CHENANGO COUNTY – County lawmakers have given the nod to economic development officials who wish to proceed with seeking $1.5 million in state funding for two projects they believe will bring jobs and increased prosperity to the area.
“A municipality has to apply on behalf of the business,” explained Development Chenango Executive Director Maureen Carpenter, explaining the county’s role in securing funding for the projects through the Community Development Block Grant program administered by the New York State Office of Community Renewal.
On Wednesday, Carpenter approached Chenango County’s Planning and Economic Development Committee for permission to begin the application process for two CDBG grants, each in the amount of $750,000.
The first, according to the chamber executive, will benefit the Raymond Corporation, headquartered in Greene. The other, will aid a local company in the acquisition of the Woods Corners facility being vacated in the coming months by Procter & Gamble.
Both projects, she explained, are in keeping with the philosophy behind the grant program. According to the OCR website, the goal of the CDBG program is to “to develop viable communities by providing decent, affordable housing, and suitable living environments, as well as expanding economic opportunities, principally for persons of low and moderate income.”
Counties with populations under 200,000 and other municipalities with populations under 50,000 are eligible to receive financial assistance through the state level program, which is funded federally by an allocation from Housing and Urban Development.
According to Carpenter, Chenango County has applied for and received funding through the program on one previous occasion. That was in 2005, when they helped secure a $590,000 CDBG grant for Agro-Farma. The funding was instrumental in helping the fledgling company acquire the former Kraft plant in the Town of Columbus, where they currently produce Chobani Greek-style yogurt, she said.
As with that project, Development Chenango, formerly the Chenango County Area Corporation, would be considered a sub-recipient of the two CDBG grants currently being discussed and would help administer them if awarded.
Her agency has already begun the application process for Raymond, Carpenter said. She and other local officials met last week at the company’s Greene headquarters to start identifying the specifics of how the company plans to spend the three quarters of a million dollars...