Wednesday February 7, 2018

Local Projects Fueled by State Grant Monies

Empire State Development funds key projects in county
By Lou Sorendo

    In regards to the recent awards by the Central New York Regional Economic Development Council, Operation Oswego County Executive Director L. Michael Treadwell said Oswego County-based initiatives are “not huge but they are neat projects.”


    Thanks to $200,000 in ESD funding, Douglas Outdoors, LLC will acquire, rehabilitate and equip a historic building along the Salmon River in downtown Pulaski, converting it to a manufacturing facility to produce high-end, composite fishing rods and other advanced composite parts.


    The $4.3 million project will on shore rods currently produced in Asia to New York state.


    The building will also house a state-of-the-art facility for research, development and advanced testing, a fishing museum with a public casting dock, and a restaurant.


    “Hopefully that project will get kicked off this year. They are looking at a couple of different possible locations in the Pulaski area,” he said. “They are trying to get in proximity to the [Salmon] river,” said Treadwell, noting the project should create 40 jobs.


    Brockway Bedding Inc. will be constructing a new 20,000 square-foot high-efficiency manufacturing facility in the town of Granby that will use soft wood logs to produce animal bedding.


    Brockway will receive a $325,000 Empire State Development grant for its $2 million project, which is expected to create seven jobs.


    Treadwell noted the two young entrepreneurs pursuing the project have been in the horse business for a while but haven’t been able to find quality animal bedding aside from what can be imported from Canada.


    Treadwell said a site has been selected and they may be plugging into additional financing through the County of Oswego Industrial Development Agency or an SBA 504 loan.


    Agricultural boost: Hudsons’ Dairy, Inc. will construct and equip a 6,000-square-foot refrigerated warehouse facility for dairy foods with a 1,500-square-foot outside freezer at its present location at 114 Hart St., Fulton.


    The project was recommended by the CNY REDC and will receive a $220,000 ESD grant for its $1 million project. The project will create five jobs.


    The project is designed to allow for better truck access, ease storage problems, and allow the rotation of dairy and ice cream products at the long-time family owned business.


    Treadwell noted the business purchased property from Fulton Tool after being in “desperate need” of addition space.


    Virgilio’s Event Centre, LLC will expand a wedding and event venue in Volney.


    The $1 million project was awarded $200,000 in ESD funding.


    The project includes the construction of a 3,800-plus square-foot outdoor-covered patio, outdoor grill pit area, 12 new cabins, water management and utility improvements, new pole barn, and an improved driveway.


    The center’s target events will be weddings and corporate gatherings, but the center will also be utilized for other events including car shows and other public attractions.


    Treadwell said owner Virgil Dombroski bought the former Nestle Park property south of Fulton Speedway two years ago and is now trying to expand its capability of hosting special events. Seven jobs are expected to be created.


    Another CNY REDC supported project involves North Ridge Dairy in the town of Sandy Creek.


    In cooperation with its related company, Locust Hill Farm, North Ridge will construct and equip a new 40,000 square-foot enclosed facility to consolidate storage and the movements and mixing of feed currently being handled separately by the two companies.


    The $1,785,500 project also involves building 1,000 feet of rail siding for delivery of feed components and temporary rail storage.


    Treadwell said the major infrastructure project, which received $267,500 in ESD monies, will nearly double its capacity in terms of dairy cows.


    The business currently milks 2,500 cows and anticipates growing that number to 4,400 by 2019.


     “We like these advanced agriculture-related projects,” Treadwell said.


    Treadwell said OOC will be gearing up for the next round of Community Funding Applications, a process that will get kicked off this summer.


    Treadwell is on the CNY REDC.


    “We don’t know for sure whether there will be a round of CFA until the budget is adopted by New York state,” he said. “So you can’t get carried away too soon.”


    “But last year, we really got out and contacted companies and talked to them about the possibility. Some of them did and some of them didn’t pursue CFA financing,” he said.


    He said oftentimes time constraints do not allow a company to seek help through the CFA process.


    “Technically, you can’t do anything until the award or you lose access to that funding,” he said.


    Treadwell said it involves significant grant money, and some aid can be in the form of job-related credits as well.


    “For some of these companies, it makes the difference in something being economically viable to do or not. But you have to play by the rules,” he added.