Several steps have been taken to further economic development in the region
L. Michael Treadwell
‘The Economic Advancement Plan enables us, as a county, to determine what is working and to identify where improvements can be made in programs, collaborations and outcomes.‘
In early 2017, the Oswego County Legislature and the County of Oswego IDA (COIDA) commissioned the development of a countywide economic study. The study resulted in the development of the Economic Advancement Plan. The plan enabled us, as a county, to determine what was working and to identify where improvements could be made in programs, collaborations and outcomes. It was an essential step toward addressing deficiencies in our infrastructure that are significant impediments to economic development, as well as to the basic quality of life for our citizens.
The goals determined in the Economic Advancement Plan were broken down into sets of objectives in an action plan matrix. In late 2018, CenterState CEO was selected to assist with tracking the progress made through the action plan matrix. I recently submitted details of OOC’s and the COIDA’s progress to CenterState CEO and will share some of the highlights here.
Goal No. 3 of the Economic Advancement Plan is to build momentum around targeted industries namely energy, advanced manufacturing, food processing and tourism. It also includes a focus on nurturing entrepreneur development as well as connecting entrepreneurs with resources to support innovation.
The following projects satisfy at least one of these objectives:
Howland Solar (Cypress Creek Renewables) is 2 megawatt solar project in the village of Sandy Creek which is currently under construction. Financial assistance is being provided by the COIDA. The $3,176,400 investment will create two jobs.
Pathfinder Industries secured $125,000 in financing for a new CNC machine from the CNY Enterprise Development Corp. The total investment of $139,462 will create three jobs.
Operation Oswego County (OOC) funded a $62,000 Small Business Administration (SBA) 504 loan for Nonna Dina Pizzeria, a small business in the town of Hastings. A total investment of $165,000 will retain four jobs.
EJ USA held a groundbreaking for its new facility, a 71,000-sq.-ft. plant to manufacture infrastructure access solution products in the Oswego County Industrial Park in the town of Schroeppel. The total project investment of $9,075,000 will create/retain 91 jobs.
The COIDA funded a $25,000 Micro-Enterprise Program (MEP) loan to assist in financing a start-up indoor/outdoor recreational sports facility, Woody’s on 37, in the town of Hastings. A total investment of $144,853 will create three jobs.
OOC funded a $56,000 SBA 504 loan for Off Broadway Dance Center, a small business in the town of Granby. The $140,000 investment will retain two jobs.
Geo Hotel/Water Park was provided financial assistance including a $500,000 lease financing for equipment by the COIDA. Geo Hotel/Water Park is an Oswego Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) project. The $4,965,000 will create 18 jobs.
Stephen M. Baker, O.D., PLLC, is a new eye care practice in the city of Oswego. The COIDA provided financial assistance including a $150,000 loan and partnered with the Oswego Office of Economic Development on this project. The total investment of $856,454 will create 14 jobs.
Finger Lakes Stairs & Cabinets relocated from Onondaga County and built a new manufacturing facility in the town of Schroeppel. OOC funded a $193,000 SBA 504 loan for the project. A total investment of $464,000 will retain or create 11 jobs.
Page Material Management acquired an existing 105,938-square-foot. facility and plans to construct an additional 60,000 square feet for manufacturing and storage of metal materials for Novelis. COIDA provided financial assistance including $400,000 in loans or leases. This $7.6 million project will retain or create 21 jobs.
iFreeze, Inc. acquired a 123,000-square-foot vacant refrigerated warehouse to be used for warehousing, distribution, storage and freezer space for vegetables, fruit and other food products. Project financing will include a $1.5 million SBA 504 loan. COIDA provided financial assistance including $350,000 in lease financing. The $5,045,000 project will retain or create 35 jobs.
Lindsey Aggregates received a $99,500 IRP loan through the COIDA to assist in acquiring equipment for the aggregate mining operation in the town of Palermo. A $140,000 CFA grant was also secured. The $4,254,399 investment will retain or create 21 jobs.
Bella Fattoria, Inc. received a $99,500 IRP loan through the COIDA to assist in establishing a 5,536 -square-foot winery in the town of Hannibal. The $732,046 project will retain or create six jobs.
Operation Oswego County continued its sponsorship of the Micro-Enterprise Program in cooperation with the SBDC, Oswego CDO and Fulton CDA. Three classes were held in 2018 and produced 34 graduates.
The 2018 Next Great Idea Business Plan Competition had 33 applicants. Wired Telcom was selected as the winner and was awarded the $50,000 prize. Approximately six of the other competitors are pursuing their projects.
Infrastructure and workforce training
Goal No. 4 is to become recognized as a superior location for business attraction and growth through infrastructure improvements, regional transportation, improved permitting, workforce training and land/spec building development.
These objectives are being met by the following projects:
C&S Companies was retained to complete a study associated with developing a regional waste water treatment plant (WWTP) utilizing the former Miller WWTP facility owned by the COIDA. Funding partners included the County of Oswego, OOC and the COIDA, who together invested $98,000 in the project.
Support for the Sewer Extension to the Oswego County Airport/Airport Industrial Park project was successful, including a $500,000 NBRC grant, $250,000 from the COIDA, $200,000 secured by Sen. Ritchie and $550,000 from the NYS EFC for the project. OOC owns the Airport Industrial Park. Partners for the project included the town of Volney, the city of Fulton, Oswego County and COIDA. The total investment for the project is $1.5 million.
Harbor View Square is a mixed-use development with 75 apartments and 10,000 sf of commercial in the city of Oswego. It is an Oswego DRI core project. The COIDA provided financial assistance for the project which is also a brownfield site redevelopment. The $26,000,000 investment will create eight jobs.
OOC retained C&S Companies to conduct a feasibility study regarding the potential development of a “spec building” at the former Nestle site in the city of Fulton. The study would be used to secure funding to support the development of a spec building and to market the site to attract a manufacturing business.
Goal No. 1 is to create a collaborative and cohesive economic development structure. This includes deepening relationships with community allies, providing easy access to newcomers, broadening funding sources and improving access to capital. Both of the projects below meet at least one of these objectives.
The COIDA provided financial assistance for an improvement and financing restructuring for the Bishop’s Commons enhanced living project in the city of Oswego. The $5,549,185 investment will retain or create 44 jobs.
Aldi built and opened its new store in the city of Fulton on the former Nestle site. OOC assisted with a Restore NY grant of $350,000 for site preparation. The $2,987,178 investment created 15 jobs.
Goal No. 2 involves continuously engaging community stakeholders, like you, in these advancement efforts.
I hope that sharing with you this brief glimpse into the goals and objectives of the Oswego County Economic Advancement Plan and the associated projects, you can see that these projects enhance the quality of life in Oswego County for all community members.
To further engage with us, please connect with us on Twitter (@OpOswegoCo) and Facebook (@OperationOswegoCounty).
L. Michael Treadwell, CEcD, is executive director of Operation Oswego County based in Oswego. To contact him call 315-343-1545 or visit www.oswegocounty.org.