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The Steuben Courier Advocate
  • State funding competition: Council IDs priority projects

  • The demolition of the old Guthrie Corning Hospital, a new tenant for the former Sikorsky plant in Big Flats and major upgrades at Watkins Glen International are among the key local projects seeking state economic development funding this year.
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  • The demolition of the old Guthrie Corning Hospital, a new tenant for the former Sikorsky plant in Big Flats and major upgrades at Watkins Glen International are among the key local projects seeking state economic development funding this year.
    This is the fourth year of a competitive new system created by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to distribute state economic development funds.
    Developers submit grant applications to a regional council composed of government, business and education leaders. The councils rank the projects and present them to a state panel for review.
    The 10 regional councils statewide are competing for a pool of $750 million in funding through various state agencies and grant programs.
    This week, the Southern Tier Council identified its 28 priority projects out of a total of 179 that submitted applications this spring across the eight-county region, said Tom Tranter, co-chair of the Southern Tier Council and Corning Enterprises president.
    A glance at some of the local priority projects:
    • Guthrie is seeking $2 million in state money for a $10 million plan to demolish the old Corning Hospital in downtown Corning. Guthrie has been talking with developers interested in redeveloping the Denison Parkway site for commercial or residential use.
    • Emhart Glass in Elmira is looking to move into the former Sikorsky helicopter plant next to the Elmira-Corning Regional Airport on Kahler Road in Big Flats.
    Emhart, which makes equipment used in glass production, wants a larger, more modern facility, said Chemung County Executive Tom Santulli, who also sits on the Southern Tier Council. The company is seeking $2 million for the $10 million project.
    “That’s a very important project,” Santulli said. “That’s a state-of-the-art facility that’s just sitting empty right now.”
    • Watkins Glen International is seeking $2 million for a $10.7 million modernization project at the Schuyler County race track. The track has made a series of upgrades in recent years; details were not available Friday on the latest project.
    • The Village of Watkins Glen is seeking $1.25 million for design and engineering of a new wastewater treatment plant in Catharine Marsh that would serve both Watkins Glen and Montour Falls. An existing plant along the lakefront in Watkins Glen would be removed. The new plant is considered key to the larger Project Seneca, a long-term effort to revitalize the Seneca lakefront.
    • Alfred Technology Resources Inc. is seeking $317,000 to help establish a manufacturing incubator at the former Schweizer plant next to the Elmira-Corning Regional Airport, giving space for start-up companies in Chemung County.
    ATRI also runs the facility for high-tech start-ups called the Ceramics Corridor Incubation Center, located near Corning Inc.’s Sullivan Park in Erwin. ATRI would move its administrative offices from Erwin to the Big Flats location as part of the project, freeing up space for another high-tech startup.
    Page 2 of 2 - • H.P. Hood is seeking a $250,000 grant for an expansion of its Crowley Foods plant in Arkport.
    • The Town of Big Flats is seeking $133,000 for a $700,000 project to increase its water system capacity by tapping into Elmira’s municipal water system. The project is driven by increased demand for water due to housing and business growth in Big Flats.
    • Southern Tier Economic Growth is applying for $138,000 toward an $850,000 project by Elmira developer Jim Capriotti, who plans to restore rowhouses on West Water Street in downtown Elmira.
    • The Village of Painted Post is seeking $83,000 for a $300,000 to upgrade the bike path that runs through Painted Post and Riverside. It’s part of the route for the Wineglass Marathon.
    The Southern Tier Council will present its projects and overall economic development strategy to a state panel in September, Tranter said.
    Cuomo is expected to announce the funding distribution in October.
    The Southern Tier has received $49 million, $91 million, and $81 million, respectively, in the first three years of Cuomo’s program.

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