Best Western plans to add 12 roomsPENN YAN—The Best Western Vineyard Inn and Suites in Penn Yan is poised to increase the size of their operation.
Steve Griffin said Penn Yan Hospitality, owner of the Best Western in Penn Yan, wants to expand. The south end of the building is ready for the buildup. Total capital investment would be $870,000. The board discussed possible changes in the Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) that is currently in force for the original project. At this time, the site has been verbally approved in the Empire Zone.
The addition is expected to add new jobs as well as retaining others. The board passed a PILOT deviation request resolution. The project will be reviewed by the Penn Yan and Yates County planning boards.
Contacted later in the week, Best Western Vineyard Inn and Suites owner Brian Zerges said the addition of 12 rooms was planned originally. When the building was constructed it was built with all systems already in. There will be four rooms added on each floor with construction planned to start in August or September with a spring 2011 completion date.
Griffin reported work on the call center is continuing to go along well. He said the company, which will be located in the North Avenue Industrial Park in Penn Yan, had a good turnout for interviews for management positions with the majority of applicants from Yates County. There will be interviews for customer service representatives next week. Plans are continuing for enlarging the parking area. Data Listing Services, the formal name of The Connection, has asked for relief for sales tax. Griffin said their capital investment here is $4.4 million with $975 of equipment under sales tax. Griffin said the owners of 240 North Ave., where The Connection is located, are now up to $3.5 million in the building. They still have some areas available in the nearly 180,000 square foot building.
In other business: Griffin expects renovation plans for the former Garrett Winery building on Liberty Street to get the green light Feb. 18. The project is partially funded through the Restore New York program.
• The new Ag Lending Program is all set to go, according to Griffin. He said the application process and impact analysis are ready. The new program will work like the revolving loan program FLEDC already has in place. A grant from Empire State Development for $750,000 will allow amounts up to $140,000 to be borrowed at a fixed rate low interest loan. The program is available to businesses involved in viticulture and organic operations, value added and other related businesses within Yates County. The grant was originally approved in October 2007.
Along with positive news, Griffin informed the board a new assessment of $25,945 has been established as a cost recovery of central governmental services. Griffin said Industrial Development Agencies throughout the state have received the assessments. The letter from the State Department of Taxation and Finance Division of the Treasury advised payment should be sent no later than March 31. Following the announcement, the board discussed possible sources of money for payment of the unexpected tax that could be identified.
• New Beginnings project in Dundee received final approval.
• Griffin told the board about a software program for economic development that would allow FLEDC to tie in with other county organizations, especially with labor and workforce development. He said there may be benefits, especially regarding grant applications.