Central New York Lands $500 Million in 5-year URI Grant

Cortland County Nets $3.8 million for projects in first year of grant funding

Cortland, NY – Central New York’s entry into Governor Andrew Cuomo’s $1.5 billion Upstate Revitalization Initiative competition was designed to match some unique regional assets with significant market opportunities as a pathway to job creation and capital investment.

The approach was rewarded today in Albany when the region was named one of three $500 million competition winners. The region will receive $122.4 million for 93 projects in the first of a five-year award plan. Cortland County’s share will total nearly $3.8 million next year for projects it had identified.

“This was top-level competition and as tough as it gets, so obviously it’s gratifying to know that our hard work was rewarded,” said BDC executive director and REDC council member Garry VanGorder. “Cortland County and the entire region will reap short –and long-term benefits.”

Cortland County project funding announced today include:

• $1.1 million for McNeil Development Company’s proposed renovation of a number of its downtown buildings, including several on Main Street, to support continued growth of McNeil and Company insurance operations in the district. The project, estimated at $7.2 million, will accommodate current and future needs of the insurance company and will assure the retention of at least 100 jobs in the city center;

• $250,000 in grant funds for an expansion at Cortland Plastics International. The company plans to invest $1.25 million to construct and equip an 8,000 square-foot addition to its 55,000 square-foot plant now in operation on the city’s south side. The project is expected to add 11 jobs to its current 55-person workforce;

• $250,000 in grant funds for the proposed mixed use redevelopment of the ASSA International building (Crescent Corset) on south Main Street in the city of Cortland. Developer David Yaman proposes a $1.24 million commercial redevelopment of half of the 144,000 square-foot space. Housing Visions Unlimited will undertake rehabilitation of the other half of the building as a residential project;

• $35,000 in grant funds to help underwrite the city’s planned $70,000 study of Main Street and the viability of a conversion of the street from one-way two-way.

• $425,000 in funding for the New York Main Street program. The funds will be used to renovate seven to eight buildings in the historic downtown and build upon the success of its first NYMS grant. If funded, the grant will leverage more than $1.4 million in building renovations on Main Street;

• $225,000 in funding for the Village of Homer’s Microenterprise grant. The funds will assist new and existing microenterprises in the Village, which has already received applications from seven businesses seeking about $180,000 in assistance. Upon completion, those projects would create up to 12 new jobs;

• $311,403 in funding for the Village of Homer’s Route 11 Corridor Acquisition Project. The funds would allow acquisition of four blighted properties along the Route 11 between the Homer Village and Cortland city line. The acquisitions would serve as the first phase in the development of a linear park between the highway and the Tioughnioga River, replacing worn out and run down structures with attractive landscape and community space to enjoy;

• $837,374 for the City of Cortland’s “Green Street Retrofit,” a project to integrate green storm water practices along with pedestrian features, traffic calming measures and bike lanes along the gateway to the downtown district;

• $235,000 for a masonry and restoration project at the City of Cortland’s fire station; and

• $131,067 for the replacement of the Flint Road culvert in the Town of Lapeer.

The $500 million URI plan was submitted for state consideration October 5.The plan identifies signature investments that in time would:

o Build a global center for Unmanned Systems and Cross-Connected Platforms. The investment will leverage the region’s    assets in precision sensing and data analytics to become the global leader in unmanned systems and information assurance;

o Use the region’s natural assets (resilient climate, cheap land, abundant water, agricultural expertise) to meet rapidly rising global demand for food and food safety;

o Build a global manufacturing and logistics hub (Inland Port) in Onondaga County that will develop into a job-creating hub for manufacturing, warehousing, and distribution activities;

o Develop a National Veterans Resource Complex. The facility would be the nation’s center of excellence for thought leadership, education, employment opportunity, research, training, and innovation related to the needs of the expanding regional and national veteran population; and

o Develop of a Consensus Commission on Government Modernization.

Today’s award marks the fifth year of Governor Cuomo’s economic development competitions. With the announcement, the Central New York region has been awarded nearly $850 million over that time – the most in New York State.

Cortland County projects have been awarded $17 million over the same time period.

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Executive Director: Garry VanGorder
37 Church Street, Cortland, New York 13045 | Phone: (607) 756-5005 | Fax: (607) 756-7901 | © cortlandbusiness.com 2012