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October 19, 2021 - 11:25am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, Tonawanda Seneca Nation, GCEDC.

The vice president of Operations for the Genesee County Economic Development Center today said he “wholeheartedly agrees” with a statement from the Tonawanda Seneca Nation calling for improved working relations between the two entities in connection with the Western New York Science & Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park in the Town of Alabama.

Lawyers for the Tonawanda Seneca Nation put out a press release over the weekend, reporting that a settlement was reached with the GCEDC after legal action by the Nation over the Plug Power project was dismissed by Acting Supreme Court Judge Charles Zambito.

The settlement spells out several items worked out between the Nation and the GCEDC. The press release indicated that the Nation is “hopeful that the agreement can be the framework for a more collaborative relationship with GCEDC and Plug Power moving forward.”

“I wholeheartedly agree with that statement,” said Mark Masse, GCEDC VP of Operations. “We certainly want to work together and be good neighbors as we continue to develop the STAMP site.”

Masse said the main part of the stipulation is that the Nation would not pursue further litigation on the Plug Power project, and it wouldn’t appeal and would challenge any of the other permits that would be issued “as long as they’re issued in the normal course of business.”

“So, some of things we did agree to is to have an on-site archaeological monitor, which is something that they requested,” he said. “There are some wetland areas and a buffer along the western boundary that will be under a conservation easement that ensures there will be no encroachment upon their territory. We had proposed a buffer anyways.”

The settlement also calls for assistance with job training for businesses that are at the STAMP site, prohibiting Plug Power from using pesticides on the protected lands and having cultural resource monitors onsite during earthmoving activities to help identify and protect any unanticipated cultural resource discoveries.

Additionally, around 200 acres (near Seneca Nation territory) of the 1,250-acre site will be protected from development.

Masse said that the GCEDC plans to develop only about 650 acres because the rest of the area is protected wetlands.

No money changed hands as a result of the settlement, Masse added.

Comments
October 9, 2021 - 10:12am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, GCEDC, Tonawanda Seneca Nation, Plug Power, wny stamp.

A lawsuit filed by the Tonawanda Seneca Nation challenging the Genesee County Economic Development Center’s State Environmental Quality Review determination in connection with the Plug Power, Inc., project has been dismissed by Genesee County Acting Supreme Court Justice Charles Zambito.

The nation contended that the liquid hydrogen facility, which is in line to become operational sometime next year at the Western New York Science, Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Park in the Town of Alabama, would infringe upon its “Big Woods” sacred ground that is situated near the western end of STAMP.

As plaintiff in the legal action, the nation also sought to prove the GCEDC did not provide notification prior to the completion of the environmental review process.

Zambito, in his decision released on Sept. 28, ruled that the Seneca Nation failed to add Plug Power, Inc., as a defendant prior to the statute of limitations.

GCEDC reported its environmental impact determination on Feb. 4, giving the nation four months to amend its original suit of June 4 that listed only the GCEDC two top officers and board chair and vice chair as defendants.

The nation eventually added Plug Power, Inc., as a defendant on June 18 – two weeks after the deadline. Furthermore, it did so without “leave of the Court,” Zambito wrote, causing a delay in the amended petition’s filing until July 26.

In his analysis, Zambito wrote that “the proposed amended petition is untimely as it relates to Plug Power, Inc. (deemed a “necessary party”) and the individual GCEDC respondents. The motion to amend is denied accordingly and the amended petition is dismissed.”

He also dismissed the original petition for failure to include Plug Power, Inc., ruling that while the original petition was filed in a timely fashion, “the failure to join such a necessary party can result in the dismissal of the action.”

According to the GCEDC, Plug Power, Inc., plans to build the $232.7 million green energy technology facility at a 29.884-acre site at STAMP, with a proposed initial operation creating 68 new jobs at an average salary of approximately $70,000.

The Latham-based company also will invest $55 million to help build a 345/115KV electric substation in partnership with the New York Power Authority and National Grid. The substation will support future expansion and growth opportunities at STAMP’s 1,250-acre mega-site.

The GCEDC board of directors have approved the following incentives to Plug Power, Inc.:

  • Approved Property Tax Payments (Payment in Lieu of Taxes): $2.3 million per year, $46 million over 20 years.
  • Sales Tax Exemptions: $1.1 million.
  • Estimated Savings: $117.7 million property tax savings over 20 years if assessed at cost of construction ($232.7 million).
  • Anticipated assessment is much more likely to be $60-90 million. Payments of $2.3 million per year equate to a zero percent abatement on a $65 million assessment.
October 8, 2021 - 10:07am
posted by Press Release in pembroke, GCEDC, news, business.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Board of Directors approved a final resolution for financial assistance for a mixed-use development which will include six market-rate units in the town of Pembroke at its board meeting on Thursday, October 7, 2021.

The $1.7 million project by J&R Fancher Property Holdings LLC includes the construction a 14,000 sq. ft. two-story building on 2.6 acres at the 67-acre Buffalo East Technology Park. There will be a 7,000 sq. ft. flexible layout for commercial tenants on the first floor and the six 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom apartments on the second floor. The project is located adjacent to Yancey’s Fancy’s facilities on Brickhouse Drive.

J&R Fancher Property Holdings LLC will receive $254,336 of financial assistance that includes sales, mortgage, and property tax abatements. The project is estimated to create a $4-to-$1 return on investment for Genesee County in addition to increased commercial and residential benefits in the town of Pembroke. A public hearing on the proposed agreement was held on October 5, 2021.

“We continue to build a critical mass of infrastructure, including housing at the intersection of Routes 5 and 77 in Pembroke which is an important thoroughfare in Genesee County with easy access to the New York State Thruway,” said GCEDC President and CEO Steve Hyde.  “This growth in turn is generating new jobs, private sector capital investment and revenues for our local government partners.”

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October 4, 2021 - 10:52am
posted by Press Release in GCEDC, pembroke, news.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Board of Directors will consider a final resolution supporting a mixed-use development adding six market-rate units in the town of Pembroke at its board meeting on Thursday, October 7, 2021.

The proposed $1.7 million investment by J&R Fancher Property Holdings LLC would construct a 14,000 sq. ft. two-story building on 2.6 acres at the 67-acre Buffalo East Technology Park. The project would be located adjacent to Yancey’s Fancy’s facilities on Brickhouse Drive.

The 14,000 sq. ft. project includes a 7,000 sq. ft. flexible layout for commercial tenants on the first floor and six 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom apartments on the second floor.

The project has requested $254,336 of sales, mortgage, and property tax assistance. The project is estimated to create a 4-to-1 return on investment for Genesee County in addition to increased commercial and residential benefits in the town of Pembroke.

A public hearing on the proposed agreement will be held at 4 p.m., October 5 at the town of Pembroke offices, 1145 Main Road.

October 7, 2021, the GCEDC Board meeting will take place at 4 p.m. at 99 Med-Tech Drive.  A livestream and on-demand recording of the meeting also will be available at www.gcedc.com.

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September 13, 2021 - 2:49pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, LandPro, town of batavia, GCEDC.

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The decision to invest approximately $10 million to build a 50,000-square foot headquarters at the intersection of West Saile Drive and Call Parkway in the Town of Batavia not only serves to showcase the growth of John Deere-authorized dealer LandPro Equipment but also will provide numerous career opportunities for students in the Genesee Region.

That message was communicated clearly today as representatives of LandPro, which has 20 locations in Western and Central New York, Northwest and Central Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio, gathered with local government and economic development officials, for an on-location groundbreaking ceremony.

“It really will end up being our home location, our central store for LandPro equipment,” said Tracy Buck, company president and chief operating officer. “We’ll have a lot of our leadership team that will work out of here, besides the day-to-day operations that happen at all of our locations.”

Buck said that construction could get started as early as next week and that he expects it to be completed by November 2022. LandPro has hired Thompson Builds of Churchville as the general contractor.

Noting that LandPro will merge its Oakfield and Alexander facilities into the one on West Saile Drive, Buck said the company’s recent expansion enables it to construct what will become LandPro’s central training center, and base of its Precision Farming Division as well as John Deere agriculture, commercial, compact construction and turf equipment sales, parts, retail and service capabilities.

“Now with LandPro the size that we are, we have the resources,” he said. “The time is the time to do this.”

Steve Hyde, president/CEO of the Genesee County Economic Development Center, which has approved tax abatements for LandPro, called the investment “meaningful in our community (as) the types of services you guys are going to offer is really going to create great jobs for our kids.”

“We thank you guys for investing in our Glow with Your Hands initiative and the workforce stuff that we have tried to spear, to really kind of put kids in the heart of opportunities like exactly what you’re creating; creating investments for our kids,” Hyde said. “That’s what drives me and my team … it’s about good opportunities for our kids.”

Buck responded by stating Hyde’s sentiment works both ways.

“We’re in Batavia for a reason and Genesee County for a reason. It’s a very business-friendly community that we really appreciate,” he said. “We have nothing without our employees and, as you all know, there’s a big need for qualified employees.

“We have some great opportunities, high-paying jobs available, advancement opportunities. Any help that we can get going forward to attract people to this industry, we’re all in and partners with you.”

Elba Central School Superintendent Gretchen Rosales welcomed LandPro to the area, mentioning that she is “looking forward to the opportunities that you can provide, not only for our students to enhance their learning opportunities but also for the community as a whole.”

And Assemblyman Steven Hawley emphasized agriculture’s role in Genesee County’s economy as he thanked LandPro for its commitment to the area.

“New York is not known as a business-friendly state,” Hawley said. “I bring folks up from New York City, other assembly people, to see who we are and how we live and what the economy is all about. And agriculture is number one so, on behalf of the State of New York and Senator (Edward) Rath, I want to tell you how much this means to all of us.”

Buck said LandPro’s has 500 employees, with about 60 to 65 of them slated to work full time out of the Town of Batavia location.

“We’ll also have a training center here so we will be able to bring in … 50 people, roughly, training at any one time at this location,” he said.

The company’s product line includes Stihl hand-held products, John Deere turf line equipment, and four-wheel drive tractors, combined and choppers.

“We represent pretty much everything that John Deere sells today other than the heavy construction equipment … We have to have a very diversified group of salesmen, parts and service people to take care of all of this equipment,” Buck added.

Hyde said that LandPro’s project continues an effort that began around 2005.

“We started 16 years ago, really working on this ag, business, transportation, logistics, distribution, warehousing, heavy equipment kind of cluster right here at this intersection, right here with the Town of Batavia and the county,” Hyde said, noting that Congressman Tom Reynolds was the one “giving us a check to pay for this road and the infrastructure to go in.”

He said that ignited the growth and development that can be seen in the GCEDC’s corporate parks and on Saile Drive, north of the Thruway bridge.

“Right now, we’re almost at 400,000 square feet of new build in that 16 years, with over 400 people working here. And you guys continue that sign of excellence, and we want to thank you very much for your continued investment in Genesee County and in the Town of Batavia,” he said.

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Photo at top: Assemblyman Steven Hawley makes a his point as he speaks with LandPro Equipment personnel following today's groundbreaking ceremony. Photo at bottom: Taking part in the LandPro groundbreaking ceremony today are, from left, Paul Williams, operations manager/North; Steve Hyde, GCEDC; Patti Michalak, Town of Batavia council member; Legislator Gordon Dibble; Gregory Post, Town of Batavia supervisor; Tom Sutter, vice president/sales; Ryan Payment, vice president; Tracy Buck, president/CEO; Tim Black, vice president/aftermarket; Assemblyman Steven Hawley, and Gretchen Rosales, Elba Central School District superintendent. Photos by Mike Pettinella.

Previously: LandPro's new facility in Town of Batavia will be company's 'main hub for technology'

September 10, 2021 - 2:16pm
posted by Press Release in liberty pumps, GCEDC, bergen, pembroke, business.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Board of Directors approved a final resolution for incentives supporting Liberty Pumps for a $13.7 million expansion at the company’s operations in the Town of Bergen the board’s September 9, 2021 board meeting.

Liberty Pumps will invest approximately $13.7 million to build a 107,138 sq. ft. materials facility in the Apple Tree Acres business park. The proposed facility is anticipated to contribute to the continuing growth of the company and will create 30 new full-time jobs with an average salary of $52,000 annually plus benefits. It is estimated that the project will generate $29 of investment into the local economy for every $1 of approved incentives. The project will receive sales and property tax exemptions of approximately $1.5 million.    

The GCEDC Board of Directors also accepted an initial application for a $4.5 million project proposed by Valiant Real Estate USA, Inc. (New York Bus Company). The company plans to build a new 20,000 square-foot facility at the corner of Saile Drive and Call Parkway in the Town of Batavia.

The project would create 24 full-time employee positions with an average salary range of $30,000 - $75,000 annually plus benefits. The project is requesting approximately $430,000 in sales, mortgage, and property tax exemptions. The project is estimated to generate $50 into the Genesee County economy for every $1 of requested incentives.

Finally, the Board accepted an initial application for incentives from J&R Fancher Property Holdings LLC.  The company is proposing a $1.7 million capital investment for a 14,000 square foot building located at Buffalo East Technology Park in Pembroke, NY.

J&R Fancher Property Holdings LLC plans to build six market-rate one-and two-bedroom apartments along with a 7,000 square foot commercial space.. The project is requesting approximately $254,000 in sales, mortgage and property tax exemptions.

As both projects are requesting incentives of over $100,000, public hearings will be scheduled prior to final consideration of incentives.

Comments
September 7, 2021 - 2:35pm
posted by Press Release in GCEDC, business.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Board of Directors will consider resolutions advancing three projects with a combined capital investment of approximately $19.9 million at its board meeting on Thursday, September 9, 2021.

The GCEDC Board will consider a final application for incentives from Liberty Pumps for its proposed $13.7 million expansion at its operations in the town of Bergen at the Apple Tree Acres industrial park. The company plans on constructing a 107,138 sq ft. materials center, creating 30 new jobs with an average salary of $52,000 annually plus benefits.

Liberty Pumps is seeking property and sales tax exemptions of approximately $1.5 million.  It is estimated the expansion project would generate $29 of private investment into the local economy for every $1 of public investment. A public hearing regarding the project incentives was conducted on August 26, 2021.    

The Board also will consider accepting an initial application from Valiant Real Estate USA, Inc. (New York Bus Sales.)  Valiant is proposing a $4.5 million capital investment to construct a 20,000 sq. ft. facility on Saile Drive in the town of Batavia. The project would create 24 new jobs with an average salary ranging from $30,000 – $75,000 annually plus benefits.

Valiant Real Estate USA, Inc. is seeking sales, mortgage, and property tax exemptions of approximately $430,120. The project is estimated to generate $50 of investment into the local economy for every $1 of public investment.

Finally, the Board will consider accepting an initial application from J & R Fancher Property Holdings LLC which is proposing to construct a two-story mixed-use building on 2.6 acres at Buffalo East Tech Park in the town of Pembroke. This is the first of three phases of development that Fancher is proposing at the tech park.

The $1.7 million investment would include six market-rate 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom apartments on the second floor and a first floor comprised of a 7,000 sq. ft. vanilla box interior intended to attract commercial tenants. The total planned square footage of the facility is 14,000 sq. ft.

J & R Fancher Property Holdings LLC is requesting sales, mortgage, and property tax exemptions totaling $254,336. and is estimated to produce $4 of investment into the local economy for every $1 of incentives.

If the initial applications for Valiant Real Estate USA, Inc. and J&R Fancher Property Holdings LLC are accepted, public hearings on the proposed project incentives agreements will be held prior to consideration of the final resolution.

The Sep. 9 GCEDC Board meeting will take place at 4 p.m. at 99 Med-Tech Drive, Suite 107.  The meeting also will be available online at www.gcedc.com.

Comments
August 20, 2021 - 3:10pm

Le Roy Town Supervisor Jim Farnholz put an athletic competition spin on news that Great Lakes Cheese Co. Inc. will not be building a $500 million, 486,000-square-foot processing facility on land adjacent to the Le Roy Food & Tech Park on Route 19 north of the village.

“You know what, as a coach would say, ‘When somebody goes down, it’s the next man up – that’s how I look at it,” said Farnholz, speaking by telephone today.

Word that the Ohio-based cheese manufacturer is looking elsewhere – reportedly at a 130-acre site in the Cattaraugus County towns of Farmersville and Franklinville – reached Farnholz over the past couple days. However, he said, the Le Roy Town Board has done much to set the stage for another company to come in.

“We’re going to request some of the archaeological work and some of the site planning if Great Lakes is willing to give it to us, since they have already done that,” he said. “And that would be a further incentive for another business to come in because the archaeological and some of those other things are done already.

“We checked a lot of boxes. We’ve got water, gas and electric solved, so I think that makes it more attractive for the next one on deck.”

Although Great Lakes Cheese did not submit a formal application to the Genesee County Economic Development Center to review its site plan or to request tax incentives, company representatives did check out the location and talked to individual landowners about the possibility of selling their property.

REZONING FOR FUTURE EXPANSION

Also, on July 8, the town board unanimously voted to rezone seven parcels totaling 185 acres in the north of the Le Roy Food & Tech Park – between Route 19 (Lake Street Road), West Bergen Road and Randall Road – from R-2 (Residential) to I-2 (Light Industrial) to accommodate future business expansion.

“We did everything we could and we will continue to try and attract business and industry,” Farnholz said. “In the end, there were some DEC (New York State Department of Environmental Conservation) issues with wastewater, and I think there were some incentives that other municipalities or counties may have offered that financially weren’t available or the best idea for us or the best fit.”

The town board’s decision to rezone the parcels was made despite opposition from homeowners in that area, many of whom spoke at a public hearing prior to the vote.

One of the most outspoken against it was Eric Raines Jr., who with his girlfriend, purchased the historic Olmsted Manor and its 14 acres of woodlands on Lake Street Road. Raines’ contention was that the town’s Future Land Map showed that the area was supposed to remain “agricultural.”

Contacted today, he said, "It is what it is, and I'd like to thank anybody that supported us. I guess I'm going to be able to watch the sunset over the soybeans for at least another day."

A check of the Genesee County PROS Property Search site lists the owners of the rezone parcels as Englerth (four parcels, 123.7 acres); Sam Caccamise Estate (one parcel, 53.5 acres); Stella (one parcel, 2.8 acres), and Falcone (one parcel, 5 acres).

GCEDC OWNS TECH PARK

The GCEDC owns the vacant 71.7-acre Le Roy Food & Tech Park located to the south of all but the Falcone parcel. The park is zoned I-2.

Mark Masse, GCEDC senior vice president of operations, said his agency continues to promote the site to manufacturers, both locally and outside of New York State.

“The GCEDC is always looking for companies to locate and expand their businesses here,” he said. “It is our goal to provide the appropriate acreage and utilities that will enable these companies to pair up their operations.”

According to minutes of a June 24 board meeting of the County of Cattaraugus IDA, Great Lakes Cheese Co. Inc., and Schwab Land Holdings, LLC, applied to that agency “to allow and direct the CCIDA to partner and facilitate the proposed project an action by undertaking certain studies and findings to help achieve shovel ready site status.”

Continuing, the minutes state the facility would preserve 229 jobs and would allow for additional hiring of 200 new employees.

Reportedly, the plant will also require 30,000 more cows from area dairy farms as it will be producing four million gallons of milk per day – twice as much as used at the company’s Cuba Cheese plant in Allegany County.

CCIDA CONSIDERS 25-YEAR PILOT

A letter dated July 27 from Corey Wiktor, CCIDA executive director, acknowledged receipt of the company’s application and request for financial assistance (tax incentives).

Wiktor, returning a phone call from The Batavian, said that while nothing has been finalized, the CCIDA is considering a 25-year Payment in Lieu of Taxes agreement proposed by Great Lakes Cheese, as well as sales tax and mortgage tax abatements.

"We have not done that prior, but we have also not been a party to a proposed project of this magnitude," Wiktor said, noting that for every one manufacturing job at the site it could create six more jobs down the supply chain."

He said agency staff is doing its due diligence on the site, including flood plain and traffic studies, soil testing, and environmental and endangered species studies.

"And, like Le Roy, we've gone through some municipal rezoning, if you will. Things are progressing, but we still do not have a confirmed project or investment."

Previously: Le Roy Town Board votes to rezone parcels adjacent to Le Roy Food & Tech Park after hearing residents' concerns

August 6, 2021 - 9:19am
posted by Press Release in liberty pumps, GCEDC, business.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Board of Directors approved incentives for five projects with a total capital investment of approximately $28 million and accepted an initial application for a proposal by Liberty Pumps for a $13.7 million expansion of the company’s manufacturing facility at its August 5, 2021 board meeting.

The GCEDC Board approved incentives for Gateway GS LLC for the build-out of a third 27,000 square-foot building at the Gateway II Corporate Park in the town of Batavia. 

Gateway GS LLC will invest approximately $2.36 million. The proposed facility is anticipated to be completed in 2022 and will create 21 new jobs with an average salary of $42,000 annually plus benefits. It is estimated that the project will generate $28 of investment into the local economy for every $1 of incentives. Gateway GS LLC will receive mortgage, sales and property tax exemptions of approximately $386,000.

The GCEDC Board of Directors also approved final applications for incentives for four community solar projects with a combined generation of 15.65 megawatts.

Trousdale Solar, LLC and Trousdale Solar II, LLC is building two projects that total $14.8 million of investment on Ellicott Street Road in the town of Batavia. The projects will generate 5 MW and 4 MW of electricity and over $930,000 in future revenues to Genesee County and the Batavia City School District over 15 years. The projects will receive approximately $2.5 million in property and sales tax incentives. 

Batavia Solar, LLC (YSG Solar) is building a $3.5 million solar project at the Upstate MedTech Park in the town of Batavia.  The project will generate 1.65 MW of electricity and over $150,000 in future revenues to Genesee County and the Byron-Bergen School District. The proposed project agreement is estimated to provide approximately $500,000 in property and sales tax incentives. 

NY CDG Genesee 1 LLC will build a $7.3 million solar project on Oak Orchard Road in the town of Elba. The project will generate 5 MW of electricity and over $518,000 in future revenues to Genesee County, the town of Elba, and the Elba Central School District. The project is estimated to provide approximately $1.2 million in property and sales tax incentives. 

The Board approved an application for consideration of incentives from Liberty Pumps. Liberty Pumps is proposing to make a $13.7 million capital investment to expand its manufacturing operations at the Apple Tree Acres business park in the town of Bergen.

The family- and employee-owned company is proposing to build approximately 107,000 square feet of new warehouse and manufacturing space to accommodate the continued growth of the business.  The project is expected to create approximately 30 jobs over 3 years while retaining its current employment of approximately 280.

The company is requesting approximately $1.4 million in property and sales tax exemptions. The project is estimated to produce $29 of investment into the local economy for every $1 of incentives.  A public hearing will be conducted since incentives total more than $100,000.

Comments
August 3, 2021 - 11:52am
posted by Press Release in liberty pumps, GCEDC, news, business.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Board of Directors will consider final resolutions for six projects at a capital investment of approximately $41.7 million at its August 5, 2021 board meeting.

The GCEDC Board will consider a final application for incentives for Gateway GS LLC.  Gallina Development of Rochester is proposing to build out a third 27,000 square-foot building at the Gateway II Corporate Park in the town of Batavia. Gateway GS LLC will invest approximately $2.36 million. The proposed facility is anticipated to be completed in 2022 and will create 21 new jobs with an average salary of $42,000 annually plus benefits.

Gateway GS LLC is seeking mortgage, sales, and property tax exemptions of approximately $386,000, and is estimated to produce $28 of investment into the local economy for every $1 of incentives. A public hearing on the proposed agreement was held on July 23.        

The GCEDC Board of Directors also will consider the approval of final applications for incentives for four community solar projects with a combined generation of 15.65 megawatts.

Trousdale Solar, LLC and Trousdale Solar II, LLC are proposing two projects totaling $14.8 million of investment on Ellicott Street Road in the town of Batavia. The projects would generate 5 MW and 4 MW of electricity and over $930,000 in future revenues to Genesee County and the Batavia City School District over 15 years. The proposed project agreement is estimated to provide approximately $2.5 million in property and sales tax incentives between the two projects. A public hearing on the proposed agreements was held on July 23.

Batavia Solar, LLC (YSG Solar) is proposing a $3.5 million project at the Upstate MedTech Park in the town of Batavia.  The project would generate 1.65 MW of electricity and over $150,000 in future revenues to Genesee County and the Byron-Bergen School District. The proposed project agreement is estimated to provide approximately $500,000 in property and sales tax incentives. A public hearing on the proposed agreement was held in September 2020.

NY CDG Genesee 1 LLC is proposing a $7.3 million project on Oak Orchard Road in the town of Elba. The project would generate 5 MW of electricity and over $518,000 in future revenues to Genesee County, the town of Elba, and the Elba Central School District. The proposed project agreement is estimated to provide approximately $1.2 million in property and sales tax incentives. A public hearing on the proposed agreement was held on May 17.

Finally, the Board also will consider accepting an application for consideration of incentives from Liberty Pumps.  If the proposal’s application is accepted, a public hearing will be conducted on the proposed agreement.

Liberty Pumps is proposing to make a $13.7 million capital investment to expand its manufacturing operations at the Apple Tree Acres business park in the town of Bergen.

The family- and employee-owned company is proposing to build approximately 107,000 square feet of new warehouse and manufacturing space to accommodate the continued growth of the business.  The project is expected to create approximately 30 jobs over 3 years while retaining its current employment of approximately 280.

The project has requested a $911,273 property tax exemption and a $578,160 sales tax abatement. The project is estimated to produce $29 of investment into the local economy for every $1 of incentives.

August 5, 2021, the GCEDC Board meeting will take place at 3 p.m. at 99 Med-Tech Drive.  The meeting also will be available online at www.gcedc.com.

Comments
July 16, 2021 - 9:54am

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Although the date is a bit late in the construction season, Buffalo developer Sam Savarino nonetheless is relieved that the New York State Office of Homes and Community Renewal finally has scheduled the financial closing for the Ellicott Station project.

Ellicott Station, part of the City of Batavia's $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative program, is the name given for the redevelopment of the former Soccio & Della Penna and Santy’s Tire Sales properties on Ellicott Street.

“On Thursday, the HCR board met and approved the closing date for October 15th,” Savarino said this morning.

When asked if he was hoping for a summer date, he said yes, but quickly pivoted to a “here’s what comes next” mode.

“We’re making our plans to get going, so the day we close, we’re out there working,” he said. “I’m hoping that we get our remediation done in the fall, which is a big step for us. We’re planning to do that right now.”

The closing with HCR involves filing of the documents pertaining to the low-income housing tax credits and additional subsidies awarded to the project.

Savarino said the state agency is providing $1.2 million per year for 10 years in low-income housing tax credits – incentives that are tied to the developer securing an investor or investors to back the project.

As previously reported, the apartments are geared toward a mixed-use workforce with a $30,000 to $40,000 salary range for tenants.

HCR also has granted subsidies of around $5 million.

“We make what’s called a unified funding application with the state. The state assesses your request and they grant it,” he said. “You’re asking for the low-income housing tax credit (based on a formula) and you’re asking for additional subsidies that the state has to approve to aid those projects because the low-income housing tax credits are not enough. When you get the award, you get both of those.”

Savarino said he would like to get on the site prior to the closing date to start some of the abatement in anticipation of the demolition work, but that is subject to HCR approval.

He also confirmed a July 21st closing date with the Genesee County Economic Development Center to finalize the tax exemption and Payment in Lieu of Taxes agreements.

The GCEDC Board of Directors approved nearly $3.7 million in benefits for the $22.4 million DRI project, which calls for renovation and construction of more than 72,000 square feet on 3.3 acres in the Brownfield Opportunity Area.

Plans include the development of 55 apartments as well as office, retail and entertainment space, leading to the creation of an estimated 30 full-time equivalent jobs.

Incentives from the industrial development agency include $850,000 in sales tax exemptions, $200,000 in mortgage tax exemptions, and $2,105,952 in property tax exemptions.

Additionally, the project will be receiving an estimated $529,492 in Batavia Pathway to Prosperity PILOT increment financing related to cleanup and site work investments on the targeted brownfield site.

GCEDC Marketing Director Jim Krencik said that the project will generate $6.10 for every $1 of public investment, including DRI funding.

Contacted this morning, Batavia City Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. said, "Understanding the delays with COVID and various other funding delays, I'm glad to see that it's finally going to move forward. I think everybody in the community is glad to see that it finally is going to move forward."

Batavia Development Corp. President Lori Aratari could not be reached for comment.

Comments
June 29, 2021 - 11:59am

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Board of Directors will consider proposals for $18.2 million of new investment at its July 1 board meeting.

Gateway GS LLC (Gallina Development) is proposing to construct the third phase of its flex campus at the GCEDC’s Gateway II Corporate Park in the Town of Batavia.

The $2.36 million investment is a 27,000-square-foot facility that would be completed in 2022 for a single logistics-distribution tenant. The future tenant is estimated to create 21 new jobs at an average annual salary of $42,000.

The GCEDC Board of Directors will consider an initial resolution for the project. Gateway GS LLC is seeking approximately $386,891 in sales, mortgage and property tax exemptions.

The GCEDC Board of Directors will also consider a final resolution for Just Chez Realty LLC. The company is proposing a $450,000 building redevelopment project as part of the City of Batavia’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI).

The project would renovate approximately 6,000 square feet of a 13,324-square-foot building at 206 E. Main St. to create two market-rate apartments on the building’s second floor and follows improvements to the first floor of the building. Just Chez Realty is seeking approximately $21,000 in sales tax exemptions.

The GCEDC Board of Directors will also consider an initial resolution for two community solar projects on Ellicott Street Road in the Town of Batavia.

Trousdale Solar LLC is proposing projects that would generate 5 MW and 4 MW of electricity. The PILOTs -- Payments In Lieu Of Taxes -- would result in payments of approximately $930,000 to the Batavia City School District and Genesee County over 15 years.

Trousdale Solar LLC is seeking approximately $2.5 million in property and sales tax exemptions.

The board meeting will be held at 4 p.m. in the Innovative Zone at the MedTech Centre, located at 99 MedTech Drive in Batavia. The meeting will also be broadcast online at www.gcedc.com.

June 4, 2021 - 12:21pm
posted by Press Release in business, GCEDC, Excelsior Energy Center, Power Plug Inc..

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Board of Directors approved incentives for a $345 million solar project in the Town of Byron, and construction of a campus-wide substation at the Science Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP) at the agency’s June 3 board meeting.  

Excelsior Energy Center is a $345.55 million utility scale solar farm project that will be located on multiple agricultural properties in Town of Byron and will generate 280 MW (AC) solar generation. The project will receive approximately $32.7 million in property and sales tax incentives

The project will provide enhanced property tax payments via a 20-year PILOT (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes) and host benefit agreements. The project will contribute $6,500/MWAC in total PILOT/host benefit payments annually + a 2-percent annual escalator over the 20-year term. Resulting property tax-type benefits of the project in the Town of Byron, Byron-Bergen Central Schools, and Genesee County are estimated at more than $45.2 million.

The project has an estimated $117.5 million fiscal economic impact, including PILOT payments, host benefit payments, fire district payments, elimination of agricultural exemptions on acreage used for solar panels, direct construction payroll, other direct construction related purchases, and the payroll and purchases during operations. This results in an estimated return of $20.60 in economic impacts vs the tax impacts of the land's prior use.

Plug Power Inc. is investing $55 million toward the construction of a campus-wide substation at STAMP. The substation will enable 100-percent renewable, reliable electricity at less than $0.035/kwh to future tenants in partnership with the New York Power Authority and National Grid.

Plug Power’s investment in the substation is on top of the $232 million the company is investing to build a green hydrogen manufacturing facility at STAMP. The facility is estimated to create 68 full-time jobs. 

Plug Power’s facility will produce green hydrogen produced using an electrolysis process of water utilizing clean hydropower producing approximately 45 metric tons of liquid hydrogen annually for applications such as heavy-duty freight and forklifts.

Plug Power will receive approximately $2.8 million in sales tax incentives related to the electrical substation construction.

Comments
June 4, 2021 - 10:10am

Representatives of Ohio-based Great Lakes Cheese have visited the Le Roy Food & Tech Park in recent days, exploring the possibility of building a $500 million processing plant at the location off Route 19 and West Bergen Road.

While an officer of the Genesee County Economic Development Center, which owns the park, would not confirm or deny contact with company leadership, Le Roy Town Supervisor James Farnholz this morning told The Batavian that Great Lakes Cheese personnel have been at the 75-acre site.

“Yes, they have been out there and have been in contact, but I don’t know what the status of their negotiations are with landowners. That’s out of our realm,” Farnholz said.

Great Lakes Cheese has been in the news lately as it was looking to expand its operation by locating the new plant in Allegany County, where is already has the Empire Cheese facility in Cuba. Its plans, however, may have been scrapped due to several issues, including a controversial eminent domain seizure of farmland.

Calls to Heidi Eller, company chairman of the board, have not been returned.

A 480,000-square-foot ‘Super Plant’

A report by WGRZ-TV stated the new plant would consist of 480,000 square feet and would mirror other “super plants” owned by GLC in Hiram, Ohio; Plymouth, Wis.; Fillmore, Utah; and Manchester, Tenn.

It also stated that “wherever it ends up would still be eligible for around $200 million in tax incentives over 20 years.”

Mark Masse, senior vice president of operations for the GCEDC, said agency policy prohibits him from commenting until a project application has been submitted.

“We can not comment on projects that may or may not be coming here unless we have an application in hand,” he said. “That has been our stance for a very long time.”

Masse did speak to a referral filed Wednesday with the Genesee County Planning Board by the Town of Le Roy to rezone seven parcels along Route 19 and Randall Road – totaling 185 acres – from R-2 (Residential) to I-2 (Industrial).

Rezoning Lines Up With Town’s Plan

The rezoning would conform with the town’s comprehensive plan’s goal of creating additional industrial uses and, according to documents filled out by Farnholz, “to address one of the town’s weaknesses – loss of jobs/commercial base.”

“Over the years, we have seen some interest in additional property and I think the town is just trying to be proactive to match the zoning with the Le Roy Food & Tech Park in case the project seeks more acreage than is available there,” Masse said. “Our Ag Park (on East Main Street Road in Batavia) is almost sold out at this point, so the larger acreage projects wouldn’t be able to locate there.”

According to the referral, by rezoning the parcels (mainly farmland), it would set the stage for “a potential opportunity for a cheese manufacturing plant (and) would conform to the comprehensive plan.”

Although the referral mentions “a cheese manufacturing plant,” Farnholz said that everything is at the inquiry stage.

Farnholz: Nothing is on the Table

“Nothing is on the table at this point and we are not making specific preparation for anybody. Great Lakes Cheese has made inquiries but we don’t have anything definite. We’re not doing anything for Great Lakes Cheese,” he said.

Farnholz said that land in question should have been rezoned to Industrial years ago to match the property owned by the GCEDC. He also said that a separate parcel, which has a funeral home on it and is operating under a special use permit, would be rezoned to Industrial as well.

“This has been on the table for quite some time,” he said. “Our discussions over the comprehensive plan to expand industrial development along the Route 19 corridor predates anything that is happening now.”

The supervisor said that the town has not spent any money, noting that all of the properties would have to be purchased by Great Lakes Cheese or any other business, with the exception of the GCEDC, which owns the 75 acres off West Bergen Road.

“Any remaining acreage would have to be privately purchased,” he said.

Setting the Stage for Development

He said that if the Great Lakes Cheese plant did not come to Le Roy, rezoning the properties “would just make it more practical for future industrial development. But, again, this is all contingent upon people willing to sell their property.”

The park, which has been in existence for about four years, does not have any businesses yet, Farnholz said.

“Right now, it’s just farmland. The GCEDC leases out their acreage to farmers and the rest of it is just woods and farmland. Down by Randall Road, there’s a group that is grinding up wood and making mulch – that’s the only thing that resembles a business,” he said.

While not a done deal, a $500 million venture in Le Roy would make a significant impact on the local economy.

“Having read many of the articles talking about the project in Allegany County, they were talking about a $500 million plant that would employ up to 400 people, so I would welcome that with open arms,” Farnholz said.

BioWorks to Purchase 60 Acres

In a related development, Masse reported that the GCEDC Board of Directors Thursday approved a purchase and sale agreement with BioWorks Inc. to buy 60 acres at the Le Roy Food & Tech Park for $2.4 million.

“They still would need to forward an application for incentives, which I believe they will be bringing forward,” Masse said. “Last night’s action allows the company to do their due diligence on the site prior to closing to ensure their project can be completed.”

BioWorks Inc. is a national company with a regional office in Victor, is looking to expand its operation.

According to its website, it develops and markets biologically based solutions for customers in the horticulture and specialty agriculture markets. Its products – effective alternatives or additions to traditional chemical programs -- support plant nutrition, disease control, insect control and soil amendment.

June 1, 2021 - 11:02am
posted by Press Release in business, NextEra Energy Inc., solar farm, GCEDC, STAMP, Power Plug.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Board of Directors will consider approving final incentives for a $345 million solar project in the Town of Byron, and construction of a campus-wide electrical substation at the Science Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP). Both matters will be discussed at the agency’s June 3 board meeting.

NextEra Energy Inc. is planning a $345.55 million Excelsior Energy Center utility scale solar farm project to be located on multiple agricultural properties in Town of Byron. The project is a 280 MW (AC) solar generation system, and a 20 MW 4-hour energy storage system, that will be interconnected with the electric grid.

The project will provide enhanced property tax payments via a 20-year PILOT (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes) and host benefit agreements. The project will contribute $6,500/MWAC in total PILOT/host benefit payments annually + a 2 percent annual escalator over the 20-year term.

Resulting property tax-type benefits of the project in the Town of Byron, Byron-Bergen Central schools, and Genesee County are estimated at over $45.2 million.

NextEra Energy is seeking approximately $32.7 million in property and sales tax incentives. A public hearing on the proposed agreement was held April 19.

Plug Power Inc. is planning to invest $55 million toward a campus-wide substation at STAMP. The substation will enable 100 percent renewable, reliable electricity at less than $0.035/kwh to future tenants in partnership with the New York Power Authority and National Grid.

The proposed substation investment is in addition to the $232 million Plug Power is investing to build a green hydrogen manufacturing facility at STAMP. The facility is estimated to create 68 full-time jobs.

Plug Power is seeking approximately $2.8 million in sales tax incentives related to the substation construction. A public hearing on the proposed agreements will be held at 10 a.m. on June 3.

The GCEDC Board meeting is at 4 p.m. and because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic the meeting will be conducted via videoconference and can be viewed online at www.gcedc.com.

May 7, 2021 - 1:11pm

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Board of Directors approved incentives for projects totaling $13.5 million of new capital investment at its May 6 board meeting.  

Forefront Power LLC (Elba Solar) will invest $9.7 million to build a 5 megawatt community solar project on Norton Road in the Town of Elba. The project would generate approximately $518,803 in new revenue to Genesee County, the Town of Elba, and the Elba Central School District over the proposed 15-year agreement.  

The project also will fund a community benefit agreement for workforce development and economic development projects in Genesee County. Forefront Power LLC will receive approximately $1.416 million in sales and property tax exemptions. 

Batavia Special Needs Apartments LP is investing $3.75 million to add 20 living units to an existing special needs housing campus on East Main Street in the City of Batavia.

Batavia Special Needs Apartments LP is receiving approximately $772,000 in sales and property tax exemptions. Additional revenues from the project will be added to an existing PILOT (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes) agreement for the development

Application Accepted

The GCEDC Board also accepted an application by NY CDG Genesee 1 LLC (BW Solar) for a proposed 5 megawatt community solar project on Oak Orchard Road in the Town of Elba at a capital cost of $7.326 million. The project would generate approximately $518,803 in new revenue to Genesee County, the town of Elba, and the Elba Central School District over the proposed 15-year agreement. 

A public hearing on the BW Solar project is scheduled for Monday, May 17 at 10 a.m., as the project is requesting incentives of more than $100,000.

May 3, 2021 - 11:39am

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Board of Directors will consider approving incentives for projects proposing $13.5 million of new investments at its May 6 board meeting.  

Forefront Power LLC (Elba Solar) is proposing to invest $9.7 million to build a 5 megawatt community solar project on Norton Road in the Town of Elba. The project would generate approximately $518,803 in new revenue to Genesee County, the Town of Elba, and the Elba Central School District over the proposed 15-year agreement.  

The project also would fund a community benefit agreement for workforce development and economic development projects in Genesee County. Forefront Power LLC is seeking approximately $1.416 million in sales and property tax exemptions. A public hearing on the project incentives was held March 22.

Batavia Special Needs Apartments LP is proposing to invest $3.75 million to add 20 living units to an existing special needs housing campus on East Main Street in the City of Batavia. The project would increase the existing annual PILOT (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes) payment by approximately $6,000 per year for the remainder of the current PILOT.  Batavia Special Needs Apartments LP is seeking approximately $772,000 in sales and property tax exemptions. A public hearing on the proposed incentives was held April 14.

The GCEDC will also consider initial review of an application by NY CDG Genesee 1 LLC (BW Solar). The proposed project would invest $7.326 million to build a 5 megawatt community solar project on Oak Orchard Road in the Town of Elba. The project would generate approximately $518,803 in new revenue to Genesee County, the Town of Elba, and the Elba Central School District over the proposed 15-year agreement.

If the initial application is accepted, a public hearing on the project will be scheduled, as the project is requesting incentives in excess of $100,000.

The GCEDC Board meeting will at 4 p.m. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic the meeting will be conducted via conference and online at www.gcedc.com.

April 19, 2021 - 10:12pm

What was advertised as a public hearing on incentives being offered by the Genesee County Economic Development Center to the developer of the Excelsior Solar Project in the Town of Byron turned out to be an opportunity for parties on both sides of the issue to re-emphasize their positions.

During the 25-minute videoconference, Mark Masse, GCEDC’s senior vice president of operations, read written statements from representatives of three farms who are leasing land for the 280-megawatt, 1,600-acre system -- Star Growers Land LLC; L-Brooke Farms and Colby Homestead Farms.

Their comments supporting the project – a huge financial windfall for the Town of Byron, Byron-Bergen Central School District and Genesee County, plus the creation of 290 full-time equivalent jobs – were followed by an oral statement from Eric Zuber, Byron town councilman and community farmer, who has opposed the plan since it was introduced more than two years ago.

Excelsior Energy, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources LLC of Vero Beach, Fla., has plowed ahead under the authority of Article 10 of the New York State Public Service Law, while committing to pay the aforementioned taxing jurisdictions upwards of $44 million over the next 20 years.

The solar company is proposing to invest $345.55 million in a utility-scale solar project on multiple properties (46 parcels to be exact). It also has negotiated 20-year tax and community host agreements, including payments of $6,500 per megawatt, with a 2-percent annual escalator, to the county, Town of Byron and the Byron-Bergen school district.

$1.82 Million to Entities in Year One

What that means during year one, according to figures provided by the GCEDC, is that Genesee County would receive $281,775, the Town of Byron $862,522 and BBCS $675,703. That initial $1.82 million outlay would increase by 2 percent for each year after that for 20 years.

In return, the solar company has requested that the GCEDC approve property tax abatements estimated at $21,498,313 over that period and sales tax abatements (for construction materials) estimated at $11,288,287.

For its role as facilitator, the GCEDC receives a 1.25-percent fee – in this case, $4,319,458, which it will collect at the time of the financial closing.

Furthermore, farmers will stand to profit significantly through the leasing contracts they signed with Excelsior Energy.

Participants include Legacy Lands, LLC; Brooke-Lea, LLC; Call Lands; Lea-View Farms, LLC; Richard Colby; L-Brooke Farms, LLC; John Starowitz; Leo Starowitz Jr.; Star Growers Land LLC; John Starowitz and Andrew Starowitz; John Sackett Jr. and Charles Sackett; CY Properties LLC; and Call Lands Partnership.

Farm Reps Applaud Solar Project

In their written statements to the GCEDC board, Barbie Starowitz of Star Growers Land LLC; Jim Vincent of L-Brooke Farms, and Richard Colby of Colby Homestead Farms touted the project’s benefits for the Byron community and positive impact on the future of farming.

“The Excelsior Energy Center not only will support our farm for generations to come but also will provide new local revenue and new local jobs for our community,” Starowitz wrote, adding that the EEC has committed to hiring 90 percent of the employees (except for construction project management) from the local labor force.

Starowitz said diversification is crucial to today’s farmers.

“Farmers are trying to diversify so they can continue to stay in business in the future. Each crop year, we rely heavily on the weather. But for too many years it was either too wet or too dry. Crops have been suffering, low yields, bad quality and so on. But the farmer must still come up with the money to pay the expenses,” she wrote.

Her statement indicated that clean solar energy will help the farms to survive by reducing “economic pressures faced by farmers and encourage an approach that does not permanently remove land from agricultural production.”

She concluded by recognizing Excelsior’s “commitment to community input” by hosting monthly meetings at the Byron Hotel and reaching out to residents through other means.

“The Byron community of over 2,300 can all benefit from the solar project, working together as a positive thing for the community and future generations,” she wrote.

'Vehicle for Long-term Reinvestment'

Vincent said he and his affiliates “are advocates of green energy, innovative technology and the many advantages the Excelsior Solar Project represents, and not just because of having some of our lands involved in these solar leases … but what this means to our farm business model, providing a vehicle for long-term reinvestment, succession planning and diversification.”

He wrote that commodity prices, global trade policy, diminishing labor pool, government regulation and an unfair tax burden are making life difficult for farmers, and added that “alternative sources of income are absolutely essential if our farm businesses and the associated land base are to be sustained and provide for future generations.”

Colby wrote that while his farm is “still going strong,” technology has brought about changes to land use and the “viewscape” in the Town of Byron.

“Today, every home I know of in Byron has electricity. One hundred years or so ago, no one had electricity in their home. The Excelsior Energy Center is a good and necessary change in revenue and new local jobs for our community,” he submitted.

He acknowledged that property values could decrease, but the funding provided to the town, county and school district will be a game-changer.

“This will enable many public enhancements to the community, which, I believe, will drive up the values and make it not only that people want to live but also stay in Byron,” he wrote. “It may be a short-term inconvenience but a significant boon to local businesses – restaurants, et cetera. I see it as adding a bit of excitement to the town.”

He contends that the solar panels will cover less than half of the project’s fenced area, and much of his land will be “highly accessible along existing roads.”

In closing, he wrote that he is researching other uses for the land, including U-pick fruits and nursery stock, and even installing a hops yard to have a locally sourced input for beer brewing.

Zuber: It's Bad for the Environment

Zuber, a member of Byron Association Against Solar, then joined the meeting – expressing his dissatisfaction with GCEDC and Excelsior’s handling of the public hearing. He said he was unaware up to a half hour before the videoconference that he had until last Friday to submit written comments about the project.

“It seems like, and it isn’t quite right, that the people that are pro-solar had the opportunity to write in comments and now the comment period is over, and we were unaware of it,” he said. “I guess I knew this was going to take place, but I didn’t know the format (of how) it would work … and that has been quite typical since this whole thing started with the COVID. The transparency to communicate Excelsior’s plans is at best poor.”

Communication problems aside, Zuber said the solar project will harm the environment and will take away prime land needed to handle an increasing amount of manure.

“We’ve done an ag impact study, which the county apparently is not interested in. I am very concerned about the environmental situation,” he said. “Especially with the Cider project now coming out of the west (a similar project in the towns of Elba and Oakfield) … if the dairy industry is going to survive – I don’t see how it survives with these two big solar projects.”

Zuber said he also is concerned about waste generated by the food plants in Batavia.

“Right now, we’re spending $7 million at O-At-Ka (Milk Products) to handle the waste,” he said. “The city and the town are overwhelmed. We’re going to have the sludge come out of those plants (with) no place to go. The best place for it to go is where you’re putting these solar panels on the ideal ground … but I think the environmental (problems) are a very, very negative situation.”

'A Negative Carbon Effect on the County'

He also cited a university study that indicated that this project would have “a negative carbon effect on Genesee County.”

“This will make the carbon situation worse, does not accomplish anything that the global warming people want, and I think it is very poorly structured … I think it’s bad for the environment for the county, the town and probably the state.”

Starowitz then got on the call, rebutting Zuber’s remarks about the manure situation.

“… the gas from the manure is being pipelined directly into being sold on his property, which is located on Chapel Street Extension,” Starowitz said about Zuber’s operation. “Also, if there is concern for spreading manure on land that is now being put into solar ... I have addressed to him many times that we have farmland that would use his manure. To this day, he has not taken advantage of that. So, there are other options and other farmland for his concern of spreading manure.”

Looking ahead, the state Department of Public Service has scheduled a public statement hearing – a key step toward the end of the Article 10 process – for June 1 via teleconference from New York City with Administrative Law Judge Gregg Sayre presiding.

Previously: Byron 'mega' solar project moves forward despite opposition; virtual open houses scheduled for Aug. 31

Comments
March 26, 2021 - 1:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, news, wny stamp, Plug Power.

Press release:

Plug Power Inc.’s development of North America’s largest green hydrogen production facility at the Western New York Science & Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP) received final approval from the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Board of Directors at its March 25 meeting.

Plug Power Inc. plans to build the $232.7 million green energy technology facility at a 29.884-acre site at STAMP, with a proposed initial operation creating 68 new jobs at an average salary of approximately $70,000.

Plug Power Inc. also will invest $55 million to help build a 345/115KV electric substation in partnership with the New York Power Authority and National Grid. The substation will support future expansion and growth opportunities at STAMP’s 1,250-acre mega-site.

“The investments by Plug Power Inc. will advance our region’s expanding green hydrogen economy, create good jobs aligned with our county’s workforce training programs, and advance major infrastructure that is accessible to future projects,” said GCEDC President & CEO Steve Hyde.

“This project by Plug Power, along with the team effort by the GCEDC Board of Directors, the Empire State Development, the New York Power Authority, and National Grid, show our capacity to advance regionally significant projects at STAMP.”

Under the incentives application approved by the GCEDC Board, Plug Power Inc. will contribute approximately $2.3 million annually to support local municipalities and infrastructure development under a 20-year agreement.

In addition to Plug Power, the GCEDC Board also approved or accepted applications from five projects totaling another $420 million of capital investment in Genesee County.

The GCEDC Board approved final incentives for Forefront Power LLC (Elba Solar) for a $9.7 million community solar project on Norton Road in the Town of Elba. The project will generate 5MW of power and generate approximately $518,803 in new revenue to Genesee County, the Town of Elba, and the Elba Central School District over the proposed 15-year agreement.

The board also approved final incentives for Solar Liberty for community solar projects on Tesnow Road in the Town of Pembroke at a capital investment of $7.7 million. The projects will generate 4MW and 5MW of power and will generate approximately $856,024 in new revenue to Genesee County, the Town of Pembroke, and the Akron Central School District over the proposed 15-year agreement.

Finally, the GCEDC Board of Directors accepted initial applications for two other projects:

  • Excelsior Energy LLC is proposing to invest $345.55 million in a utility-scale solar project on multiple properties in the Town of Byron. The project will generate 280 MW of power. Excelsior has negotiated a 20-year tax and community host agreements, including payments of $6,500 per MW, with a 2-percent annual escalator, to Genesee County, the Town of Byron, and the Byron-Bergen School District.
  • DePaul Special Needs Apartments LP is proposing to invest $3.75 million to expand by 20 living units an existing special needs housing campus in the City of Batavia. The project would increase annual PILOT payments by approximately $6,000 per year for the remainder of the facility’s existing PILOT schedule.

UPDATE: We asked Jim Krencik, marketing director for GCEDC, to clarify the tax abatements for these projects. He provided the following. The "Property Tax Payments" followed by tax savings is the PILOT on the project (payments in lieu of taxes). The sales tax exemption is an exemption on sales tax for materials used in construction.

Plug Power

  • Approved Property Tax Payments
    • $2.3 million / year
    • $46 million / 20 years
  • Estimated Savings
    • $117.7 million property tax savings / 20 years if assessed at cost of construction ($232.7 million)
  • Anticipated assessment is much more likely to be $60-90 million
    • ·        $2.3 million / year = 0 percent abatement on a $65 million assessment
  • $1.1 million sales tax exemptions

Excelsior Solar

  • Proposed Property Tax Payments
    • $1.8 million / year 1, increases by 2 percent annually
    • Based on $6,500 / megawatt
    • $44 million / 20 years
  • Estimated Savings
    • $21.4 million property tax savings / 20 years
    • On solar panels only, land with panels on them are assessed separately
    • $11.2 million sales tax exemption
March 18, 2021 - 1:59pm
posted by Press Release in GCEDC, STAMP, Alabama, business, infrastructure.

Photo: Work on a new high-capacity water line along Route 77 is part of a $2 million infrastructure construction project at STAMP.

Submitted photo and press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) today announced that with the anticipated completion of a $2 million infrastructure project this summer, water capacity will increase to more than 1 million gallons per day at the 1,250-acre Western New York Science & Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP) mega site in Genesee County.

“Every infrastructure milestone adds to the tremendous momentum behind STAMP. Our ability to deliver low-cost, 100-percent renewable power, and utility infrastructure aligned with project timelines and capacities, is driving even greater interest from site selectors and companies looking to locate in Genesee County,” said GCEDC President and CEO Steve Hyde.

Hyde noted that STAMP’s development is advancing with significant infrastructure design, engineering, and construction milestones. The mega-site is already designed and permitted for the construction of over 6 million square feet of advanced manufacturing facility space.

The water infrastructure project includes the installation of new high-capacity water lines that will connect with previously extended infrastructure on New York State Route 77 that runs along the STAMP site.

The water line project is supported by New York State, and is aligned with investments by Genesee County and the towns of Alabama and Pembroke to expand infrastructure for economic and community growth. Morsch Pipeline in Avon serves as the lead contractor on the project.

In February, Plug Power Inc. announced it plans to begin construction of North America’s largest green hydrogen production facility at STAMP. Plug Power’s $290 million proposed facility and electric substation investment further expands access to high-capacity, flexible infrastructure on parcels ranging from 30 acres to over 650 acres, Hyde said.

“Partnering with an industry leader like Plug Power is another significant asset available at STAMP to grow the renewable and advanced manufacturing sectors, which will transform our regional economy for generations,” Hyde said.

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