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December 19, 2013

Delaware County makes plans for state grant funds

By Cheryl Petersen Contributing Writer
The Daily Star

---- — While nature takes on the look of dormancy, there is activity in Delaware County. 

“Significant funds from the state have been awarded to the Delaware County Industrial Developmental Agency,” said Glenn Nealis, executive director of Delaware County Economic Development. “The funds will be used in the town(s) of Kortright, Davenport and Walton.”

In the town of Kortright, a vacant building will be shored up. In Davenport, delivery of electricity will be upgraded. And, in Walton, commercial and residential buildings will be renovated.

The funds are part of Delaware County’s share of the Regional Economic Development Council awards announced last week by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Agencies undertaking these projects will be reimbursed in the stated amounts for their investments. 

The vacant building in Harpersfield, in the town of Kortright, has been idle for approximately eight years. It was previously used as a water bottling plant by Wissahickon Water Company. 

In the spring, Delaware County took the building for back taxes, then approached the IDA to see if the agency was interested in the 20,000-square-foot facility on state Route 23. 

“The metal structure is in good shape; however, there is a laundry list of things to do before the building will be attractive to an incoming business,” Nealis explained

A $205,000 grant through NYS Empire State Development will cover about half the cost for the IDA to preserve and rehabilitate the project, Nealis said. 

“With this investment the IDA will undertake the project to acquire and renovate the former Wissahickon water bottling facility for the purpose of developing a shovel-ready, turn-key light manufacturing facility in order to attract new private sector investment and job creation,” IDA Chairman Jim Thomson said in a media release.

In Davenport, $850,000 will help bring upgraded electrical service to Greene Lumber Co. and the surrounding hamlet of Davenport. The facility re-opened last spring and employs 30 people. It uses diesel generators to produce the electricity needed for mill operation.

The media release explained that the funds will enable the IDA to upgrade distribution service for the hamlet for Delaware County Electric Cooperative and NYSEG customers. 

“This project will also enable additional new development in the hamlet of Davenport by making this critical infrastructure available for other potential users,” the release noted. 

The third award of $150,000 will be used in a partnership between the village of Walton and Delaware County Economic Development. The grant came through the New York State Office of Housing and Community Renewal. 

The partnership is designed to execute a community revitalization program. The goal is to stimulate reinvestment on Delaware Street by providing financial incentives for the improvement or renovation of commercial and residential buildings.

“This is a great project which will help the businesses on Delaware Street safeguard their properties from future flooding,” Walton Mayor Ed Snow said in the release. “In a minor flood, this work will allow for a more immediate reopening of the business without extensive repairs being necessary.”