JCC, Fredonia Leaders Prepare For StartUp NY Proposals

MAYVILLE – After Fred Larson questioned Bill Daly at last month’s Planning and Economic Development Committee meeting last month, many wondered what February’s committee meeting might entail.

Daly, CEO of the County Industrial Development Agency, attended Wednesday night’s meeting along with representatives from Jamestown Community College and SUNY Fredonia to explain Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s StartUp NY program.

Cuomo’s initiative allows companies to operate tax free for 10 years if involved with SUNY or community colleges.

“I’ll be establishing a presidential advisory board of economic developers that’ll be made up of representatives from the IDA and JCC,” said Cory Duckworth, JCC president. “Any time we have a business come forth to access StartUp NY funds, that council will evaluate that the business is consistent in where we need to go as a community.”

Duckworth said he and Kevin Kearns, vice president for engagement and economic development at SUNY Fredonia, had been working on disseminating information about StartUp NY.

“This is probably the biggest opportunity we’ll see in our lifetimes in terms of opportunity for economic development,” Kearns said.

Interested businesses must not pose competition for existing businesses in the community and commit to the creation of new jobs.

“I would suggest that interested businesses begin to talk to us now, so that when the time comes we can hit the ground running,” Duckworth added.

For businesses seeking StartUp NY help from JCC, the advisory council will evaluate the company’s potential. Then, it must be approved by JCC and further by SUNY Fredonia, which has 30 days to evaluate the business. Cuomo’s office has the final say as to whether or not the business is authorized to operate.

“We aren’t going to be actively recruiting new businesses. It’s not our mission, but we will be dependent on others to bring these businesses to us and we’ll do our best to move them through the process,” Duckworth said.

Larson, D-Jamestown, and Shaun Heenan, D-Dunkirk, asked Kearns about the timeframe from when a business applies, to when it is fully operational.

“It could happen quite quickly, depending on the maturity of the business,” Kearns said, further noting that forms and instructions are available for interested businesses. “We’ve been told that the state is intent on being very generous when they can, in terms of approving businesses that bring in new jobs.”

Within the agenda was a resolution, which if approved by the full legislature, would allocate funds from the county’s Lakes and Waterways Reserve balance for the dredging of recreational channels in Dunkirk at Sunset Bay and Cattaraugus Creek.

Whereas Barcelona Harbor is scheduled to be dredged this summer and paid for federally, Borrello, R-Irving, said it is of tremendous savings to allocate county funds in order to transport equipment required for the dredging, seeing as how it will already be available for Barcelona.

“The biggest cost is the transportation of the equipment,” Borrello said, noting that the cost is roughly $300,000. “This puts us in a unique situation to piggyback and move the equipment to Dunkirk and Cattaraugus Creek, and it’s a huge savings of costs to give the money to each recreational channel which is not covered at all by the federal government.”

An amount of $150,000 will be designated if approved by the full legislature.

Lastly, a resolution was approved to direct the Chautauqua County Water Quality Task Force to monitor the progress of implementation of phosphorus management strategies to achieve designated load reductions.

“This is a tremendous step forward in making sure we hold these accountable for reducing the total maximum daily load limit,” said Pierre Chagnon, R-Bemus Point.

Phosphorus is often the limiting nutrient in temperate lakes and ponds and can be thought of as a fertilizer and food for plants. However, excessive phosphorus can result in algae blooms and excessive weed growth.

In 2012, a total maximum daily load for phosphorus was issued for Chautauqua Lake, and the task force will monitor and record the progress of its implementation at wastewater treatment facilities and towns and villages within the watershed.

Resolutions will be voted on at the County Legislature’s regular meeting on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in the legislative chambers of the Gerace Office Building in Mayville.