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Raising funds is next step for museum

PENN YAN—Members of the board of Finger Lakes Economic the Finger Lakes Cultural and Natural History Museum during a presentation by museum board chairman John Adamski and project director Don Naetzker who said the group is very excited about the geographically central location selected at Keuka Lake State Park.
He said the site does have challenges, such as the fact it is not as easily accessible as some other sites, commenting, “We have to have a product with critical mass and excitement.” He said it is possible to have one campus for education at the Branchport School and the other at the park. Finger Lakes Visitors Association is purchasing the school from the Penn Yan Central School District and has offered it to the museum for use. This may become a permanent part of the museum. Naetzker said, “We are confident there is some interim programming we can do as early as next summer.”
Adamski said the school means there is $15,000 the museum doesn’t have to spend to build. Property will not be taken off the tax rolls.
Naetzker said the critical next step is raising funds. Studies will be used to determine program definition, and a market study to determine which programs will draw the market.
During the meting the board approved a memorandum of understanding with the museum with an addendum that spells out what FLEDC is offering to do and to clarify some of the items in the document such as sewer extensions and tourism promotion.
Legislator Tim Dennis asked how concerns from neighbors are being handled. Adamski said the group will meet with residents of Esperanza Road Aug. 1. He said, “There are justifiable concerns. We’ll set up a series of meetings and listen to concerns. We want to be a good neighbor.”
FLEDC board chairman Kevin Bailey asked about employment and Adamski said he expects it to be in the range of 35 to 50 people. Bailey said he had heard some concerns about the animals that would be part of the museum and Adamski said, “It will not be a zoo. It will showcase wild animals native to the Finger Lakes in natural settings.” He emphasized they would be secure settings.
In other business: Steve Griffin, director of FLEDC, said he will meet with LiDestri Foods July 27 regarding the Dundee Foods facility.
• Staffer Ryan Hallings reported on the micro enterprise project in Dundee that is part of the Greater Rochester Health Fund health improvement project in the village and the towns of Starkey and Barrington. He said $15 is available and small business may apply for up to $3,000 in grants or loans.
• The State Environmental Quality Review, purchase of materials without paying sales tax and a 10 year Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) for Magnus Ridge Winery in the town of Starkey were approved.
• Coach & Equipment Corporation has requested more funds for a four county program designed by manufacturers to assist in finding employees. No decision was made at the meeting.




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