Proceeds from NYPA Hydropower to Boost North Country Economy
Funding to Support Creation of 29 Jobs
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $400,000 of funding awards to three St. Lawrence County enterprises, including one that supports the growth of high-speed internet connectivity in underserved communities and marking the first grants under legislation signed into law by the Governor to spur capital investments and job creation in the county. The awards apply net earnings from unutilized hydropower from Massena's St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt Power Project to county businesses and institutions.
"These awards will help spur growth and economic activity in the North Country, while also laying the foundation for future growth in the region," Governor Cuomo said. "These St. Lawrence based entities will be able to invest and take advantage of expansion opportunities that will bolster the local economy while further allowing the North Country to flourish."
The Northern New York Power Proceeds Act, which was authorized by the Governor in December 2014, allowed for NYPA to deposit the net earnings from the market sale of unutilized electricity from the 20 megawatt St. Lawrence County Economic Development Power program into a fund, which can then be used to support economic development projects in St. Lawrence County. The fund has thus far accrued roughly $2.5 million.
The New York Power Authority Board of Trustees approved the funding a recent board meeting, following recommendations by the Northern New York Power Proceeds Allocation Board on August 15 for awards to Canexsys Networks in Ogdensburg, North Country Children's Museum and Clarkson University in Potsdam.
"Through these Power Proceeds awards some of our most cherished institutions and companies will be able to continue to thrive here in St. Lawrence County," said Eugene L. Nicandri, vice chair of NYPA's board and resident of Massena. "We are so grateful at the Power Authority that we are able to support local businesses and organizations in this way. We also are very thankful for Governor Cuomo's continued support for economic development in the North Country."
"By monetizing unutilized hydropower that has already been earmarked for economic development in St. Lawrence County, we are maximizing the economic development effectiveness of the St. Lawrence-FDR power project," said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO. "We at NYPA look forward to seeing the fruits of these Northern New York Power Proceeds allocations come alive in the North Country."
"As chairman of the Northern New York Power Proceeds Allocation Board and an active local partner with NYPA on several economic development initiatives, I am thrilled to see this funding program come to fruition," said Patrick Kelly, chairman of the Northern New York Power Proceeds Allocation Board and CEO of the St. Lawrence County IDA. "Canexsys Networks, the North Country Children's Museum and Clarkson University are all undertaking significant investments that will yield great results for the St. Lawrence County economy."
Canexsys Networks is a subsidiary of Comtest, a Canadian manufacturer of products that allow high speed Internet capability over existing coaxial and copper wire, enabling such service to be provided in underserved markets where the cost of installing fiber networks is prohibitive. Access to high-speed internet is critical to keeping pace with the rising demands of the modern economy. In addition to the measures being announced today, New York State has established a $500 million New NY Broadband Program providing grant funding to support projects that deliver high-speed Internet access to unserved and underserved areas of the State.
As part of NYPA's funding announced today, Canexsys will receive $200,000 to assist with the development of a manufacturing facility in Ogdensburg, where it would produce telephony equipment, like DSL splitters, and add plastic injection molding capabilities so that it can integrate molded and metal fabricated parts across the Comtest supply chain. The funding will assist Canexsys with the purchase of machinery and equipment, furniture and fixtures, inventory and allow the company to train its 29 new employees to manufacture products.
Another award recipient of NYPA proceeds is the North Country Children's Museum, a new museum that offers science, technology, engineering, arts and math oriented educational programming to children aged 12 and under and their families. NYPA is providing $140,000 in funding to assist with the purchase of a building in Potsdam to house the museum as well as to support exhibit design, construction and installation, building renovations and infrastructure upgrades.
Clarkson University is also receiving $60,000 to expand its business incubator program by completing the third and final phase of a $1.6 million effort to renovate the second and third floors of its Damon Hall. Clarkson plans to add premium mixed-use space in the building to house additional incubator businesses and provide food storage options.
Senator Joseph Griffo said, "I want to thank Gov. Cuomo and NYPA for their efforts to launch the Northern New York Proceeds board. This funding will be supporting three quality projects that will help improve the North Country economy and will be an important tool for businesses and organizations looking to expand in the future."
Senator Patty Ritchie "Economic Development is the lifeline of any community. This program and its first investment in St. Lawrence County—including Canexsys' development of a high-speed internet facility in Ogdensburg and educational programs—will not only help St. Lawrence County in the near future, but also ensure its continued growth for years to come. I would like to thank Governor Cuomo and the New York Power Authority for their support of Northern New York."
Assemblymember Addie Jenne said, "The announcement of funding for projects that will bring new jobs to Ogdensburg, expand an incubator space at Clarkson that is creating new employment opportunities and moving forward with a new cultural initiative is welcome news for the North Country. Our focus must remain on creating more jobs in the region, and the nny power proceeds allocation fund adds another important tool to our economic development toolbox."
NYPA contracts with awardees will include provisions for periodic audits to ensure that the funds are used for the stated economic development purposes.
Erie County Investment
In separate action by the NYPA Board of Trustees, a four megawatt low-cost hydropower allocation was awarded to Moog, in Erie County, as part of a state incentive package that was announced by the Governor in May. Moog's $53 million expansion project will create up to 200 new jobs for one of world's leading manufacturers of precision control components and systems.
Learn more about business growth opportunities supported by the Power Authority on NYPA's Economic Development web page.