hatcher said she and CRG President and CEO Ronald Peters recently discussed doing a “networking” event for area businesses. She said details are still tentative, but it may be conducted Nov. 13 at the Johnstown Holiday Inn.

Article Photos

Fulton County Center for Regional Growth President and CEO Ronald Peters reviews recent conferences he’s attended at the CRG board meeting Friday at the Crossroads Business Park in Gloversville.

Fulton County Center for Regional Growth President and CEO Ronald Peters reviews recent conferences he’s attended at the CRG board meeting Friday at the Crossroads Business Park in Gloversville. The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich

“We’re putting feelers out on different sponsoring levels,” Hatcher said.

She said the idea is to gather information about Fulton County companies that have been in business 50 years or longer. She said the CRG wants to have the companies fill out forms about why they’ve stayed in business in the county, and have photos taken. Hatcher said the information about the businesses would eventually be printed up as “some type of memorabilia.”

At the event, Hatcher said longtime businesses would have individual displays set up and the event may foster more networking among the firms. She said the CRG would like to work at keeping the cost of the event fairly low.

In other board reports, Peters said he met with five local firms this month through the CRG’s Community Outreach Program. The program’s purpose is for the CRG to meet with businesses to see what their needs are. Peters said the program is working well and he likes to do about six visits a month.

“I’m excited about it,” he said.

Peters reported he will attend an Industrial Asset Management Council forum titled, “Connect, Lead, Succeed: Building Industry and Community,” which runs this weekend through Wednesday in Cleveland. He said he will trying to drum up business for the Glove Cities. He said the IMAC consists of “economic development and real estate professionals, as well as site selectors nationwide.

According to its website, the IMAC is the nation’s “leading association of industrial asset management and corporate real estate executives, their suppliers and service providers, and economic developers.”

Peters said he also attended the New York State Urban Council’s annual Downtown Conference Sept. 15-16 in Ithaca. He said there were many “good ideas” discussed that might improve the Glove Cities.

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


Tryon gets grant for training space

PERTH – The Tryon Technology Park and Incubator Center will receive $184,153 in federal funding to convert a building on the site into training space, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer announced Wednesday.

“This grant will help get our Tryon incubator up and running and will prove to be a great job generator for Fulton County,” said Fulton County Center for Regional Growth President and CEO Ronald Peters.

A year ago, the U.S. Northern Border Regional Commission rejected a $120,000 grant request by the Fulton County Industrial Development Agency for the same project.

There were 35 applications that year for parts of a $5 million grant pool. Only five of those projects were funded.

The 2014 plan was to use the center as part of a hands-on teaching experience for students of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning at Fulton-Montgomery Community College.

After that plan was shot down, FMCC secured grant money elsewhere to create the program on the college’s campus on Route 67, constructing a lab that cost about $80,000. The program, which began teaching students last week at the start of the fall semester, will stay on campus.

But the job training center at Tryon can now move forward. IDA Executive Director James Mraz said the facility will be leased by businesses in the region to train workers when they don’t have the needed space at their own facilities. It may also be used by FMCC and the Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery Board of Cooperative Educational Services.

“This federal funding is great news for Fulton County and will allow them to finally break ground on a new business training and incubation center that will completely transform the old Tryon Detention Center,” Schumer said in a press release. “This new facility will be exactly what is needed to jump-start this bold, ambitious plan to turn the center into a bustling hub for business and innovation.”

Building No. 3’s almost new heating, ventilation, air conditioning, plumbing, water, wastewater and electrical systems were shut down in 2011 when the facility was closed. Over time, heat and humidity caused moisture damage and mold to form. The renovation includes removing the mold and restarting and repairing the buildings boilers, chillers, exhaust systems and pumps.”The entire Tryon project – and the new incubator at the center of it – will now have the potential to attract new companies, create new jobs and reinvigorate the local economy.”

Since the first attempt at funding the job retraining center component of the Tryon Technology Park and Incubator Center, Fulton County has made substantial progress in moving the site forward.

In August, the Fulton County Board of Supervisors awarded more than $1.8 million in contracts – partially funded by a $180,000 Empire State Development Corp. grant – for the second construction phase on the 515 acres of Tryon land, which includes parts of the towns of Perth and Johnstown. The county has also signed its first tenant, Empire State Health Solutions, which is using 20 acres to operate a secure medical marijuana manufacturing facility under one of five heavily sought-after special licenses issued by New York State.