Friday, February 14, 2014

Madison County Awarded $4M Grant for Business Park

Great news for Madison County:

Empire State Development is providing Madison County with a $4 million grant to support infrastructure improvements at the Madison County ARE (Agricultural & Renewable Energy) Park. 

The state’s investment will leverage additional funding from Madison County to support the park’s transition to becoming a shovel-ready location for new businesses to locate, grow and create new economic opportunities for the region. 

Like many areas in Upstate New York, Madison County has suffered a loss of manufacturing jobs that once formed the backbone of this region’s economy. Numerous studies and surveys have shown the need for locally based support industries for agricultural producers in Madison County. 

The county is seeking to create a shovel-ready business park near Canastota that will focus on targeting and attracting agriculture and renewable energy businesses to locate and grow. The Agricultural and Renewable Energy Park will provide an economically stimulating, environmentally sound and shovel-ready development area that would be beneficial to the surrounding community.

The $4 million grant will help extend municipal water service to the park, which is critical to creating a shovel-ready site for potential businesses. Madison County plans to invest as much as $5 million in the $10.3 million project. The state funds will come from NY Works, the governor's infrastructure program which is rebuilding roads, bridges, and parks across the state.

“This is great news for Madison County and is the latest example of Governor Cuomo's continued commitment to the Central New York economy,” said Madison County Board of Supervisors Chairman John Becker. “These critical dollars will help us continue to grow the Agricultural and Renewable Energy Park and help us attract even more jobs and opportunities. On behalf of Madison County, I would like thank Governor Cuomo for his leadership and continued support.”

The Agricultural and Renewable Energy Park will use 150 acres at the county’s Department of Solid Waste landfill facility, and the state funds will help pay for extending municipal water to the park, leveraging an investment by the Department of Solid Waste to extend a municipal sewer to the landfill and business park. 

The County Industrial Development Agency will target businesses that coincide with the areas regional strengths and likely include those that produce, process, store and ship a variety of meat, seafood and agricultural products, wood products, products manufactured from recycled materials, and specialty industries. 

The businesses in the park will have access to reliable, locally generated sources of green energy —including electrical energy from the Landfill-Gas-To-Energy facility and a solar energy cap located at the Madison County Landfill.

A green-lumber drying business and commercial greenhouse have already committed to the site, creating at least 13 new jobs, while a recycling business and a company that converts plastic waste into base petroleum fuels is also set to move into the park. These additional opportunities are estimated to represent up to 30 more jobs.

The water infrastructure improvement project will also assist the neighboring Town of Lincoln, which has had water problems for nearly four decades, by bringing municipal water service within reach. 

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