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Western New York Power Proceeds Allocation Board recommends $245,570 in funding for projects in WNY

by jmaloni


Tue, Feb 4th 2014 01:25 pm

Funding would help support the creation of 35 jobs, as well as business development and agriculture initiatives

The Western New York Power Proceeds Allocation Board announced Monday it has recommended $245,570 in funding to two Western New York enterprises: Living Green Insulation on Buffalo's east side, and Eden Valley Growers in Eden. In total, the latest projects recommended for funding awards are expected to create 35 jobs and result in investments by project applicants of $1.29 million.

The recommendations will be considered by the New York Power Authority board of trustees at its Feb. 25 board meeting.

"The Power Proceeds board continues to make recommendations that will support businesses and investment while leading to job creation in Western New York," said Allocation Board Chairman Anthony J. Colucci III. "The Western New York Regional Economic Development Council has identified manufacturing and agriculture as targeted industry sectors, and Living Green Insulation and Eden Valley Growers capitalize on these sectors. This board looks forward to the economic growth that these two businesses will bring to our area."

The latest recommendations for proceeds awards stem from legislation, signed into law in 2012 by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, known as the Western New York Power Proceeds Allocation Act. The legislation authorizes "net earnings" from the sale of unused hydropower from the NYPA's Niagara Hydroelectric Power Plant to be deposited into the Western New York economic development fund to support economic development in Western New York. The fund has accrued approximately $27 million to date. Nearly $13 million has been approved for awards by the NYPA trustees on the basis of earlier recommendations by the proceeds allocation board.

The latest projects recommended by the allocation board include:

Living Green Insulation

•Recommended award mount: $165,570

LGI Products & Services LLC, a green manufacturing facility located on the east side of Buffalo, will produce cellulose insulation and hydro seed mulch from recycled paper products that are diverted from landfills and sold locally by recycling companies. LGI is in the process of ramping up both its hydro-seeding business and its insulation business, which will lead to the employment of 29 people over the next five years. In order to meet the current trajectory set for the hydro-seeding business, LGI must install a freight elevator, install a sprinkler system, purchase a paneled delivery truck, purchase a hydro-seeding mulcher and rebuild the existing loading docks to handle the weight of the necessary machinery used in the distribution of LGI products. With an incentive from the Western New York economic development fund for this $891,765 project, this company will be able to begin the sale and distribution of its hydro-seeding product. The bulk of the jobs created will train unemployed residents of the east side of Buffalo for long-term careers with the company.

Eden Valley Growers

•Recommended award amount: $80,000

Eden Valley Growers, a cooperative of 10 farms on 1,000 acres in Eden, proposes to meet new market demand by building a new staging/packing area to increase output on produce and value added products. The $400,000 expansion, which will add six new jobs, is needed to meet increasing demand for fresh, locally grown vegetables and fruits while at the same time maintaining food safety standards. Fostering the growth of the agricultural industry across Western New York has been deemed a high priority part of achieving a balanced approach to regional economic development. The Eden Valley Growers Co-op has long been one of the most notable presences in the region's agriculture industry.

The Western New York Power Proceeds Allocation Board reviewed these and other applications for fund proceeds in accordance with requirements of the act. For example, eligible projects must be located within a 30-mile radius of NYPA's Niagara Power Plant. The allocation board also considers the extent to which an award would be consistent with the strategies and priorities of the area New York regional economic development councils.

Contracts with awardees will include provisions for periodic audits to ensure the funds are utilized for agreed-upon purposes. Some projects are subject to legal requirements that must be satisfied before an award of fund proceeds can be made.

The allocation board is comprised of the following members, appointed by Cuomo: Colucci, managing attorney of the law firm of Colucci & Gallaher in Buffalo; Deanna Alterio Brennan, president of the Niagara USA Chamber of Commerce; Brenda Williams McDuffie, president of the Buffalo Urban League; Dennis W. Elsenbeck, regional executive, National Grid Western Division; and Henry F. Wojtaszek, general counsel at Off-Track Betting of Western New York.

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