Long, Williams appointed to FL Economic Development board

Loujane Johns

The Finger Lakes Economic Development Center (FLEDC) has two new board members. 

Jim Long and Rodman Williams were appointed by the Yates County Legislature to fill two vacancies created when David Reeve and Jim Mullins left the board.  Their terms will run to Dec. 31, 2008. Also attending the regular FLEDC?meeting was newly- named Empire Zone Coordinator Ryan Hallings.

Other business on the board’s agenda Aug. 13 included:

• ORGANIC FARM:  CEO Steve Griffin reported he met with representatives of an organization interested in starting an organic egg co-op.  They are looking to start a small facility in the area.  He said this type of business might fit in with grants recently awarded for organic agriculture.

• REPAIRS:  Griffin reported a leak had been fixed at the Badger facility and suggested the board consider setting up a capital reserve fund for such repairs in the future. 

• WIND FARMS:  Griffin suggested FLEDC set up a meeting with taxing agencies in the county such as towns, villages and school districts to head off such problems as have occurred in Steuben County over how wind farm revenues would be divided. 

He said residents in the Town of Italy are already worried about the Prattsburgh wind farm agreement.  “It is better to talk ahead of time, instead of ending up with court battles and opposition,” he said.

• PIPELINE:  The natural gas tap has been installed by the Empire Pipeline crew near the Pre-Emption Road, according to Griffin.

Members discussed sitting down again to talk with town supervisors from Barrington, Milo and Benton to discuss how the $251,290 PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) up to 25 years will be used.   Yates County Legislator Taylor Fitch said he doesn’t believe the money will come through until 2009. 

The FLEDC has discussed using some of the money for county-wide benefit, such as broadband communication. 

Chairman Jeff Gifford said  there are ideas being considered and they need to target specific uses. 

• BUDGET:  Gifford asked members to review the annual budget to be presented for approval next month.

• BUSINESS:  Members discussed the SCT Computer business pulling out of the downtown Penn Yan store after only a few months in business.  They would like to prevent future instances like this and find ways to welcome new businesses.

• COMMUNICATION:  Griffin is still interested in getting officials  from all county towns and villages to talk about issues with the hope of finding common goals.