HUDSON–County Planning and Economic Development Commissioner Kenneth J. Flood has announced a grant of $516,000 from the state that will help Ginsberg’s pay for a new freezer facility on state Route 66 in the Town of Claverack. The funds represent approximately 5% of the $11.3-million total cost of the construction project.
Ginsberg’s, which was founded in the county in 1909 and has its headquarters here, is a food service company with customers in six states and 220 employees, according to the Columbia Economic Development Corporation (CEDC) website. Mr. Flood said the grant will “help to defray construction costs so that Ginsberg Foods can remain competitive.”
Construction is set to begin in the spring of 2014, with a scheduled opening before the end of 2015. The terms of the grant give the company five years from the opening date to create 22 new jobs. The funding is subject to repayment only if Ginsberg’s fails either to meet the employment objectives or ceases operations. The freezer facility is part of a larger expansion plan the company is pursuing, which is intended last until 2025.
The state grant will be awarded to the county, and the CEDC will administer the grant funds once the county Board of Supervisors formally approves of the arrangement. The project has been in the planning stages for two years.
At the November 25 meeting of the county Board of Supervisors Economic Development Committee Hudson Supervisor Sarah Sterling (D-1st Ward) asked about the traffic impact from construction vehicles associated with the project. Mr. Flood responded that a traffic study is underway and includes Route 66 from the intersection with state Route 203 in Chatham south as well as the entire length of state Route 9H.
In other business at the committee meeting:
•Mr. Flood announced receipt of $300,000 in federal Small Business Administration (SBA) funds that will be added to the $250,000 currently available. The SBA makes loans to qualified small businesses and obtains reimbursements through grants for CEDC staff to hire professionals to provide technical assistance, when needed, for the companies that borrow the funds. Interest rates to the borrowers range between 7.5%-8.0%. The CEDC assists individuals and businesses in rural areas with start-up or operational improvement. Additional information is available on the CEDC website, www.columbiaedc.com.
•The committee heard an update from Mr. Flood on Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores, a business that will be located on state Route 22approximately 800 feet off Thuway Exit B-3 in Canaan. A public hearing is scheduled this month, with final approval expected by the end of the year. The project already has received state Department of Transportation (DOT) approvals.
•Mr. Flood also reported on a project at the Catamount Ski Area that could result in sales and mortgage tax revenue for to the county. Currently, most of the Catamount Ski Area is in Massachusetts, with just two ski lifts, part of a parking lot and a portion of the ski mountain located in the Town of Copake. Plans for additional development have been announced in the past and the Mr. Flood told the committee that the facility at Catamount would be in this county and would have 63 timeshare units, a restaurant, bar, ski lodge, locker rooms and a swimming pool.
•Linda Tripp, from Cornell Cooperative Extension, reported on recent 4-H Club developments. Amanda Benson, who grew up in Saratoga County and is an active member of 4-H, has been recruited as an extension educator. Ms. Benson completed an assistantship in Rensselaer County, and is a graduate of SUNY Cobleskill, where she studied science, technology, education and math.
Ms. Tripp also announced plans to recruit a national environment educator to support the Citizen Science program, as well as a summer assistant to facilitate the science program in libraries around the county. Currently, there are 450 active 4-H members, and after-school programs bring the figure to 586.