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August 4, 2017 - 12:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, Ellicott Station, Gateway II, batavia, news, business.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) approved incentives for the $17.6 million Ellicott Station project by Savarino Companies in the City of Batavia at the agency’s Aug. 3 board meeting. The GCEDC Board also accepted an application for assistance from Gateway GS LLC, which is proposing to invest $2.625 million for a phase one development of a 25,000-square-foot spec structure in the Gateway II Corporate Park.

The $17.6 million development by Savarino is anticipated to create approximately 60 new jobs. It was recently announced that the first tenant for the site will be the Resurgence Brewing Company. This project would contribute to the Batavia Pathway to Prosperity (BP2) redevelopment fund and be eligible to draw funds out of the fund to support the project investment related to infrastructure and related improvements in and around the site which offers a “public benefit.”

As a part of the project, the Batavia Development Corporation (BDC) will submit a “certificate of consistency” and infrastructure development plan, which is a requirement to enable funding to flow from the BP2 redevelopment fund.

Savarino is receiving approximately $1.5 million in sales and mortgage tax and property tax exemptions. For every dollar of public benefit, the company is investing $21 into the local economy.​

A Rochester area developer has created an LLC and is planning to invest $2.625 million to build a 25,000-square-foot “shell” spec building at Gateway II in the Town of Batavia. The building allows potential customers the flexibility in final design while reducing construction lead time. The master plan will build out in four or five phases of 27,000-square-foot facilities, each on 10 acres.

The GCEDC receives several RFPs annually from companies looking for “ready to go” warehouse, distribution, light manufacturing, technology and office space tenants. This has been a market opportunity that the agency has been unable to pursue in the past.

The company is seeking sales and property tax exemptions of approximately $140,000. Since the incentives being sought are more than $100,000 a public hearing will be held at a date and time to be determined.

“We are anxious to see work get started at Ellicott Station as this is a major investment in the City of Batavia under the B2P program,” said GCEDC Board Chair Paul Battaglia. “The spec building being proposed at Gateway aligns with our success in taking the ‘build it and they will come approach’ at our various business parks which has proven to be a successful business model.”

August 3, 2017 - 1:46pm

Press release:

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer yesterday (Aug. 2) called Canadian Ambassador Nominee Kelly Knight-Craft and strongly urged her to work with Canadian officials to persuade them to reverse the protectionist and restrictive trade policies that are currently harming the Upstate New York milk industry and farmers.

Schumer explained that the Province of Ontario and Canada’s federal government have adopted restrictive measures on the importation of milk products. These measures will cost tens of millions in U.S. dairy contracts. Producers like O-AT-KA Milk in Genesee County, Cayuga Milk Ingredients in Cayuga County and Ideal Dairy Farm in Washington County have all been harmed, he says.

Schumer said these policies are blatant violations of existing fair trade agreements with Canada. Schumer said this is an affront to current U.S.-Canadian trade agreements, and therefore urged Ms. Craft to push Canada reverse these unfair policies and work with the United States to keep current dairy trade agreements strong. 

“Canada’s restrictive dairy trade and pricing policies are blatantly violating our trade agreements signed by the U.S. and Canada, and they are hurting New York’s dairy producers who simply want to deal fairly with our Canadian partners," Schumer said. "That’s why I called the Canadian Ambassador Nominee and I urged her to push Canada to end these unfair policies and work with the U.S. to keep both of our dairy industries strong.

"These kinds of policies put our dairy farmers in grave jeopardy. Our New York dairy producers work hard every day to provide for their families and export quality products to the world – and they deserve to know that everyone’s competing on a level playing field.”

Schumer has long fought to protect the Upstate NY dairy industry and milk producers across the state. In September, Schumer urged the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Secretary Vilsack and the U.S. Ambassador to Canada, Bruce Heyman, to continue to pressure Canada to end these unfair policies.

The senator said it is critical that the federal government protects the Upstate NY dairy industry, and that these protectionist trade policies should not be allowed to continually impair the value of fair trade provisions the U.S. previously secured under our prior trade agreements.

In the Spring of 2016, Schumer visited O-AT-KA Milk, Cayuga Milk Ingredients and Ideal Farm as he urged the USDA and the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), Michael Froman, to protect Upstate New York’s dairy sector from the then-proposed barriers to trade. Following that push, Schumer again urged these two federal agencies to ramp up all available resources to investigate new Canadian dairy trade policies that could hurt dairy farmers in Upstate NY.

The Canadian province of Ontario has already imposed limitations on American imports and recently Canada’s national government put out a proposal to expand these restrictions nationwide.

Schumer said that the Province of Ontario and Canada’s federal pricing policies, are designed to crowd out New York’s dairy sales and discourage Canadian cheesemakers from using imported ultra-filtered milk from the United States in their products. These new pricing policies essentially set the price of Canada’s products below that of New York’s ultra-filtered milk imports, which hurts O-AT-KA and Cayuga’s more efficiently produced ultra-filtered milk.

Schumer explained that Canada’s National Ingredients Strategy for dairy takes a similar approach to Ontario’s new Class VI pricing policy by incentivizing Canadian processors to shift away from using dairy imports from the U.S. Upstate New York producers have invested millions in order to be able to export to Canada because they have long enjoyed duty-free access for this specific product under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Schumer said these Canadian trade barriers have already started to hinder development and growth of the Upstate NY dairy industry. Companies like O-AT-KA and Cayuga Milk Ingredients, along with Ideal Dairy Farm, rely on trade with Canada for a significant percentage – millions of dollars – of their revenue.

As the country’s third largest milk producing state, a significant impact on New York’s ability to tap into key foreign markets could also impact farmers in surrounding states. Therefore, Schumer said, any reductions in export sales could impact NY dairy manufacturers and their supplying farms, which are already struggling with depressed milk prices.

August 3, 2017 - 10:25am
posted by Maria Pericozzi in corfu, Three T's Family Diner, news, restaurants, business.

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A few members of the Toy family, from left to right, Coby, Tracy, Wade and Tyler.

Wade and Tracy Toy have five kids and know the struggle of getting a good meal for a large family, without breaking the wallets.

That’s why they opened Three T’s Family Diner, located at 2 Corfu Plaza in Corfu. While they live in Cheektowaga, the travel time is worth it, Tracy said.

“It seemed like the small town didn’t have much going for it,” Tracy said. “We figured if we do this, maybe other things would pick up and the town would be back to where it was years ago.”

Wade and Tracy found the Corfu location on Craigslist and thought the place had potential.

They started renovating the location in January and finished in May. Wade said they stripped everything right down to the firewalls.

Wade used to drive a truck and Tracy was a railroad clerk, up until the beginning of this year.

“We both quit our jobs to put our time and effort into the diner,” Tracy said.

Tracy said they plan to leave the diner to their kids, Jessica, 23, Joshua, 21, Jacob, 19, Tyler, 15, and Coby 13.

“We also have a 4-year-old grandson that comes here,” Tracy said. “He gives out the menus and straws.”

The hope is that further down the road, Wade and Tracy will pass the diner along to their kids, while they go mobile and purchase a food truck for events and parties.

For locals, if they have ideas for what should be on the menu, Tracy and Wade are open to suggestions.

“We’ll try it out,” Tracy said. “Even if we don’t know what it is, we will look it up and figure it out.”

Wade said one customer requested chipped beef and gravy last week, which has been added to the specials. Tracy said they hope to receive a lot of feedback from customers.

The diner is open every day of the week, except Wednesday, from 8 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., and accepts cash only.

They just started with takeout and delivery only to local businesses.

Tracy said they hope to expand to dinner hours in the near future.

“People can come here with their families and have a good, decent meal,” Tracy said. “Then, they can leave with money in their wallet and still be able to take their kids out.” 

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The diner is located behind the carwash in the Corfu Plaza, next to the American Family Market.

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July 27, 2017 - 6:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Dunkin' Donuts, batavia, business, news.

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At the new Dunkin' Donuts on West Main Street, Batavia, you can get a free charge, if you have an electric car, to go with your morning jolt of coffee.

This is apparently a trend for Dunkin' Donuts with a few popping up around the country.

The charging station is listed on PlugShare -- a listing that might encourage drivers of electric cars to exit the Thruway in Batavia if they're a little low on energy.

July 27, 2017 - 12:42pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Syngenta, agriculture, business.

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Farmers in New York State are being advised to take legal action against a Swiss agrochemical company that is being accused of mishandling the marketing of its genetically modified corn seed.

“New York farmers have been ripped off,” said attorney M. Scott Barrett, an Albion native who is a partner in Barrett Wylie LLC of Bloomington, Ind.

Barrett and Albion lawyer Conrad Cropsey are part of a four-attorney team available to represent New York corn growers who may have been affected by circumstances surrounding the 2010 rollout of the Agisure Viptera corn seed developed by Syngenta AG.

Ken Walsh of Mount Kisco and John Jernigan of Brewton, Ala., are the other lawyers handling New York cases.

Litigation against Syngenta, which was acquired by China National Chemical Corp. in June for $43 billion, began in 2014 – four years after Syngenta began marketing the corn seed.

The problem, Barrett said, was that Syngenta failed to get Chinese approval of the seed, which contained the MIR 162 GMO seed trait.

“China ultimately detected MIR 162 in U.S. corn shipments in November 2013 and, as a result, China, then the third-largest U.S. corn export market, embargoed all U.S. corn -- thereby driving down corn prices and damaging American corn producers,” Barrett said.

“The U.S. corn market has yet to fully recover, nor is it likely to do so anytime soon because after the U.S. corn ban in 2013, China entered into long-term contracts with a number of South American producers.”

Syngenta’s inability to obtain approval by China and alleged misleading statements about when the seed would be approved prompted farmers to file a class action suit in Kansas City, Kan.

Since then, a federal judge dismissed the suit, leaving farmers in all but nine states -- Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, and South Dakota – without a national class action protecting their legal rights. The nine states mentioned can proceed via state law class actions.

Cropsey said farmers in other states, such as New York, have the right to file individual cases.

“We are working principally in the GLOW region and have a couple of signed clients in Suffolk County and Niagara County,” Cropsey said. “Farmers only need to sign a contract. We will handle all the paperwork and file their cases in Williamson County, Illinois court.”

Cropsey said the opportunity to file individual cases is open to all New York corn producers who grew and sold corn for market at any time after 2012.

“It makes no difference whether they purchased Syngenta seed or a competing brand such as Pioneer or DeKalb,” he said. “All of them have been damaged no matter what brand(s) of seed they purchased.  Nor does it matter whether the corn was sweet corn or field corn.”

Barrett recounted the litigation against Syngenta in three phases:

-- The one-count national class action, based on the federal statute known as the Lanham Act (which since has been denied);
-- A Minnesota state class action filed in state court in Minnesota;
-- Thousands of individual, non-class cases filed in both the Kansas and Minnesota courts as well as a state court in Williamson County.

“The three judges from Kansas, Minnesota, and Illinois have appointed a Special Master to work with the parties towards settlement on a parallel track with 48 test-case trials selected by the federal court in Kansas. This is being done to establish liability and damages parameters that will inform the settlement discussions,” Barrett said.

In an encouraging sign for farmers, the first Kansas test case trial last month ended with a jury verdict of $217 million in favor of the certified class of Kansas corn farmers.

“The Kansas class asked for $217 million in actual damages and that is exactly what they received -- no punitive damages were awarded,” said Barrett, adding that it took the jury less than a day to render its verdict.

A second test case trial, this one involving a single Nebraska plaintiff, was set to start on July 10 in Minneapolis, but a confidential settlement was reached four days earlier.

The third test case trial, this one involving the certified class of Minnesota corn farmers, is scheduled for mid-August in Minneapolis. The certified class of Minnesota corn farmers is seeking actual damages in the range of $600 million.

According to published reports, Syngenta lawyers are disputing the farmers’ claims of damages and are denying the company did anything wrong – noting that the seed wasn’t sold until U.S. approval was obtained and that it didn’t need China’s approval.

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For more information about the litigation, contact Cropsey (photo above) at 585-589-9400.

July 27, 2017 - 8:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Tompkins Bank of Castile, business.

Press release:

Proving that a minute can matter, Tompkins Bank of Castile is launching the fourth and final round of the quarterly Community Minute Challenge. Each quarterly winner is awarded $2,500; by the end of the contest, a total of $10,000 will have been provided in much-needed funds to local not-for-profit organizations.

“In each of the first three rounds, the support for the Community Minute Challenge has been impressive, with thousands of votes cast for the participating organizations,” said John McKenna, bank president and CEO.

“As proud members of the communities where we operate, we’re thankful for the important services that are provided by non-for-profit organizations in our area. We’re thrilled to be able to bring attention to their positive work through the Community Minute Challenge.”

The fourth round started on July 24 and runs through Aug. 7. The winning organization is determined by public voting on the Bank of Castile Facebook page, where visitors can watch the one-minute videos produced by participating nonprofits and then vote for their favorite. Each video explains how the non-profit would use the awarded funds. The six organizations competing in this round are:

  • Delphi Drug and Alcohol Council Inc. (Monroe County)
  • Friends of Letchworth State Park (Wyoming County)
  • Friends of the Richmond Memorial Library (Genesee County)
  • Genesee Cancer Assistance (Genesee County)
  • Geneseo Parish Outreach Center (Livingston County)
  • Gilda's Club Rochester (Monroe County)

To show support for the initiative and cast a vote, participants should “like” the Tompkins Bank of Castile Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TompkinsBankofCastile and click on the Community Minute Challenge app. They can then select their favorite nonprofit after watching the one-minute videos. Individuals can vote once per day during the contest period.

Launched in August 2016, the Community Minute Challenge has awarded $7,500 to date. The first-round winner was Going to the Dogs Rescue in Wyoming County, an organization dedicated to helping homeless pets find loving forever homes. The second-round winner was ARC of Genesee Orleans, a resource of choice for people with disabilities and their families in both Genesee and Orleans counties. The third-round winner was Community Action for Wyoming County, an organization that seeks to improve the quality of life of all people they serve by focusing on their needs, and encouraging them to realize their goals and become self-sufficient.

July 27, 2017 - 8:30am
posted by Maria Pericozzi in Job Bureau, business, news.

July 31 is the last chance for youths, ages 14 to 19, to apply for summer jobs through the Genesee County Career Center in Batavia.

This state-funded program offers 42 positions for youths to work 100 hours, approximately 20 hours a week, for minimum wage.

Lisa Smith, the employment and training counselor, said this is a great opportunity to get job experience.

“This gets them out into the community and building relationships,” Smith said.

Each youth will attend a three-day training, where they learn about how to interview, how to create a resume and cover letter, and how to interact with coworkers.

The Tonawanda Valley Federal Credit Union came to the last training, Smith said.

“They taught them how to balance a checkbook, how to write a check, and how to start saving money,” Smith said.

Once each person is placed, Smith visits once a week to check on the employee and employer.

This program has been around since 1980, serving Genesee County youths. They have worked at places such as the Oakfield-Alabama Central School District, rec programs, the Genesee County Animal Shelter, and public libraries in the area.

For those interested, they can contact Smith at 344-2042, ext. 4237, or by email at [email protected], or stop by the Genesee County Career Center located at 587 E. Main St., Suite 100.

July 24, 2017 - 3:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Muller Quaker, HP Hood, batavia, business.

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Press release:

State-of-the-art production equipment from the former Muller/Quaker Dairy greek yogurt plant in Batavia, New York, will be offered at auction Sept. 13 by Harry Davis & Company.

Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) this week announced the facility — originally constructed by Muller-Quaker to process yogurt via a joint venture formed in 2011 between PepsiCo’s Quaker Oats Co. unit and Germany’s Theo Müller Group — has been purchased by HP Hood LLC. HP Hood will invest more than $200 million over several years to repurpose the 363,000-square-foot, currently idle processing facility to produce extended shelf-life beverages.

Meanwhile, the remaining state-of-the-art production equipment is being offered at auction by Harry Davis & Company.

Leonard Davis, president and senior appraiser for Harry Davis & Company, says this is a rare opportunity for processors to purchase equipment from 2012 or newer that was used for only 18 months of production time.

“This is a virtual showroom of equipment,” he says. “It’s a tremendous opportunity for the dairy world to purchase this equipment.”

He notes in particular the equipment available for production of Greek yogurt, which has soared in popularity at retail.

In addition to getting ultra-modern equipment at significant savings, Davis says it’s a rare opportunity to get equipment of this quality so quickly.

“Typically, if you wanted to get one of these filling machines, you’re looking at 18-24 months of lead time,” he says. “This is an opportunity to acquire like-new equipment well below new cost and have it installed and running in a matter of weeks.”

Some of the featured equipment, valued at $200 million, includes: • Aseptic S/S Silos & Tanks
• Pasteurization, Homogenization & Culture Injection
• Finnah Horizontal Form, Fill & Seal Packaging Lines
• Hamba/Oystar A+F Filling Line
• Kasag Fruit Batch Cooking Plant.

Since the former yogurt plant added fruit to some of its varieties, state-of-the-art fruit processing equipment also is available, including a fruit receiving, sorting and cutting system, Davis notes.

“There’s a complete fruit production sub-facility within this plant,” he says. “It’s highly desirable not only for other yogurt manufacturers, but also those involved in jam and other fruit manufacturing.”

Additional general plant and spare parts also are available.

Harry Davis & Company is seeking buyers from North America, South America and Europe. Interested parties can access the auction online at http://bit.ly/MullerHDC. The auction will be held at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time Sept. 13. 

Photos provided. (click here for more photos)

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July 21, 2017 - 1:19pm

Press release:

As the proud sponsor the 11th annual Genesee County Mega Blood Drive, Tompkins Bank of Castile is calling on all eligible donors to give blood on Tuesday, Aug. 1 from noon to 7 p.m. at the Quality Inn & Suites in Batavia. It is located at 8200 Park Road.

“Tompkins Bank of Castile has been a proud sponsor and supporter of the annual blood drive in Batavia for years,” said Gregg McAllister, VP, Marketing Communications, Tompkins Bank Of Castile. “This year’s blood drive comes at a time when the Red Cross is facing a critical blood shortage, which makes donations more important than ever.

"This is an opportunity for everyone in our community who is able to do so, to make a blood donation so patients can continue to receive the lifesaving treatments they need.”

According to the Red Cross, the shortage of blood donations may lead to delays in urgent medical care to vulnerable patients. Blood products are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in, and more donations are needed now to replenish the blood supply. According to the Red Cross, every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood, and approximately 36,000 units of red blood cells are needed every day nationwide.

The blood drive will also honor the area’s everyday heroes with the second annual “Battle of the Badges” competition for first responders such as Mercy EMS, Batavia City Fire Department, Town of Batavia Fire Department, State Troopers, Batavia City Police and the Sheriff’s Office.

However, donors don’t need to be a first responder to participate in the blood drive on Aug. 1, and walk-ins are welcome. All those who donate can do so to honor our local first responders, and all participants will receive a Target e-gift card.

To make an appointment to donate to the blood drive, please call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit redcrossblood.org.

July 21, 2017 - 11:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, Tompkins Bank of Castile.

Press release:

Tompkins Financial Corporation (NYSEMKT:TMP) reported net income of $16.9 million for the second quarter of 2017, an increase of 14.1% from the $14.8 million reported for the same period in 2016. Year to date net income was $32.6 million, an increase of $3.6 million, up 12.2% over the same period in 2016.

Diluted earnings per share were $1.11 for the second quarter of 2017, up 13.3% over the second quarter of 2016. For the year-to-date period ended June 30, 2017, diluted earnings per share were $2.13, up 11.5% over the same period in 2016.

President and CEO, Stephen S. Romaine said, “It is especially rewarding to show strong performance through the first half of 2017, while our team was also focused on a conversion of our core banking system, which was successfully completed in May of this year. Improved net interest income, which was supported by solid loan growth over the prior year, has been the primary driver of improved earnings performance in 2017.”

SELECTED HIGHLIGHTS FOR SECOND QUARTER AND YEAR TO DATE:

  • ●  Diluted earnings per share of $1.11 for the second quarter represented a 13.3% increase over the same period last year, while year-to-date diluted earnings per share of $2.13 reflect the best earnings through the first six months of any year in our Company’s history.

  • ●  Quarterly returns on average assets and average equity of 1.07% and 11.85%, respectively, are at their highest levels since June 2015

  • ●  Net interest margin improved for the second consecutive quarter and is at its highest level since March 2015.

  • ●  Total loans of $4.4 billion were up 11.1% over the same period in 2016; and are up 3.8% over December 31, 2016.

  • ●  Total deposits of $4.8 billion reflect an increase of 6.3% over the same period last year, and are up 2.7% from December 31, 2016.

    NET INTEREST INCOME

    Net interest income of $50.3 million for the second quarter of 2017 increased by $5.4 million, or 12.0% compared to the same period in 2016. For the year-to-date period, net interest income was $98.3 million, up $9.4 million, or 10.6% from the same six-month period in 2016.

    Net interest income benefited from growth in average loans and deposits. Average loans were up $467.1 million, or 12.2% in the first six months of 2017, versus the same period in 2016. Average deposits were up $260.3 million, or 5.8% in the first six months of 2017, versus the same period in 2016. Certain loans benefited from higher short term interest rates in 2017, resulting in an improved net interest margin in 2017. For the second quarter of 2017, net interest margin improved to 3.45%, compared to 3.38% in the first quarter of 2017, and 3.36% in the second quarter of 2016.

    NONINTEREST INCOME

    Noninterest income represented 25.8% of total revenues in the second quarter of 2017, compared to 27.6% in the same period in 2016, and 26.4% for the most recent prior quarter. Noninterest income of $17.5 million was up 2.1% compared to the same period last year. Declines in insurance commissions and fees, and gains on the sale of available-for-sale securities during the quarter were offset by improved card services income, which included approximately $500,000 of volume based incentives related to our branding agreement with MasterCard. Other income for the second quarter was up $379,000 from the same quarter in 2016. The improvement included approximately $130,000 of recoveries of nonaccrued interest on loans previously charged off.

    NONINTEREST EXPENSE

    Noninterest expense was $41.6 million for the second quarter of 2017, up $2.2 million, or 5.5%, over the second quarter of 2016. For the year-to-date period, noninterest expense was $82.9 million, up $4.0 million, or 5.1%, from the same period in

2016. The increase in noninterest expense for both the second quarter and year-to-date periods was mainly due to higher salaries and benefits. Expenses for the quarter also included $411,000 of expense related to our recently completed core system conversion, compared to $262,000 in the quarter ended March 31, 2017, and $76,000 in the quarter ended June 30, 2017.

ASSET QUALITY

Asset quality trends remained strong in the second quarter of 2017. Nonperforming assets represented 0.36% of total assets at June 30, 2017, unchanged from December 31, 2016, and up slightly from 0.32% at June 30, 2016. Nonperforming

asset levels continue to be well below the most recent Federal Reserve Board Peer Group Average1 of 0.55%.

Provision for loan and lease losses was $976,000 for the second quarter of 2017, which was in line with the second quarter of 2016. Net recoveries for the second quarter of 2017 were $15,000 compared to net charge-offs of $383,000 reported in the second quarter of 2016.

The Company’s allowance for originated loan and lease losses totaled $37.0 million at June 30, 2017, and represented 0.91% of total originated loans and leases at June 30, 2017, compared to 0.92% reported for the most recent prior quarter, and 0.93% from one year ago. The total allowance represented 178.58% of total nonperforming loans and leases at June 30, 2017, compared to 164.98% at December 31, 2016, and 183.01% at June 30, 2016.

Though most credit quality metrics remained relatively stable for the quarter, the level of special mention loans increased during the quarter to $39.0 million, up from $21.2 million a year ago, and up from $19.4 million at March 31, 2017. The increase is largely related to the Company’s agricultural portfolio that has been negatively impacted by lower milk prices over the past 12 months. Though lower prices have negatively impacted cash flow for this group of borrowers, payments on all of the loans in this portfolio were current as of June 30, 2017.

CAPITAL POSITION

Capital ratios remain well above the regulatory well capitalized minimums. The ratio of Tier 1 capital to average assets was 8.43% at June 30, 2017, compared to 8.41% reported for December 31, 2016. Total capital to risk-weighted assets at June 30, 2017 was 12.45%, compared to 12.22% reported at December 31, 2016. Both ratios are down from the same period last year, in large part due to the redemption of $20.5 million of 7% fixed rate Trust Preferred securities in January 2017.

ABOUT TOMPKINS FINANCIAL CORPORATION

Tompkins Financial Corporation is a financial services company serving the Central, Western, and Hudson Valley regions of New York and the Southeastern region of Pennsylvania. Headquartered in Ithaca, NY, Tompkins Financial is parent to Tompkins Trust Company, Tompkins Bank of Castile, Tompkins Mahopac Bank, Tompkins VIST Bank, Tompkins Insurance Agencies, Inc., and offers wealth management services through Tompkins Financial Advisors. For more information on Tompkins Financial, visit www.tompkinsfinancial.com.

"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform of 1995:

This press release may include forward-looking statements with respect to revenue sources, growth, market risk, and corporate objectives. The Company assumes no duty, and specifically disclaims any obligation, to update forward-looking statements, and cautions that these statements are subject to numerous assumptions, risks, and uncertainties, all of which could change over time. Actual results could differ materially from forward-looking statements.

TOMPKINS FINANCIAL CORPORATION CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CONDITION

(In thousands, except share and per share data) (Unaudited)

As of

06/30/2017

76,079 2,096 78,175

1,424,871

139,994 4,070,755

As of

12/31/2016

62,074 1,880 63,954 

July 20, 2017 - 10:28am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Tompkins Bank of Castile, business.

Press release:

Proving that a minute can matter, Tompkins Bank of Castile is launching the fourth and final round of the quarterly Community Minute Challenge. Each quarterly winner is awarded $2,500; by the end of the contest, a total of $10,000 will have been provided in much-needed funds to local not-for-profit organizations.

“In each of the first three rounds, the support for the Community Minute Challenge has been impressive, with thousands of votes cast for the participating organizations,” said John McKenna, Bank president and CEO. “As proud members of the communities where we operate, we’re thankful for the important services that are provided by non-for-profit organizations in our area.

"We’re thrilled to be able to bring attention to their positive work through the Community Minute Challenge.”

The fourth round will begin July 24 and run through Aug. 7. The winning organization is determined by public voting on the Bank of Castile Facebook page, where visitors can watch the one-minute videos produced by participating nonprofits and then vote for their favorite. Each video explains how the nonprofit would use the awarded funds. The seven organizations competing in this round are:

  • Delphi Drug and Alcohol Council Inc. (Monroe County)
  • Friends of Letchworth State Park (Wyoming County)
  • Friends of the Richmond Memorial Library (Genesee County)
  • Genesee Cancer Assistance (Genesee County)
  • Geneseo Parish Outreach Center (Livingston County)
  • Gilda's Club Rochester (Monroe County) 
  • Pathstone Enterprise Corporation (Monroe County)

To show support for the initiative and cast a vote, participants should “like” the Tompkins Bank of Castile Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TompkinsBankofCastile and click on the Community Minute Challenge app. They can then select their favorite nonprofit after watching the one-minute videos. Individuals can vote once per day during the contest period.

Launched in August 2016, the Community Minute Challenge has awarded $7,500 to date.

The first-round winner was Going to the Dogs Rescue in Wyoming County, an organization dedicated to helping homeless pets find loving forever homes. The second-round winner was ARC of Genesee Orleans, a resource of choice for people with disabilities and their families in both Genesee and Orleans counties. The third-round winner was Community Action for Wyoming County, an organization that seeks to improve the quality of life of all people they serve by focusing on their needs and encouraging them to realize their goals and become self-sufficient.

July 18, 2017 - 5:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in HP Hood, GCEDC, batavia, business, news, notify.

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(Photo of HP Hood Chairman John A. Kaneb taken this afternoon at his company's new processing facility in Batavia's Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park.)

With existing plants at capacity and demand growing, HP Hood was looking for a facility the company could get up and running quickly for long-shelf-life dairy and nondairy products, said its Chairman John A. Kaneb today in an exclusive interview with The Batavian at the company's new processing facility in the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park. 

The plant was built in 2012 for $206 million as a joint venture between PepsiCo and Theo Muller Group and became known as the Quaker Muller Dairy plant.

Now, it's the HP Hood plant, which Hood acquired June 30 from Dairy Farmers of America for $54 million.

Kaneb said Hood knows Upstate New York well -- with four existing plants -- and knew the area had a good supply of raw milk, so when the plant became available, Hood took a keen interest.

"This plant happens to be located fairly well for us -- not ideally -- but fairly well," Kaneb said.  "The availability of the plant, that overcame a lot of, let's say, whatever reluctance we would have because we have to do a lot of very expensive repurposing here. We're moving from a plant that was designed for mass production of lots of yogurt to two fluid products. So that there were some warts and such, but we're very happy to be here."

The staff at Genesee County Economic Development Center made the whole process easy, understood it needed to be expedited, and that added to Hood's interest in locating in Genesee County, Kaneb said.

"Your economic development people here are superb," Kaneb said. "I mean they really are good and they're knowledgeable and they're friendly to business. Hopefully, we will not disappoint them."

Scott Blake, senior vice president of operations for HP Hood, added that the GCEDC staff provided a wealth of information on the area, businesses, and people, which helped them get comfortable with the decision to open a plant here.

HP Hood has committed to creating 230 jobs at the plant. They will take on the original PILOT (Payment In Lieu of Taxes) agreement signed by Muller Quaker to receive $7 million in tax abatements over 10 years. The state is also providing a $2 million capital grant from the Upstate Revitalization Initiative.

If employment goals are met, Hood is also eligible for $5 million in performance-based Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits. 

The 170-year-old, Lynnfield, Mass.-based company is adding 100,000 square feet of refrigerated warehouse space to the plant, which is already 363,000 square feet. After the expansion, with retooling the plant, and the purchase price, Hood will have sunk nearly $200 million into the new facility by the time it goes into production in early 2019.

There has been a rumor recently that the Hood plant could eventually employ 500 people. That's too far down the road to think about, Kaneb said, and he doesn't want to promise that level of growth. He believes they will hit the 230 employee target, but in the first priority is hiring 140 people over the next 12 months.

"I think we're we're confident that it will be reached, but I don't want to get into when we get to 230 or 250 or whatever," Kaneb said. "As far as going beyond that, I hope so. I will tell you that the only other situation that's halfway comparable to this is a greenfield plant we built from the ground up in Winchester, Virginia. We built that in basically 2000 to 2001. Today, 17 years later, here it is employing about 600 people. This plant has the acreage and, et cetera, et cetera, to do something like that, but that took 17 years."

(For photos of the Winchester plant, click here.)

Kaneb is a former Navy man. He graduated from Harvard in 1956, before joining the Navy, with a bachelor's degree in Economics. He acquired a controlling interest in Gulf Oil, tripled its sales to $4.5 billion, and got out of the business in 2005.

The Kaneb family acquired HP Hood in 1985.

It was almost happenstance that the family got into the dairy business, Kaneb said. The only way to grow the oil business was through acquisition, and with growth opportunities limited, they were sitting on excess capital that needed to be put to work. Hood was a great brand and as a native New Englander, Kaneb grew up drinking HP Hood milk. So did his children. But the company had fallen on hard times.

"(Hood) was a company with a great reputation and a great name," Kaneb said. "It was in some difficulty. In fact, a lot of difficulty. As we looked at we thought it might benefit from management that was highly motivated and with energy, et cetera. We thought we could bring some money to the table. We said, 'you know this isn't the business we know but it doesn't look like a complex business. It looks like a basic blocking and tackling business.' "

Since the acquisition, HP Hood has grown to $2 billion in annual sales and has opened new facilities around the Northeast and around the country, such as Virginia, California and Minnesota.

Hood’s portfolio includes its own brands and licensed products. The familiar names include Crowley Foods, Simply Smart Milk, Heluva Good!, Lactaid, Baileys Coffee Creamers, Hershey's Milk and Milkshakes, and Blue Diamond Almond Breeze.

When the Kaneb family took over Hood, they replaced much of the management, though they also identified some bright young talent, such as Blake, Kaneb said. Since then, Hood's executive team has been stable.

"(Blake) is certainly one of those stars who could take on more responsibility," Kaneb said. "We found those who had the skills that have helped us build the company into what it is today," Kaneb said. "It's really common sense, frankly, having a true partnership with your employees. If you want to put a motto on it, how we as owners look at the business and the employees, is that 'You take care of us, we take care of you.' Very simple."

Kaneb said he thinks that approach has been good for the company and it's what potential employees can expect in Batavia.

"You take care of us, we take care of you," Kaneb repeated when asked about company culture. "I mean, do your job and do it well and then you'll find the company will appreciate it and take care of you. We prize low turnover and we have low turnover, I would say, very low turnover, at every level."

As for the kind of corporate citizen Hood will be in Batavia, Kaneb said getting involved in the community is something Hood will strive to do, but the first order of business is getting the plant into production.

"First of all, get our business set up," Kaneb said. "We need to get to the level of employees we need to get going. I would call that, from my Navy days, as the shakedown period. Then we can be open to being a reasonably active corporate citizen. I don't think it's a great idea for us to do anything but get ourselves comfortable here, with the employees we need, and get our production going and so on. That should be our sole activity for the foreseeable future."

July 15, 2017 - 9:22am
posted by Howard B. Owens in HP Hood, batavia, business, GCEDC, Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park.

Public Notice:

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, that the Genesee County Legislature will hold a public hearing on the submission of an application for Community Development Block Grant funding from the New York State Office of Community Renewal to provide financing to assist in the establishment of milk processing operations at the former Muller Quaker Dairy facility at the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park in the Town of Batavia, New York by HP Hood LLC.  More detailed information regarding the project will be presented at the hearing.

NOTICE IS FURTHER GIVEN that the public hearing will be held at the Old Courthouse, 7 Main Street, Batavia, NY on the 19th day of July, 2017 at 5:30 PM. All persons who wish to speak will be heard. Written comments are invited and will be accepted upon delivery to: Clerk, Genesee County Legislature, 7 Main Street, Batavia, NY 14020 prior to the hearing. The hearing location is in compliance with accessibility standards under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

July 13, 2017 - 4:12pm
posted by Billie Owens in steve, hawley, news, business.

Press release:

With the advent of Independent Retailer Month, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia), who himself has been a small-business owner for more than 40 years, is encouraging his neighbors to shop local this month.

It is a chance to support the local economy and strengthen community growth in Western New York.

“This month is the perfect opportunity to support your neighbor’s businesses and show the strength of our community,” Hawley said. “As a local business owner, I know the importance of the issues so many business owners face.

"The regulation and taxes meted out by Albany stifle the prosperity of all of us. It is with this in mind that we use this month as a symbol to band together as neighbors and show that our local economy has never been stronger and will continue to keep local money in local pockets.”

Hawley is a strong opponent of regulation and governmental oversight that prevents local businesses from operating efficiently in New York State.

This motivated him to sponsor the Red Tape Reduction Act (A6916) to help start cutting back harmful laws sent down from Albany. Less regulation and less red tape means more jobs, lower taxes, and more money in your pocket at the end of every day.

July 13, 2017 - 12:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Creekside Inn, Farmer's Creekside Inn, Le Roy, business, news, notify.

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It's been years of effort and expense for Bill Farmer, but nearly a decade after he acquired the Creekside Inn, after a fire destroyed most of the building, the tavern that is part of so many local memories, is once again welcoming customers.

The 200-year-old building has been completely refurbished from top to bottom and is gorgeous. Farmer has hired a top-notch staff and the Creekside is set to become a local favorite, but a regional dining destination.  

Tavern dining on the second floor and the patio bar are open. The third-floor fine dining won't open for a few weeks yet.

This weekend, during Oatka Fest, the Creekside is not accepting reservations. It is first-come, first-served.

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July 12, 2017 - 4:28pm
posted by Maria Pericozzi in news, business, batavia, Movies in Motion.

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Lynda Edenholm and her husband, Jeff, announced Tuesday that Movies In Motion, their video rental business located at 511 E. Main St. in Batavia, will be closing down. While they are sad, Lynda said she is excited to start their new venture, in the same building, called “Lynda’s Custom Wooden Signs and Furniture.”

“Technology took over,” said Lynda. “Even at the dinner table, people are on their phones. We’ve lost sight of the whole reason why we’re here.”

There is no definite closure date, but Lynda said the transition will be over the next two months. They are liquidating more than 10,000 DVDs and Blu-rays starting at 25-percent off. The percentage off will increase as the inventory diminishes.

Movies In Motion has been at its current location for nine years, but opened in 1996 with 180 movies.

Lynda said she has become a big part of the community over the last 21 years.

“We’ve donated to many different school functions, church functions and special fundraisers,” Lynda said. “We did it mainly for the people. We like the interaction with people.”

Because the video store was open seven days a week, Lynda said she has missed many birthdays, anniversaries and special events.

“You can’t just close down anytime you want,” Lynda said. “I want to spend more time with family.”

The best part of running the video store has been watching people grow up, Lynda said. She said she is going to miss all the faces that they normally see.

Lynda has been making custom wooden signs for about two years. She said it seems to be the source of most of her income right now.

“We’re hoping that we’ll get a following after we leave,” Lynda said. “But it’s bittersweet. It really is.”

Lynda said she is not sure how long they will stay in the current building because eventually she would like to move the wood signs and furniture business to online and at their residence in Stafford.

“Our plan is to stay here and still service the community,” Lynda said. “Just on a different level this time.”

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July 12, 2017 - 3:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Capish Brick Oven Pizza Ristorante, Le Roy, business, news, notify.

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Jim Frascati started working on his plans to open an Italian restaurant somewhere nearly two years ago, but the big hang up was finding the right location.

He visited the Village of Le Roy, but the location he looked at didn't seem quite suitable to him. He missed the vacant, 110-year-old building at 49 Main St.

At an event one day, he met a Le Roy resident who asked him if he had looked at the former Pontillo's Pizzeria building.

He hadn't, so he did.

"When I came to see it, once I stepped inside the building, I fell in love with it," Frascati said, a resident of Monroe County. "Even though the condition of the building wasn't great, the outside was very attractive. I think it's one of the best looking buildings downtown."

In the interior, he was taken by the exposed brick on the eastside wall and the big arched window at the front of the building.

That's when he knew for sure he was going to have his own restaurant, he said.

Finding the right name for the business wasn't a straightforward journey, either.

Frascati was born in Sicily, raised by a Sicilian mother. His family immigrated, making an eight-day boat journey, when he was 12 years old. 

He knew his ristorante would have a fired brick oven (really, the way to cook pizza, as far as he's concerned), and feature his mother's homemade Sicilian recipes, so he wanted a name that spoke to his Sicilian roots.

When his father was a young man, he would walk to work with a bag with his lunch in it hanging from a stick, so his nickname became "la caffa." A la caffa is a kind of purse or satchel that was originally designed to hang on donkeys for transporting small items.

So, Frascati planned to use "la caffa" as his business name, but his daughter said "No, dad, that's a stupid name. Nobody will know what it means."

He tried to come up with other names, but none ever seemed quite right. Then one day he was talking with a friend about plans they were making. The friend laid out the summary of the plans and ended his sentence with, "capiche?" Frascati replied almost in rote, "capiche."

Then it struck him. When he was a boy, whenever he would do something bad ("I wasn't always a perfect kid," he said), his mother would scold him, often with threats with words along the lines of, "if you do that again, I'm going to break your legs," and end the threat with, "capiche?"

Frascati told his friend, "Thank you. Thank you so much."

"For what?"

"You just gave me the name of my restaurant."

Capish! Brick Oven Pizza Ristorante, 49 Main St., Le Roy, has been open for about three months now, long enough for Frascati to see if customers return.

"We are starting to see some of the same faces over and over," Frascati said. "We're glad to see them come back. It's a nice testament to our food that they do come back."

Besides pizza, the restaurant has a full bar and a menu filled with a variety of Italian dishes.

Le Roy is starting to become a nice destination village for people who like to eat at good restaurants and Frascati is glad to be part of that mix. He thinks his brick oven offers people throughout the region something different because there is no other brick oven pizzeria close to the area.

Frascati is excited about talk of revitalization along the waterfront of Oatka Creek. That will only help bring people in from Rochester and Buffalo.

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On the mantle above the bar, a model of the ship Jim Frascati and his family spent eight days on when they immigrated to the United States.

July 11, 2017 - 10:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in HP Hood, Andrew Cuomo, batavia, news, business, notify.

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Some businesses fail and some thrive, and if New York is going to grow economically, it needs to take the risk that not every business that receives state aid will live up to expectations.

That was the theme of comments by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Howard Zemsky, president and CEO of Empire State Development, today in Batavia.

Muller Quaker Dairy didn't work out after being promised millions of dollars in state aid (most of which the project never received), but Cuomo and Zemsky are confident HP Hood is a good company for the state to assist as Hood prepares to expand the 363,000-square-foot facility in the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park.

"If you want to be in the economic development business, you have to get accustomed to the adjustments," Cuomo said. "You know, only 50 percent of the businesses that start exist after five years. Fifty percent. By the time you get to the 10-year mark, only one-third are still in business. That's the nature of business.

"In the state of New York, we're doing economic development," he added. "We're creating hundreds of businesses, creating thousands of businesses. Well, then, you have to be prepared to have that number of defaults because that is the way the world works. The trick is to keep the fundamentals sound. Keep taxes low. Stay pro-business."

Both Cuomo and Zemsky said they believe Hood will succeed in Batavia.

"Think about the spectrum of industries out there," Zemsky said. "On the one hand, you've got relatively low-risk industries -- I would consider fluid milk to be a pretty stable. We're not figuring out if consumers like milk or not. You're not breaking new ground and producing milk.

"So milk is a pretty low-risk investment in the whole spectrum of things. On the other side, you've got chip fabs or really next-generation industries. We do take some calculated risk, but I'd say this is very low on the scale of calculating risk."

HP Hood is a 170-year-old company based in Lynnfield, Mass., with four other locations in New York. The company is licensed to produce, or has produced, brand-name dairy and non-dairy products throughout the United States.

Hood’s portfolio includes its own brand, Crowley Foods, Simply Smart Milk, Heluva Good!, Lactaid, Baileys Coffee Creamers, Hershey's Milk and Milkshakes, and Blue Diamond Almond Breeze.

The former Muller Dairy plant is the largest dairy processing plant -- even before Hood adds 100,000 square feet of the refrigerated warehouse -- in the United States and in the middle of Upstate dairy country. It cost PepsiCo and Theo Muller Group $206 million to construct. Pepsi took a $60 million write-off when the plant closed. It's unknown how much money Muller lost on the venture.

Muller Quaker was attempting to enter an already crowded and competitive Greek yogurt market with a product that tried to position itself as Greek yogurt but really wasn't.  

Dairy Farmers of America purchased the plant shortly after it closed in December 2015 for $60 million. News broke in June (as first reported by The Batavian) that HP Hood was acquiring the plant from DFA and last week, Hood closed the deal for $54 million.

To assist Hood with its $200 million investment in the plant, Empire State Development will provide up to $5 million in performance-based Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits. As with Muller Quaker, these tax incentives are withheld until employment targets are met.

There is also a $2 million capital grant from the Upstate Revitalization Initiative.

The Genesee County Economic Development Center is also amending the current PILOT (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes), which will provide Hood with more than $7 million in tax abatements over 10 years.

In return, Hood is planning upgrades and equipment purchases and labor costs for reconstruction of more than $150 million. Construction will create more than 500 jobs. There will be another 230 to 250 permanent jobs at the plant.

The support the state is providing HP Hood has an immediate payoff, regardless of what comes down the road, Zemsky said. He called the support a "no brainer."

"This is huge for the dairy farmers," Zemsky said. "It's huge for the whole footprint of the dairy industry. The returns are immediate. Fifty-four million to buy the plant, about $150 million to repurpose it. Two hundred and fifty jobs. That's more than was here at the peak when it was Muller."

During his public remarks, Cuomo said he's trying to reverse 40 years of Albany's neglect of Upstate's business needs, that includes commiting more than $25 million to the Finger Lakes Region for economic development. He said that's more than any governor in history.

"You keep raising taxes, you make it difficult for businesses to be here," Cuomo said. "I'll tell you what's going to happen at one point -- they're going to leave. And they did. We had what I call a 'hangover New York arrogance.' Well, wait, the businesses will stay here. Where else are they gonna go?

"There are actually other places they can go. You look at a map you will see around the State of New York other shapes squares and triangles. Those are called other states. If you force people, they will leave New York and we have essentially forced people (to leave). It's been a tough business, high-tax environment, high-regulation environment.

He expanded on that theme with the press after his speech.

"We have businesses in New York who just get calls at their desk from other states -- come to my state and you won't have to pay any taxes and we'll send the plane and we'll bring you and your wife for the weekend," Cuomo said.

"It is amazing, the competition. So if you said, 'Well, I'm not going to try to do economic development,' you would just be sitting there as a target for every other state.

"One by one they would pick off your companies, and in a relatively short period of time, you'd be sitting there alone -- losing jobs, losing people, which is what happened to Upstate New York."

Representing Hood at the event was Vice President Jeffrey Kaneb. He is the son of John Kaneb, who first tripled revenue for Gulf Oil to $4.6 billion before selling it in 2005.  The Kaneb family acquired Hood in 1995, growing annual revenue from $600 million to more than $2.3 billion. 

"We're very excited to have this opportunity to grow our business here," Kaneb said. "We are very very grateful for the support that we've gotten from the governor's office, from his staff, from the county, from the entire community, in getting us to this point. We look forward to becoming a supportive member of this community, a good neighbor, and an employer of choice here in Batavia."

Hood is hiring. People interested in a job should call (1-800) 428-6329.

As for STAMP (Science, Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Park), the super site in Alabama intended to attract high-tech manufacturers, Zemsky said he thinks it's inevitable that big businesses start to move into that park, because of the location and its access to hydropower and fresh water.

However, Zemsky sounded a cautious tone about whether 1366 Technologies, the solar wafer startup from Massachusetts, that was the first announced tenant for the park, ever breaks ground. 

"I have met with them," Zemsky said. "I haven't talked to them in a while and I think, again, these businesses are competitive. They have to raise capital. I think they have some more capital to raise, so whether or not it happens depends, but it's not going to be all state-financed."

One of the holdups may be the change in presidential administration, from one that supported renewable energy to one that may be more skeptical about the need to support wind and solar. While 1366 has raised substantial private equity, receiving backing from the Department of Energy seems to be a key component of its financial package. The company was previously promised a $150 million loan guarantee from the DOE.

"I think, like anything, the changing of the landscape politically through regulations of the federal government, the vagaries of the financing market, the price of alternative energies -- these are all factors that make being in business really difficult," Zemsky said.

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Hood VP Jeffrey Kaneb.

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July 10, 2017 - 9:32pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Andrew Cuomo, batavia, GCEDC, business.

Announcement: 

From Governor Andrew M. Cuomo:

Fellow New Yorker,

New York is one of the largest dairy producers in the country, being home to nearly 5,000 dairy farms and more than 600,000 dairy cows.

And the majority of the farms in the state are family-run operations -- that's why it's crucial the state invest in hard working New York families and ensure they have the support they need to succeed.

Tomorrow, I am announcing the details of a new partnership that will create hundreds of new jobs at an idle dairy facility in New York.

Join me tomorrow, July 11th at 12:30 p.m. as I unveil the details of this new investment.

WHAT: Announcing new investment in New York dairy industry
WHEN: Tuesday, July 11th at 12:30 p.m.
WHERE: Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park
5140 Ag Park Drive, Batavia 14020

Thank you for your support, ever upward.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

July 10, 2017 - 3:41pm
posted by Maria Pericozzi in corfu, news, Wind Turbines, energy, agribusiness, business.

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(Submitted photo)

Northern Power Systems, a Vermont-based wind energy company, will host an “Open Turbine Day” at 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on July 21, at Miller Sonshine Acres Farm in Corfu.

Attendees will celebrate the successful operation of two wind turbines on the farm, highlighting significant energy cost savings, as well as getting an up-close look at the turbines.

“This is a great opportunity for those who don’t have it and don’t know how they work,” said Maureen McCracken from Northern Power Systems.

The family-friendly event will be held in conjunction with Buffalo Renewables and the Miller Sonshine Acres Farm, located at 10021 Simonds Road in Corfu.

At the event, attendees will learn about the benefits of wind power and talk to representatives from the companies.

Miller Sonshine Acres Farm has two wind turbines. McCracken said the farm has had one of them for two years and recently installed the other at the end of last year.

McCracken said they will be opening the door to the turbine, for attendees to see how it works.

The turbines that will be shown at the farm are not for home use, but companies do sell smaller wind turbines. At the event, people can learn about financing options. Wind turbines allow people to use wind energy to cut costs, McCracken said.

“In New York, there are good incentives through NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority) and the costs for the turbines have decreased,” McCracken said. “Now more than ever, it is easy for people to own a wind turbine.”

Residents can register for the event by July 17 by emailing:  [email protected] or by calling 877-906-6784, ext. 6070.

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