Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

December 20, 2012

State boosts local projects

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — ALBANY — New York economic development officials announced Wednesday a new round of more than $700 million in regional economic development incentives, mostly tax breaks, on top of $785.5 million announced last year, all intended to keep or create jobs.

The incentives include nine projects in Niagara County, including three in Lockport and one in Royalton.

The largest package this year is $96.2 million for 76 projects in the Finger Lakes region. Among them, it lists $5 million for Health Sciences Center for Computational Innovation, a partnership between the University of Rochester and IBM; and $5 million for equipment purchases at the recently completed Rochester Institute of Technology’s Golisano Institute examining sustainability in product development.

Locally the City of Lockport will receive $516,000 to assist in the relocation and expansion of Trek Manufacturing to Harrison Place. The city also received $100,000 to help with restoration of the Flight of Five canal locks, although the city had put in a proposal seeking $2 million.

The YWCA will get $158,167 to help with expansion of its kitchen facilities. The award will fund demolition, asbestos abatement, implementation of energy conservation measures and construction of a commercial kitchen training facility.

A wastewater engineering study in Royalton was awarded $30,000 that will be used to complete an engineering report to evaluate the Gasport Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Other large packages are $93.8 million for 73 projects in central New York, such as $3.1 million for the Syracuse Community Health Center to establish a center at the former Superior Electric facility. Another $92.8 million was announced for 84 projects in the mid-Hudson Valley, with $3 million to establish the Cloud Computing and Analytics Center at Marist College, meant to help technology-based companies by workforce training and by reducing overhead.

“For too many years, top-down economic development policies have failed communities across the state and not truly invested in the unique resources and strengths of each of New York’s regions,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. Strategic regional plans begun last year map a better approach, he said.

Larger regional awards from the $738 million total announced Wednesday are $91.1 million for the 62 projects in the Southern Tier and $90.2 million for 82 projects in the North Country. That includes $1.7 million to enhance broadband connectivity in Hamilton County, part of the broader goal of bringing access to all Adirondack communities.

Others are $59.7 million each for 86 Long Island and 70 Mohawk Valley projects, $52.8 million for 58 projects in western New York, $50.3 million for 84 Capital Region projects and $51.4 million for the New York City area. Among the city’s 50 projects are $1.5 million for the New York Genome Center, a partnership of 11 academic, medical, pharmaceutical and other institutions, to create research space in Manhattan.