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January 25, 2012 - 10:05am

Schumer calls on USDA to fund water and sewer lines for 'Project Wave'

Press release:

Today, Senator Charles E. Schumer called on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide several hundred thousand dollars in federal funds for sewer and water infrastructure work to prepare a Genesee County site to host a massive food processing plant.

Build out of the new plant will occur in two phases and could bring hundreds of jobs to Genesee County over the next several years. The Genesee County Economic Development Center is currently preparing a site to host a 363,000-square-foot manufacturing facility, capable of hosting 300 to 400 jobs just three years after it is completed.

The GCEDC is currently finalizing a contract with a food producer for the site, and is seeking federal funding to cover part of the costs of infrastructure improvements to ensure that the site is compatible with the needs of the food company. Today, Schumer called on Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to provide $300,000 to $500,000 in USDA funds for several projects that will ensure the site is ready to serve as a major job creator in Western New York.

“This massive plant could be a game-changer for Genesee County and Western New York,” Schumer said. “We can’t let inadequate sewer systems and wastewater lines, stand in the way of jobs. The USDA should realize the massive potential this project has and provide the seed funding that will help grow jobs and economic prosperity in the county.

"The funds are there to spur development and USDA would be hard-pressed to find a better return on their investment than this new plant. Secretary Vilsack should do the right thing and help us make these infrastructure improvements as quickly as possible to ensure that we don’t miss out on a chance to bring hundreds of good-paying jobs to Upstate New York.”

To ensure the site is ready to host the manufacturing plant, GCEDC must complete $1.8 million in infrastructure upgrades to the site. These upgrades include the construction of a second access road into the park, the addition of a new turning lane and road re-striping at the site’s main entrance as well as up to $500,000 for wastewater and sewer pump station upgrades. The GCEDC is seeking $300,000 to $500,000 in USDA rural development funds to complete these upgrades.

With Schumer’s encouragement and support, GCEDC plans to apply for funding through the USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant Program. The application is due to USDA in April and funding would be awarded in June. Schumer noted that in 2010, Genesee County applied for and won over $200,000 under this program to build out sewer infrastructure to land the Alpina Yogurt Plant, which will serve as another major job creator for the county.

Schumer is pushing the USDA to help Genesee County build on this success by providing funding that will help the county ensure that the site is prepared to host a major food manufacturer in the months ahead.

In his letter, Schumer wrote, “Simply stated, securing USDA funding to complete these new upgrades will bring this $247 million project and its associated 300 jobs to Batavia, NY. As such, and with my full support and encouragement, GCEDC is submitting an application for Rural Development funding by the April 2012 application deadline.

“Funding this upgrade will create an enormous return on investment. Already New York’s rural and agricultural regions are quickly becoming centers of tremendous job growth due to the rise in yogurt and other food processing. This new food processor will join the ranks of the 900-employee Chobani Greek Yogurt manufacturing facility in New Berlin, NY, the 240-employee Fage plant in Jamestown, NY, and the 50-employee Alpina yogurt facility in Batavia, NY.”

CLARIFICATION: Rachael J. Tabelski, with GCEDC, said the USDA grant is intended to fund sewer improvements. Needed upgrades at the site include a secondary roadway and aquifer water.

Previously:

Mark Potwora
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Funny how Schumer can push for $500,000 for water and sewer for this project ,while those of us in the city of Batavia are being charged higher water rates to maintain and repair our water and sewer pipes.....The property tax payer loses again......Were's the money for us...When a developer builds a housing development he is responsible for add all the main water and sewer lines...Why is this any different...

Billie Owens
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Because it creates jobs.

Mark Potwora
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And a housing developer doesn't.create jobs.......Isn't this the GCEDC property..aren't they they the ones who want to develope it..Aren't they the ones who will get bonuses out of this project...So on top of all the tax breaks for this project,they will also get all new sewer and water lines...How much are these jobs really costing..Its still corporate welfare to me...

Billie Owens
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Construction jobs to create a housing development are nifty, but temporary. The jobs created by this project are supposed to be good-paying and intended to be long-term. As for "corporate welfare" to put in infrastructure and improve the site so it's compatible with the project, that's the way it has worked in America for a long time, good or bad. We grease the wheels, they provide the engine. Would you rather the project go to Cattaraugus County or Ohio, maybe?

Mark Potwora
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The housing developer builds homes,then those new homes generate property taxes..No PIlot programs there...No special treatment... no tax breaks ...no infrastructure help...What does the USDA have to do with building water and sewer projects....Where are all the Ron Paul supporters on this...They should be against this.. ,Where are all the 99% on this..They are always screaming corporate greed.......How was GCEDC able to say this was a done deal when in reality they don't even have the money for infrastructure ...My thought was more about why we in the city need to have special surcharges added to our water bill to fix all our broken pipes..But Schumer will streamline $500,000 for this project from a dept..USDA that has nothing to do with industrial developmental...Where is our help...

Billie Owens
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The generation of property taxes to pay for municipal needs is a necessity and to that extent, beneficial. But it doesn't butter people's bread. Jobs do. The face of corporate greed is to be found predominantly on Wall Street, in the top echelons of the banking, finance and investment brokers.

Perhaps the USDA shouldn't offer rural development grants to pay for infrastructure on projects such as this, but as of today, they do. Is Genesee County going to ignore this and take the road highly principled but less traveled? Or should it hold its nose and take what someone else will grab if given half a chance to have this project in their back yard.

Can you imagine the uproar if the GCEDC (and Schumer) took a pass on this option?

Mark Potwora
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Is Pepsi not a multinational co.worth billions.They have the money they shouldn't need any help.....So lets just borrow another $500,000 from China to pay for this......

Billie Owens
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You're right, Mark, that fat cat Pepsi shouldn't need the money, and probably doesn't, but that's how the game is played. At least now.

Government should address this when it comes time to fix how corporations benefit from a host of perks, including, as it stands, tax breaks even when they ship jobs to that Devil China. I hope that is corrected.

But the likelihood that all government aid to corporations like Pepsi will dry up is remote. That just seems to be the way capitalism works. If Ron Paul or someone like him gets some power to change it, bully for them.

Howard B. Owens
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Ron Paul would take the money. He always has. Local comes first.

Howard B. Owens
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And that's a different issue from whether rural development should exist.

Charlie Mallow
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Mark, it's called Corporate Welfare and at least you are true to your principles. Where is the outrage from the others? Where are the Republicans telling us government can't create jobs? Don't my Republican friends remember Solyndra? Isn't someone going to call Chuck a socialist? Shouldn't you tell Choo Choo to keep his money and those dirty jobs?

Of course your not, hypocrites.

M. Gary Guiste
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Government can't create jobs, and Democrats can't get people off of welfare. There...I said it.

Now, when the going gets tough, Charlie runs. Where is the outrage? Most likely hoping to post a threadstopper on the Batavian.

Is that all we do on this blog is post sound bites?

Good lord already...

Mark Potwora
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When a billion dollar company such as Pepsi goes around the country trying to get the best tax break deals they can i call it GREED...Schumer rallys against company's such as Pepsi for being so greedy..And now he goes out of his way for this company...The Keystone XL pipeline project that has been in the news lately ..was going to be all paid for with private money ,NO PIlOT programs, no tax breaks ,no special treatment at all.It was going create jobs.....And Schumer and his democratic friends were all against that..But he's not for that..That is a hypocrite....The government has no roll in any of this..If a company wants to build some where they should do it all with there own money....If someone owns land they want to develop they should do it with there own money ...In this case GCEDC own this land ,they are the developer they should pay to develop this not the taxpayer.. They will reap the rewards from this in the form of bonuses.....Cmon Charlie your a 99% you should be all against this kind of BS...All this IDA stuff tells me is that we are over taxed...If we need to give out tax breaks to every company that wants to come here then we must be taxed to much...Where is the tax break for the property owner.......And i still don't understand what the USDA is doing paying for water and sewer pipes,but the people of the city of Batavia must have their taxes raised to pay for their water and sewer pipes... Can Schumer put a call in to the USDA for us.........Or maybe instead of spending money on his high speed rail project to nowhere he could use those funds to fix the bridges in Genesse county

Charlie Mallow
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Mark, no doubt I side with the 99%. I don't think government should give tax money to corporations, like Solyndra. Our tax money should be used to improve roads, sidewalks, water and sewer lines.

Not moving forward with Keystone is also a mistake.

Mark Potwora
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With that we agree Charlie....Capitalism is about risk and reward....Seems like all these bailouts do is take out the risk.....What risk does GCEDC take..if these projects don't happen ..GCEDC has no risk in any of this..If their parks go bust they aren't out any thing..The taxpayer is....All they do is forgive taxes ,beg the government for grant money , take take home fat bonuses....Aren't they a corporation.......there is no tax dollars being collected on any of that empty land in all those parks..At least when it was owed by private individual's it was being taxed....

DOUGLAS MCCLURG
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MY WEEKLY 2 CENTS:
Just do what we need to do to bring the jobs,Jobs create revenue in the local economy.homes are built,grocery stores are busier,more jobs.more secretaries,construction jobs..everybody works.
Really.we should all get together to paint the new lines on the road that are needed just to get them here..
Sad to think that 500k stands between bringing in millions to the local economy on a yearly basis..
To conclude,when the chinese get here to take It all back,we can flatter and fatter them with our yogurts
My weekly 2 cents
Thank you:)

Frank Bartholomew
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We can bitch all we want, but the bottom line is, if we don't kiss their butt, they take the jobs somewhere that will. It's corporate America 101, find a location that is job starved, get the locals to foot the bill for infastructure, build the plant, pay less than their fair share of the taxes, and reel in millions of dollars.

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