Sunday June 18, 2017

Operation Oswego County Outlines Major Development Projects

Annual meeting focuses on economic development, award winners






    Operation Oswego County held its 65th annual meeting at the Lake Ontario Event and Conference Center in Oswego on Friday.

     

    Barbara Bateman, president of the OOC board of directors, welcomed more than 150 representatives of businesses, government, education, labor and other ally organizations to the meeting.

     

    Keynote presenter Chris Mudrick, senior vice president of Northeast operations for Exelon, shared a video highlighting the timeline of events that Exelon and the Upstate nuclear fleet have traversed over the past few years.

     

    L. Michael Treadwell, executive director of OOC, reported that in 2016, projects assisted by OOC and the County of Oswego Industrial Development Agency resulted in the creation or retention of 1,520 jobs with nearly $193 million in capital investment associated with 35 new, expanded or retained facilities.

     

    Several of those projects were outlined at the meeting, including:

     

    — The Center for Instruction, Technology & Innovation leased a 7,150-square-foot building in the Oswego County Industrial Park in the town of Schroeppel from OOC to be used for classroom and administrative purposes. CiTi will employ 10 at this location, which was formerly used by SUNY Oswego.

     

    — Finger Lakes Stairs & Cabinets, LLC is constructing a new manufacturing plant in the town of Schroeppel. The 7,920-square-foot plant will be located on a 5.5-acre site. The company will manufacture wooden stairs, cabinets and molding. The company will employ 11. Financial assistance for the $464,000 project is being provided by M&T Bank, COIDA and a SBA 504 loan through OOC.

     

    — Camelot Lodge, LLC is re-developing and restoring the historic Cahill building in the city of Oswego into a mixed-use facility consisting of six residential units and retail/restaurant use. The 8,600-square-foot project will represent an investment of $1.2 million, create 10 jobs, 15 construction jobs and is a core project of the Oswego Downtown Revitalization Initiative. Additional financial assistance is being provided by the COIDA.

     

    — Tops Friendly Markets purchased the Hannibal’s IGA Village Market and has made renovations to the 23,000-square-foot store in the town of Hannibal. The store is the company’s 172nd. Tops’ investment was $3.3 million and the project retained 41 jobs.

     

    — Novelis Corporation, located in the town of Scriba, an aluminum fabricator for the food, beverage, automotive and building products industries, installed a new pusher furnace to be used to preheat ingots to begin the hot rolling process. An investment of $21.4 million and an impact on 97 jobs resulted. Financial assistance was provided by the COIDA.

     

    — Tailwater Lodge, in the town of Albion, expanded its 42-room hotel with the construction of a new 10,000-square-foot full-service banquet and catering facility. The $2 million investment will create 25 jobs and will enhance and support the tourism industry in Oswego County. Pathfinder Bank, Empire State Development Corp.-Central New York Regional Economic Development Council and the COIDA provided financial assistance.

     

    — Eco-Foam Insulators expanded its insulation products and energy-efficient windows and doors business. Located in the city of Oswego, the company expanded due to a growth in sales. Key Bank, the city of Oswego’s Community Development Office and the COIDA provided financial assistance for the $132,000 project. The project will create eight jobs.

     

    — Off Broadway Dance Center relocated to the town of Granby by acquiring and renovating the former United Methodist Church. The center is home to 250 students ranging in ages from 2 to adults. The $130,000 project received financial assistance from Fulton Savings Bank and a SBA 504 loan through OOC.

     

    — Sweet Cindy’s Gluten Free Bakery, providing non-gluten products, opened in the city of Fulton. The business is a start-up and a woman-owned business. The project created three jobs and represented an investment of $202,000. Empower Federal Credit Union, the Fulton Community Development Agency and the COIDA provided financial assistance.

     

    — Home2 Suites by Hilton will be a new 89-room extended stay hotel in the city of Oswego. Being developed by Visions Hotels, the 56,000-square-foot, four-story hotel represents an investment of $12 million. The hotel will feature a 600-square-foot meeting room, fitness center, guest laundry room and an indoor heated saline pool. The project will create 15 jobs. Financial assistance was provided by M&T Bank and the COIDA.

     

    — Exelon-Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station in the town of Scriba will invest over $66 million in improvements to include storage buildings, replacement of a fire panel system and an uninterruptible power source for the security system, roof replacements and plant lighting improvements. The plant employs 1,000. Financial assistance is being provided by the COIDA.

     

    — Northland Filter International is a tenant in OOC’s 32,000-square-foot spec building in the Lake Ontario Industrial Park in the city of Oswego. The commercial filter manufacturer will be able to add another production line with the 4,000-square-foot expansion of the building. OOC received approval for ESDC/CNY REDC funding to help support a $600,000 expansion that would create 30 jobs.

     

    — Allen Chase Enterprises, Inc. is a commercial outdoor maintenance service provider located in the town of Scriba. Services include plowing, landscaping, herbicide application, and mechanical vegetation removal. The company is investing $1.75 million to expand with a primary focus on the rapidly growing herbicide business. The company will add 13 new jobs. Financial assistance was provided by NBT Bank and the COIDA.

     

    — Harbor View Square will be a 86,000-square-foot mixed-use complex involving the construction of 75 market-rate apartments, 10,000-square feet of retail/commercial space and 18 townhouses in the city of Oswego. The developer is Housing Visions Consultants, Inc. of Syracuse.

     

    This Brownfield re-development project represents a $20 million investment, eight jobs and 77 construction jobs. The Oswego DRI, COIDA and commercial bank financing provided financial assistance.

     

    — Oswego Speedway hosted Super DIRT Week that delivered an economic impact of 70,000 fans contributing $12 million to the local and regional economies. The support of $1.1 million from New York state helped transform the asphalt track to a dirt track with major improvements to the grandstand, parking and camping areas and infrastructure. Additional support and cooperation came from the city of Oswego and the county of Oswego.

     

    — Oswego County Micro-Enterprise Program provided classroom instruction designed to assist entrepreneurs starting and/or expanding a business. The Fulton CDA, Oswego CDO, OOC, Inc., and the SUNY Oswego Office of Business and Community Relations — in partnership with the SUNY Oswego Small Business Development Center — sponsor the program. In 2016, two training classes were held with 25 participants graduating.

     

    — COIDA acquired 216 acres of the former Miller Brewery site in the town of Volney that included its wastewater treatment plant. Control of the site will allow for a feasibility study to evaluate the potential opportunity of developing a regional wastewater treatment system in order to enhance economic development. An investment of $383,000 was made to acquire the property from the county.

     

    — The CNY REDC was awarded $62.2 million for 77 projects in Round 6 of the Regional Economic Development Council Awards. Oswego County received $2.3 million in funding for 12 projects that will create 31 new jobs and represent $4.7 million in total project costs.

     

    The types of projects receiving funding included manufacturing, tourism, parks and trails, feasibility studies, infrastructure and waterfront improvements.

     

    — The Oswego County Land Bank Corporation was formed by the Oswego County Legislature on March 9, 2016. The purpose of the land bank is to combat community deterioration by facilitating the return of vacant, abandoned and tax-delinquent properties to productive use. The city of Oswego and the COIDA provided $50,000 to assist with the initial start-up costs for the land bank.

     

    — The Upstate Energy Jobs Coalition was formed to support the nuclear power industry in Upstate New York and to support a solution to save the James A. FitzPatrick plant in the town of Scriba. The UEJ Coalition is a broad-based coalition of governmental, business, labor, education and economic development leaders throughout Upstate New York. Primary efforts in 2016 included supporting the adoption of the New York Clean Energy Standard by the state Public Service Commission that occurred in August and also the announcement that Exelon had agreed to assume ownership of FitzPatrick subject to state and federal approval. It also supported efforts to urge the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to approve the transference of the FitzPatrick operating license and sale from Entergy to Exelon. Last November, the PSC approved the sale of FitzPatrick to Exelon, subject to federal regulators approval.

     

    — Oswego’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative application was the winner of the $10 million DRI in Central New York. Gov. Andrew Cuomo praised the plan for hitting all of the points necessary in order to win the DRI competition. State funding will be used to revitalize the downtown core, generate new opportunities for long-term growth and prosperity, and to develop a strategic investment plan working in coordination with Stantec, state officials, the city and community stakeholders.

     

    Treadwell also outlined several future projects and initiatives in progress, including the relocation and expansion of Hardwood Transformations and Designer Hardwood Flooring to the town of Williamstown; the expansion of United Wire Technologies in the town of Constantia; the development of EJ USA, Inc., in the town of Schroeppel; the development of Lakeside Commons in the town of Oswego; upgrades at K&N’s Foods USA in the city of Fulton; the expansion of Champlain Valley Specialty in the town of Oswego; the acquisition of the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in the town of Scriba; Oswego Speedway hosting the 2017 Super DIRT Week in the city of Oswego; the COIDA incubator project in the city of Oswego; the development of the Oswego County strategic economic advancement plan; the city of Fulton’s application for Round 2 of the DRI; potential funding opportunities in Round 7 CFA funding with the CNY REDC; and Start-Up NY opportunities.


    Standout performers: Three business organizations, a successful entrepreneur and a long-standing economic development advocate were also honored for significant contributions to economic development and job creation in Oswego County.


    — The Ally Award for 2017 was presented to CiTi in recognition and appreciation of its outstanding vision, commitment and dedication to implementing educational programs designed for enhancing career opportunities for students; for collaborating with business partners such as Davis-Standard, The Fulton Companies, Huhtamaki, Novelis and Sunoco to implement the Pathways in Technology Early College High School program targeted for students interested in science, technology, engineering and math careers; for creating a program that can lead to a Regents high school diploma and an Associate degree in Applied Science for mechanical technology or electrical engineering technology; and for the P-TECH program’s vital role toward advancing Oswego County’s workforce skills that are essential to area employers.


    — The Business Excellence Award for 2017 was presented to Oswego Speedway in recognition of the highly successful collaboration that brought the 45th annual NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week event to the Oswego Speedway in 2016; for the cooperation and team work between the World Racing Group, DIRTcar Racing, the city of Oswego, the county of Oswego, New York state and Oswego Speedway that lead to the conversion from asphalt to a dirt track, along with spectator camping and parking improvements, grandstand and infrastructure renovations, all completed in record setting time; for hosting a tourism event that delivered an economic impact of 70,000 fans contributing $12 million to the local and regional economies; for being recognized for its success by being awarded to host Super DIRT Week 2017; and for Oswego Speedway’s integral role in the tourism industry in Oswego County and Central New York since 1951.


    — The 2017 Jobs Award was presented to Exelon in recognition and appreciation of its significant contribution and commitment to the Oswego County and Central New York economies; for its purchase of the James A. FitzPatrick nuclear power plant and the operation of Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station in the town of Scriba; for having the generating capacity of 2,300 megawatts, representing approximately 5 percent of the state’s capacity; for the generation of carbon-free electricity and the avoidance of 16 million tons of carbon emissions annually; for its pivotal role in helping the state achieve its clean energy standard goals; for employing 1,500 workers, making Exelon the largest private-sector employer in Oswego County; for its impact on thousands of supplemental jobs needed during refueling and maintenance outages and the associated economic benefits to the local economy; and for its generosity for contributing and supporting community initiatives including education, environmental improvements, community based nonprofits, community-sponsored events and economic development.


    — Allen Chase received OOC’s 2017 Dee Heckethorn Entrepreneur Award in recognition and appreciation of exceptional entrepreneurial spirit, creativity, and dedication to fostering the growth and development of Allen Chase Enterprises, Inc., a commercial outdoor maintenance provider for plowing, landscaping, herbicide application and mechanical vegetation removal; for transforming the garage-based start-up in 2001 to a fleet of over 70 specialized equipped vehicles and 72 employees located in the town of Scriba; for providing services to public and private sector customers across New York state, Pennsylvania and beyond; for achieving annual sales growth of over 35 percent per year since 2014; and for his vision, commitment and focus on operating a successful business in Oswego County.


    — Kevin Gardner was honored with the 2017 Martin Rose Economic Developer Merit Award in recognition and appreciation of his outstanding record of exhibiting leadership, support and cooperation in furthering economic development efforts that have substantially enhanced the business climate, economic progress and quality of life in Oswego County through his dedication and commitment serving as the chairman of the Oswego County Legislature; for serving on the Oswego County Legislature since 2004 and as chairman since 2014; for effectively utilizing his private-sector background in business and manufacturing to be vigilant in helping make the Oswego County government efficient and cost effective; for his leadership role in supporting the New York Clean Energy Standard and partnering with the Upstate Energy Jobs Coalition to protect the nuclear industry in Upstate New York and to save FitzPatrick plant; and for his vision on establishing the Oswego County Land Bank and the development of the Oswego County strategic economic advancement plan.


    The OOC board of directors re-elected board members Peter Cullinan, Exelon–FitzPatrick; William Galloway, Century 21 Galloway Realty; Jeffrey Grimshaw, Jeffrey Grimshaw Consulting; Daniel Murphy, Exelon Corp.; Bruce Phelps, Fulton Tool Company; and Nancy Weber, Mexican Pride Farm. Theresa Himes, Bosco’s Food Market, was re-elected for a 1-year term to fill the vacancy due to the transition of Gary Toth to an ex-officio as chair of the IDA.


    The OOC board of directors also elected Tricia Peter-Clark, vice president/chief of operations at the Northern Oswego County Health Services Inc., and James Ransom, vice president of sales for United Wire Technologies, to the board.