Economic development group forms Yates Capital Resource Corp.

Loujane Johns

Pending approval by the Yates County Legislature, a separate entity was formed by Finger Lakes Economic Development Center (former IDA) to handle funding for non-profit projects.

Attorney Joe Scott, IDA legal advisor, explains a bill had been in place since 1986 allowing IDAs to help non-profits with building funds. Last year, the bill ended (sunset) and came up for renewal.  With the backlog of bills before Albany, this bill has still not been renewed.

A press release from the NYS Economic Development Council stated that the state’s failure to  act accounts for the loss of $2.14 billion in economic activity and 20,000 jobs. Non-profits have relied on this funding for 20 years now.

Among projects on “hold” are a $2 million project at Keuka College and a proposed $12 million project for senior living housing by St. Mark’s Terrace.

With so many projects around the state on hold, Scott says his firm, Hodgson and Russ, started looking into ways to get projects moving. They looked to get a formal structure for this process.After consulting with the Internal Revenue Service (I.R.S.), a model entity was formed for a central New York project. Within three to four weeks the I.R.S. approved. Scott said the bonding firm put time and money into the effort in order to file for the ruling.

Scott explained the structure of YCRC will be the same as FLEDC. It will be consistent with with IDA practice and statutes.  Financing will be done in parallel, but separate accounts. The county will appoint members who can be from the FLEDC board. ”This is another tool for CEO Steve Griffin and the economic team to use,”Scott says. 

A roll call vote by FLEDC board members approved creating YCRC.  Board members Rod Williams and Jerry Hiller were absent.

  In other business:

• BUSINESS: Griffin reported he met with Teresa Jackson of Dudley Foods and they have added 100 new products.  “You can buy anything in the barbecue line, except the grill,” Griffin said.  They have also added pizza products.  The growth has added five or six new jobs, Griffin says.

•RAILROAD: Griffin met with Benton officials and Finger Lakes Railway to discuss the storage of empty rail cars on tracks in Benton.  He said the railway lawyer had three sheets of case exmples to show in which railroads won.  Griffin said the railway calls this the  best use of the tracks right now. He said the IDA entered into an agreement with FLR in 1995 for 10 years with five year renewals and with each extension they “ramp-up” on PILOT payments (Payment in Lieu of Taxes).

• PIPELINE:  Griffin reported he met with the supervisors of Benton, Milo and Barrington regarding the allocation of revenues from the natural gas pipeline project.  The pipeline goes through the three towns and each wants part of the payments which Empire Pipeline is expected to start paying in September.

•INCUBATOR: Members gave Griffin approval to get a cost estimate and hire an architect on a 12,000 sq. ft. building to be constructed at Horizon Park.  He has one prospective tenant and the rest of the space will be used as an incubator for businesses.