Finger Lakes projects get state awards
ALBANY--Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Thursday, Dec. 11 that several Yates County projects received nearly $3 million in state awards during Round IV of the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative. The money will go toward area projects including construction of a Hampton Inn along Keuka Lake, increasing production at Emmi Roth in Penn Yan and renovations to the Finger Lakes Museum Discovery Campus. Schuyler County projects also received slightly more than $3.5 million in awards from the state. The money will go toward projects like a repaving project at Watkins Glen International racetrack and a regional wastewater treatment plant for Watkins Glen and Montour Falls.
The Finger Lakes region as a whole will receive $80.7 million in state money to conduct 100 projects. In addition, the Southern Tier also received $80.8 million in state money for 91 projects.
"We are obviously very pleased," said Steve Griffin, CEO of the Finger Lakes Economic Development Center (FLEDC). "We got a lot of projects funded for the county and there were a couple reasons for that. We had some good projects this year. They lined up at the right time to go in front of the council."
This money is a part of $709.2 million in economic and community development funding has been awarded through Round IV of the REDC initiative.
"If there is any positive from the floods in May, I think it was that the state looked at a lot of our projects maybe a little bit more closely knowing what we had to deal with there," Griffin said. "We did really well this round."
Griffin said while all of the projects are important to the county's economic development, he added the hotel going up in Penn Yan is one of the key projects that will help a lot of the local merchants. He added all of the projects were going to have a positive impact.
"Four years ago we decided to take a different approach on economic development -- emphasizing cooperation and investing in local assets instead of continuing the state's old and ineffective top-down mentality," Cuomo said. "[...] Each council presented bold ideas for how to create jobs and new opportunities in their communities, and I am proud to work with all of them to continue moving New York forward."
The grants awarded for Yates County projects include:
• Emmi Roth USA -- Facility expansion -- Dairy manufacturer to expand yogurt-making operations. -- $400,000.
• Keuka Lake Hotel LLC -- Hampton Inn Penn Yan -- Construction of a new Hampton Inn in Penn Yan on Keuka Lake. -- $750,000.
• The Finger Lakes Cultural and Natural History Museum -- Discovery Campus building renovations and exhibit installation -- Phase two of the Finger Lakes Museum expansion project. -- $200,000.
• Village of Penn Yan -- Seneca Street water main -- The village of Penn Yan will use $425,000 for improvements to its water system. -- $425,000.
• Town of Middlesex -- Improvements to water district one -- The town of Middlesex will use $600,000 to replace a 50-year-old water tank and to make repairs to the water system. The total project cost is $695,000 with $95,000 from town funds. -- $600,000.
• Keuka College -- Center for Business Analytics and Health Informatics -- Construct a new center for Business Analytics and Health Informatics. -- $250,000.
• New York Wine Industry Association -- Green wastewater treatment system -- Design and construction of green wastewater treatment systems. -- $300,000.
• Genesee/Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council -- GAIN revolving loan fund: Growing the Ag Industry Now -- Revolving loan fund for the agriculture industry of the nine-county region -- $3 million.
• Finger Lakes Association, Incorporated dba Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance -- Quality service training -- The Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance of Penn Yan will train 100 long-term unemployed workers in quality service. -- $35,000.
The grants awarded for Steuben County projects include:
• Town of Wayne -- Town of Wayne Drinking Water Preliminary Engineering Report -- The town of Wayne will use $50,000 in CDBG Community Planning funds and $2,500 in local funds to complete a study for a drinking water Preliminary Engineering Report and a stormwater Green Infrastructure feasibility study. -- $50,000.
• Village of Hammondsport -- Hammondsport Village Square Wastewater Planning Study -- The village of Hammondsport will complete an engineering report to evaluate the construction of a public wastewater treatment system. -- $30,000.
The grants awarded for Schuyler County projects include:
• Watkins Glen International, Inc. -- Racetrack improvements -- Watkins Glen International, Inc. will undertake a racetrack re-paving project to address critical safety deficiencies. -- $2 million.
• Watkins Glen International -- Watkins Glen International Modernization Project -- Watkins Glen International, Inc. will undertake a complete racetrack re-paving project in order to address critical safety deficiencies. The modernization will keep top tier drivers and fans coming back to the Finger Lakes Region, as well as retain the popular NASCAR events in upstate New York. -- $250,000.
• Village of Watkins Glen -- Project Seneca -- The Village of Watkins Glen will complete design and related analysis for environmental permitting to construct a new regional wastewater treatment plant that will replace existing, obsolete facilities in the villages of Watkins Glen and Montour Falls. -- $1.25 million.
• Village of Montour Falls -- Catharine Trail Connector Project -- The Village of Montour Falls will construct a pedestrian bridge over the Catharine Creek, a boardwalk connecting to the Catharine Valley Trail, and a walking trail. When completed, the project will connect residents and visitors to the Catharine Valley Trail system, helping create a multi-modal system for bicyclists and pedestrians, connecting to the village parks in Montour Falls from the trail, and creating safer access for pedestrians to cross Route 14 on the state trail. -- $30,000.
• The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes -- Points of inspiration -- The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes will create a driving tour of, initially, two trails highlighting at least 20 architectural, fine art and natural beauty sites throughout Schuyler, Steuben and Chemung counties. -- $24,500.
"The Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions continue to stand out this year," State Senator Tom O'Mara said. "Many regional leaders across the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions are making a great difference. Their ongoing commitment and work over the past four years to assess our regional strengths and weaknesses, identify specific economic priorities, and put in place short- and long-term strategies, keep us moving toward a stronger and more secure economic future."
The first three rounds of the regional council process awarded more than $2 billion to more than 2,200 job creation and community development projects across the state, supporting the creation or retention of more than 130,000 jobs.