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Wednesday, June 25, 2014 at 8:53 am

Craig Yunker appointed to GCEDC board of directors

post by Howard B. Owens in business, CY Farms, GCEDC

Press release:

The Genesee County Legislature has appointed Craig Yunker to the Genesee County Economic Development Center Board of Directors. His term will begin Tuesday, July 1, 2014.

“Craig Yunker was selected to serve on the GCEDC board because of his extensive business and agriculture experience,” said Genesee County Legislative Chairman Ray Cianfrini. “He has lived and grown a successful business in Genesee County and will be a tremendous asset to the board."

Yunker is a managing partner of CY Farms headquartered in Elba, New York. CY Farms is one of the largest crop farms in Western New York, growing turf, corn, wheat, soybeans, alfalfa, onions and green peas. The farm encompasses more than 6,000 acres in Genesee County and has been in operation since 1963.

Yunker is also owner of Batavia Turf, a turf farming operation in Batavia, as well as CY Heifers, a 4,000-head replacement heifer business that raises calves for local dairy farms.

In addition to running CY Farms, Yunker is very active within the community. He is the past Genesee County Legislature chairman serving from 1984-1991, and former trustee of Genesee County Community College. Currently, he serves as director of Tompkins Financial Corporation/Bank of Castile and is a trustee of Cornell University.

Yunker holds a B.S. in applied economics and management from Cornell University and a M.S. in resource economics from the University of New Hampshire. He resides in Elba, with his wife, Kimberly, and is a proud father of three children and has three grandchildren.

“We are pleased with the County’s appointment of Craig to the EDC board and look forward with working with him to advance the mission and goals of the agency,” said Wolcott T. Hinchey, chairman of the GCEDC board.

Monday, June 23, 2014 at 10:03 pm

Nationwide auto auction chain to purchase 30 acres for new facility in Bergen

post by Howard B. Owens in bergen, business, GCEDC

A company that specializes in auctioning off "total loss" vehicles is planning to move its Rochester location to Bergen.

The Genesee County Economic Development Center Board on Monday approved the sale of 30 acres in Appletree Acres Corporate Park to Insurance Auto Auctions, which has more than 160 locations nationwide.

IAA runs salvage auto auctions, selling cars that insurance companies have declared totaled, either because of accident, weather damage or theft. 

The company says on its Web site that more than 3.5 million vehicles in the U.S. are declared a total loss each year.

Some of the vehicles can be repaired and resold; others are good only for scap or parts.

By state law, only dealers can purchase cars that have been declared salvage.

The company will pay $600,000 for the property and plans to invest $3.5 million and $4 million on the new facility.

Between IAA and vendors, the location will employ 10 to 15 people.

Information on any tax abatements IAA may receive is not yet available.

Steve Tibble, IAA's director of real estate and development, said the company will next apply to the Town of Bergen for all the site and plan approvals.

"We plan on being open as fast as we can," Tibble said.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014 at 9:13 pm

Public hearing scheduled on proposed tax incentives for U.S. Gypsum expansion

post by Howard B. Owens in business, GCEDC, Oakfield, U.S. Gypsum

The public is invited to weigh in during a public hearing at 4 p.m. Monday Tuesday, June 24, on a proposal to provide U.S. Gypsum with tax incentives for a major upgrade to its Oakfield plant.

The proposed tax abatements total $375,748.

U.S. Gypsum is considering investing $23.6 million in the plant, adding production capabilities that would create 12 new production jobs within three years after the project is completed.

Project description:

The United States Gypsum Corporation (USG) is considering upgrading its Oakfield, NY, paper mill, which currently supplies USG wallboard plants with the back paper "newsline" for sheetrock wallboard, to include face paper "manila" production capacity.

The Project includes replacing and relocating the hydropulper and detrashing equipment, stock cleaning, and manila production. Management has been considering upgrades to the facility as it is more efficient to produce the back as well as the front paper applications. Completing this Project will improve safety, quality, and efficiency to ensure the longevity of the facility as well as the retention and creation of manufacturing jobs.

The investment for the Project is expected to be approximately $23 million and will be implemented in three separate phases. Phase I activities, which are expected to commence approximately in the second quarter of 2014, will include replacing and relocating the filler pulper. Phase II will require stock cleaning which will commence in 2015. During Phase III, the facility will begin manila production which will commence in 2016.

If completed, the project is expected to retain 98 jobs at the Oakfield plant.

The proposed tax relief package includes $132,960 in sales tax exemption and $242,788 in property tax abatements on an 18,400-square-foot addition, creating an increased assessed value.

U.S. Gypsum would save $242,788 in taxes on the increase assessed value (while continuing to pay current property taxes) over 10 years.

The public hearing is scheduled to be held at the Oakfield Town Hall, 3219 Drake St., Oakfield.

Friday, June 6, 2014 at 8:11 am

GCEDC board member announces retirement after 31 years of service

post by Howard B. Owens in business, GCEDC

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) announced the retirement of James L. Vincent from the GCEDC’s board of directors at its board meeting on Thursday, June 5, 2014.

Vincent served on the GCEDC board of directors for 31 years, playing an instrumental role on the board since 1983. In addition to being a board member, he also served as the GCEDC’s vice chairman for several years and helped the GCEDC become one of the most progressive economic development agencies in New York State through his deep, comprehensive understanding of the need for sustained economic growth. During his tenure as a member of the board, Vincent helped foster increased economic activity in Genesee County by advocating for new employment opportunities and a high quality of life for residents and their families.

Vincent served as president of L-Brooke Farms, Inc., an 8,000+ acre processing vegetable and grain farm since 1986. He also served as chairman of the New York State Advisory Council on Agriculture and the Genesee County Water Resources Agency, among others.

Vincent is past president of Genesee Memorial Hospital, Genesee Community College Foundation, Genesee County Chamber of Commerce, and Genesee County Farm Bureau, as well as board member of Farm Fresh First, LLC, Pro Fac Cooperative, Inc., and former town supervisor. 

The GCEDC congratulates Vincent in his retirement from service to the GCEDC board and recognizes him as an exceptional leader in economic development and a dedicated citizen worthy of esteem of not only the GCEDC, but throughout Genesee County.

Friday, June 6, 2014 at 8:09 am

GCEDC board approves projects, including one involving sale of Daily News building

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Daily News, business, GCEDC, Oakfield, U.S. Gypsum

Press release:

The Board of Directors of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) approved a final resolution for applications for assistance from 9 Apollo Drive, Inc., and an initial resolution to set a public hearing for United States Gypsum Co. at the June 5, 2014, board meeting. 

United States Gypsum Company Co. is planning to upgrade its paper mill at 2750 Maple Ave. in Oakfield, NY.  The project will include replacing and relocating equipment, stock cleaning and enhanced manila production to improve the safety, quality and efficiency of the facility.

The upgrades will consist of three phases and are expected to commence in 2016. The projected capital investment is approximately $23 million. The investment will retain 98 manufacturing jobs and create 12 new production jobs.

9 Apollo Drive, Inc., is a business that manufactures doors and windows. The company plans to purchase the building located at 2 Apollo Drive in the City of Batavia to accommodate its growth and expansion. 9 Apollo Drive, Inc., will make a capital investment of approximately $750,000.

In 2002, the company was granted a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) for the building located at 9 Apollo Drive, Inc., by the GCEDC and pledged to create eight new jobs. According to PARIS reporting submitted to the GCEDC in 2013, the company has created 29 jobs at this location.

“It is very encouraging to see existing businesses in our region invest resources to improve production and operations and, just as important, retain existing jobs and create new jobs,” said Wallace Hinchey, GCEDC board chairman.

Thursday, June 5, 2014 at 9:24 am

GCEDC to host tour of city for developers

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, GCEDC

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) will jointly host a Batavia Developers Tour with NAIOP (the Commercial Real Estate Development Association) on Wednesday, June 11, from 9 a.m.to 1 p.m.

The event will provide interested business owners and investors the opportunity to tour renovated sites and commercial spaces in the City of Batavia, as well as learn about the various economic development incentives that are available through the GCEDC.

The event will highlight several of Batavia’s development sites and will include a tour of the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park and other shovel-ready parks and Downtown sites. The tour also will include visits to Batavia’s opportunity area sites, including City Centre, Della Penna Site, Creek Park Site and the Harvester Center Complex.  

Speakers will include City of Batavia Manager Jason Molino, Batavia Improvement District Director Don Burkel, Batavia Development Corp. Director Julie Pacatte and GCEDC President and CEO Steve Hyde.

“This is a great way for us to showcase shovel ready sites and locations in the City of Batavia to the development community,” Hyde said. “Through this event, we also hope to educate developers about the business growth potential that exists here and how the various incentive programs through our agency can enhance economic development opportunities in Batavia.”

The tour will end with lunch at the Center Street Smoke House in Batavia. To register, please contact Karen McCready at NAIOP Upstate New York at 585-249-9232 or at [email protected]

Tuesday, June 3, 2014 at 8:03 am

Daily News selling Apollo Drive building; buyer asking GCEDC for assistance on business expansion

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Daily News, business, GCEDC

Press release from GCEDC:

The Board of Directors of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) will consider two projects at its June 5, 2014 board meeting.

U.S. Gypsum Company is planning to upgrade its paper mill at 2750 Maple Ave. in Oakfield, NY.  The project will include replacing and relocating equipment, stock cleaning and enhanced manila production to improve the safety, quality and efficiency of the facility. The projected capital investment is approximately $23 million and will ensure employment retention of 98 existing manufacturing jobs and the addition of 12 new production jobs.

9 Apollo Drive is planning to purchase the former Daily News building at 2 Apollo Drive in Batavia. With the purchase, the company anticipates further growth and plans to expand its business and manufacture more doors and windows. The projected capital investment for the project is $750,000.

The GCEDC Board meeting will take place at 4 p.m. and is open to the public. Meetings are held at the Dr. Bruce A. Holm Upstate Med & Tech Park -- 99 MedTech Drive, Batavia, NY, on the 2nd floor, across from Genesee Community College. 

UPDATE: John Johnson, CEO of Johnson Newspapers, says that the Daily News hasn't sold its building and has no plans to move.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at 2:31 pm

Comptroller's audit declares GCEDC effective in economic development

post by Howard B. Owens in business, GCEDC

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) recently underwent an audit by the Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) to review the agency’s process for evaluating, approving and monitoring projects from Jan. 1, 2012 through Janu. 27, 2014. The audit found that the GCEDC is “effective in its efforts to promote, develop and assist in economic development projects in Genesee County.”

“We are very pleased with the results from the Comptroller’s audit,” said Wolcott Hinchey the chairman of the GCEDC. “It verifies our approach to economic development as it pertains to having shovel-ready sites available in order to bring new jobs and capital investment into our region. In particular we were very pleased that the Comptroller’s audit recognized the success of the Agri-Business Park with the opening of Alpina and Muller-Quaker yogurt manufacturing facilities.”

The audit also provided the GCEDC with some suggestions and opportunities to improve the agency’s controls and accountability. These included: developing evaluation criteria and process and performance appraisals for potential projects; monitoring procedures for companies that receive benefits from the GCEDC -- as far as achieving capital investment and pledged job creation totals in completed applications for assistance; the development of a cost-benefit analysis ratio or ratios that is reflective of its economic environment and is an appropriate and reasonable measurement of the incentives being offered, among others.

These items will be addressed through a corrective action plan that will be submitted by the GCEDC to the Comptroller’s office.

“We appreciate the recommendations suggested by the Comptroller’s office and will incorporate them into our corrective action plan,” said Steve Hyde, president and CEO of the GCEDC. “Anything we can do to improve upon our transparency, especially with our public sector partners and the taxpayers is something we always take very seriously.”

Link to Audit- NYS Comptroller Audit of the GCEDC

Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at 8:37 am

Company pitches idea of plant that converts food waste into energy at planning board meeting

A company with roots in New York, but currently based in Connecticut, is looking to build a plant at the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park that would convert food industry waste into heat and electricity.

"We make green power out of organic waste," said Paul Toretta, CEO of CH4 Biogas, while presenting his company's plans to the Town of Batavia Planning Board. "Once the digester does its thing, it captures methane and powers an engine that makes green power and puts it on the grid. The engine produces heat that can be used to heat Quaker Muller and Alpina, helping them cut their heating bill."

The cost of the plant is $15 million and CH4 has already secured a $2 million Cleaner and Greener grant from NYSERDA to help fund the project, but is looking to the state for more help.

Toretta said state officials recommended the company present its proposal to the town planning board because the state wouldn't get behind the idea unless it has community support. The state backing would help the company secure bank loans to completely finance the project.

"We're in a holding pattern while looking for help with funding," Toretta said when asked about the timetable for the project.

Once funding is in place, the plant would take nine months to build. The design is already completed because it's the same design used by the company for plants in Wyoming County and Ohio (for Campbell's Soup).

"We only build one plant," Toretta said. "It's the same plant over and over again."

CH4 would use local contractors to build and maintain the plant, which would eventually employ eight people full time, Toretta said.

"When you put that much concrete and steel in the ground there will be a number of people employed," Toretta said.

The plant would be expected to last at least 30 years.

"The project is upfront capital intensive," said Toretta, who is originally from Potsdam. "It takes 15 years to return the money invested to do this. It's a slow, steady project. You borrow money and it takes 15 years to make any return."

CH4 already processes whey and other waste from the Alpina and Quaker Muller (no whey comes out of the Muller plant) in Wyoming County.

A plant in the ag park would reduce transportation cost and the impact on the environment to truck it more than 20 miles away.

The plant would also help the Genesee County Economic Development Center attract more food processors to the ag park, Toretta said.

Chris Suozzi, GCEDC's VP for business development, agreed.

"It would complement what we're already doing," Suozzi said. "It would definately help with the marketing when you have a green ag park. What better way to market the park and bring in more companies?"

The plant would be set up so it could take any sort of organic food waste, including waste from products that were already packaged but were found to be defective in some way so couldn't be shipped to customers. Toretta said the plant could separate the food waste from the packaging and then recycle the plastic or metal containers.

The plant would produce very little waste itself, but what it did produce would go into the local sewer system, but with much less biological chemicals and suspended salts than could otherwise go into the waste stream.

The plant would also produce little in the way of odor, which is important to Alpina and Quaker Muller because the plant would be upwind from those facilities.

"If there was any type of odor, as you can imagine, Campbell Soup would not allow us to operate our plant there," Toretta said.

Friday, May 2, 2014 at 7:50 am

GCEDC board approves Liberty Pumps expansion project

post by Howard B. Owens in bergen, business, GCEDC, liberty pumps

Press release:

The Board of Directors of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) approved a final resolution for the Liberty Pumps project at its May 1 board meeting.

Liberty Pumps is planning a 100,000-square-foot expansion of its existing facility at Apple Tree Acres in Bergen. The renovation will include new spaces for production, warehouse, research and development, as well as an office, auditorium and training center. The capital investment for the expansion project is $9.8 million and will create 27 new jobs while retaining 124 employees.

In 2000, Liberty Pumps invested $3.7 million for the acquisition of the land and construction of a 60,000-square-foot manufacturing facility. It underwent another expansion project in 2008, which entailed the investment of an additional $4 million for the construction of a 64,000-square-foot addition to the existing facility.

“We are pleased to see Liberty Pumps continue expanding its operations in our region, adding to the growth of employment opportunities in Genesee County,” said Wally Hinchey, GCEDC board chairman.

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