NORWICH – Chenango County’s taxpayers spent nearly $580,000 on infrastructure, promotion and business development over the last 10 years, according to a planning department report.
The pool of money, which county leaders interchangeably call “seed money,” “publicity money,” or the “capital project account,” has been collected almost annually at a rate of about $90,000 per year. A resolution passed in 2003 called for the pool to accumulate from year-to-year and imposed a $250,000 cap on it. Previously, any funds not used in a given year were encumbered.
Infrastructure projects and promotion tied for the lion’s share of the money over the past decade, with about $250,000 spent on each. The following municipalities applied for a received some of the funds: Bainbridge, Sherburne, Norwich, North Norwich and Greene. The Town of Bainbridge, which requested and received the highest amount of all towns - $114,470 since 1996 - used most of it to extend water and sewer lines across the Susquehanna River. The town also spent nearly $5,000 back in 2001 to promote economic development. Future plans include building an industrial park across the river.
Sherburne requested and received $10,000 back in 1997 to market its industrial park. The Greater Norwich Development group, an Empire Zone including North Norwich and Norwich and the City of Norwich, used $10,000 of the pool in 1997 as well. North Norwich received $17,500 in 1999 for engineering costs for an unnamed economic development project. And the Town of Greene received $2,500, also in 1999, for an unnamed environmental study.