September 18, 2013 —
Town of Delaware’s September 11 meeting had two hopeful messages about help available to both businesses and individual property owners. Sullivan County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) CEO Allan Scott said, “I want to remind everybody that there are various loans available through the IDA, and we have a fair amount of funds available to put down into the system. These revolving-loan funds are low interest. We encourage you to let your people know about this. They are to encourage contribution to our economy and to detain or to create new ones.”
The second message concerned the STAR system that’s been in existence for property owners for some time; however, in order to stay on the list, most people need to re-register. This can be done either on the web or by calling the special center set up for this purpose, explained John Wolham from New York State Office of Real Property Services.
With Scott, and doing most of the talking, was IDA’s newly appointed Vice President of Business Development and Chief Financial Officer Jen Mall Flad. Flad outlined the several projects IDA is working on at the moment. They include several grants, some from the USDA, some state level, and some from local funding, including a Rural Enterprise Grant and a Rural Opportunities Business Grant.
Supervisor Edward Sykes asked if there was a time frame for the start of construction of the much talked about Sullivan County food hub, and Scott said, “The only time frame we do have at the moment is we’re supposed to get the reply to the state consolidated application by end of December, and this will enable us to get a schedule to construct. We’re waiting for the state.”
With regard to the location of the hub, Flad said, “The facility will probably be located in the eastern part of the county where we are working with a distributor. Most farms are located in the western part of the county. So it’s really up to the operators to work out what’s best for them.”
She said IDA also is looking at existing buildings, as well as considering the possibility of building a new structure. “We’re talking about a very simple metal building with cooler and backing. We don’t need a whole lot of space,” Flad continued.
The food distribution facility is being built to help local producers connect with local restaurants and shops without having to leave their places of business or farms in order to exchange the produce. The expansion to New York City markets will also be made easier. “This will save them time and money,” Flad concluded.
The time frame once the building starts is five to seven years, Flad said.
Among other issues discussed was the town’s natural gas drilling commission, whose activities have been suspended recently due to the loss of some committee members. Contact has been made with the town of Towanda in Bradford County, PA with an eye to arrange a future visit, but no further movement has been made on that plan. Councilmember Alfred Steppich, however, said he went to visit a compressor station on his own in Slate Hill between Port Jervis and Middletown, and that he was very impressed by how quiet it was once you left the actual compression chamber, where the noise level was deafening.