Economic Development Organization Presents Annual Activity Summary, Achievement Awards

OSWEGO, NY – Operation Oswego County held its 64th annual meeting at the Lake Ontario Event and Conference Center on Thursday.

Barbara Bateman, vice president of the OOC board of directors, welcomed more than 150 representatives of businesses, government, education, labor and other ally organizations to the meeting.

Keynote presenter Nick Canale, member of the Upstate Energy Jobs Coalition, shared a video and presentation highlighting the growth of the Upstate Energy Jobs Coalition, a rapidly growing group of more than 160 Upstate New York elected officials, business leaders, members of organized labor, economic development organizations and community leaders doing whatever it takes to help protect energy jobs in Upstate New York.

L. Michael Treadwell, executive director of OOC, reported that in 2015, projects assisted by OOC and the County of Oswego IDA resulted in the creation or retention of 386 jobs with more than $80 million in capital investment associated with 42 new, expanded or retained facilities.

Several of those projects were outlined at the meeting including:

Zink Shirts LLC, expanded its commercial screen printing business in the city of Oswego by purchasing a computer aided screen printing press. Invested $140,000 and will create 8 jobs. Financial assistance provided by Pathfinder Bank and the COIDA.

SolarCity Corporation constructed two solar farms and entered into a power purchase agreement with the county that will result in an energy cost savings of over $8.7 million over 20 years. The projects are located in the towns of Volney and Scriba with a combined installed capacity of 3,876 KW. Invested more than $6.2 million. Financial assistance was provided by the COIDA.

Hardwood Transformations, Inc., a manufacturer located in the city of Oswego, involved in the pre-finishing of hardwood flooring, leases 43,000 sf from the COIDA. The company employs 11 and plans to add 11 new jobs. Financial assistance for restructuring of debt was provided by the COIDA.

Sweet Inspirations of Fulton, Inc., a legendary restaurant and landmark in the city of Fulton, was acquired and renovated. The 3,871 sf restaurant has a seating capacity of 120 inside and 60 outside. Invested $616,000 and will employ 13. Financial assistance provided by Fulton Savings Bank and the COIDA.

R & D Design and Associates, LLC, acquired an 8,000 sf building in the Oswego County Industrial Park in the town of Schroeppel to expand its business. The company is a plastics injection mold tool designer. Invested over $345,000 and the project will create 9 jobs in Oswego County. Financial Assistance provided by Chase Bank and the COIDA.

Debz Diner, located in the town of Hannibal, was acquired after 20 years of business. The business is expanding to serve breakfast. Invested over $85,000 and will employ 6. Financial assistance provided by Pathfinder Bank and the COIDA.

Oswego County Federal Credit Union, acquired a 2,284 sf closed bank building in the city of Fulton to open its fourth location in Oswego County. Invested $1,083,000 and will create 11 jobs. Financial  assistance provided by the COIDA.

Happy Hearts Childcare, Inc. is a new start-up daycare center for children 6 weeks through preschool ages that located in the town of Scriba. Invested over $168,000 to convert a 2,389 sf commercial building and will create 5 jobs. Financial assistance was provided by NBT Bank, a SBA 504 loan through OOC, Inc. and the COIDA.

Debbie’s Hash & Mash Cafe opened a new restaurant in the town of Volney. The 40-seat restaurant is a woman-owned business. Invested $134,000 and will create 6 jobs. Financial assistance provided by Empower Federal Credit Union and the COIDA.

Sunoco, Inc. completed the $1.8 million scale house project and announced plans for another $9.1 million expansion for malt barley production at the ethanol plant located in the town of Volney. Nearly $11 million will be invested in the projects and 18 jobs will be created. Financial assistance is being provided by ESDC/CNYREDC and the COIDA.

Dollar General constructed a new store on a 1.34 acre site purchased from the COIDA in the town of Minetto that was part of the former Columbia Mills site. Invested more than $1.2 million and will create 10 jobs.

Universal Metal Works, LLC, completed a 20,000 sf expansion to its manufacturing facility in the city of Fulton. UMW uses half of the space for its spray painting, assembly and custom metal fabrication business. The other half is being used by Davis-Standard for its blow molding operations that were relocated from New Jersey. Invested $2.4 million and will create 9 new jobs. Financial assistance provided by Pathfinder Bank, COIDA and OOC, Inc.

Kleis Equipment, LLC, had a 2,400 sf expansion for shop space to prep machines for sale. The company, located in the town of Constantia, is in the outdoor power equipment sales and service business. Invested $132,000 and will create 2 jobs. Financial assistance was provided by the COIDA.

Herb Phillipson’s held its grand opening for its new store located in the city of Oswego. The Oswego location is the ninth store in the state. The “Outfitter for the Great Outdoors” will create 30 FTE jobs.

Byrne Dairy has built the largest convenience store, within its chain, in the town of Schroeppel on a 2 acre site. The store is 7,000 sf. Byrne Dairy operates 53 stores. OOC provided assistance in coordinating with the NYS DEC and the village of Phoenix on resolving matters related to waste water. Invested approximately $1.4 million and will create 10-15 jobs.

Upstate Energy Jobs Coalition was formed by the COIDA to support the nuclear power industry in Upstate NY and to support a solution to save the FitzPatrick plant. The UEJ Coalition is a broad-based coalition of governmental, business, labor, education and economic development leaders throughout Upstate New York. Primary efforts in 2015 centered on developing strategies to bring attention to the economic significance of the plants to the County, the CNY and Upstate regions and delivering messaging to the Public Service Commission and the Governor’s Office whereby nuclear power would be included in State energy policies. Another component of UEJ’s mission was to expand the voice of the UEJ Coalition by growing its membership.

CNY REDC was one of three winners of the $500 million Upstate Revitalization Initiative (URI) competition. The Oswego County based projects identified for funding represented 16 projects, 145 new and retained jobs, $5.7 million in funding and $109.5 million in total project costs. The types of projects receiving funding include manufacturing, business incubation, tourism, education, workforce training, feasibility studies, parks and waterfront improvements.
Oswego County Micro-Enterprise Program provided classroom instruction designed to assist entrepreneurs starting and/or expanding a business. The program is sponsored by the Fulton CDA, Oswego CDO, OOC, Inc., and SUNY Oswego Office of Business and Community Relations in partnership with the SUNY Oswego SBDC. In 2015, 3 training classes were held with 37 participants graduating.

Pathfinder Courts is undergoing a $24 million upgrade through privatization of the former 110-unit public housing facility in the city of Fulton. Emery Street Housing Development Fund Company is the new not-for-profit owner of the housing complex and funding is being provided through several state and federal programs.

SUNY Oswego Start-Up NY designated Designer Hardwood Flooring CNY, Inc., a manufacturer of “engineered panelized flooring systems,” located in 18,000 sf leased from the COIDA in the city of Oswego, to be the first Start-Up NY partnership in Oswego County. The company plans to create 17 jobs.

Treadwell also outlined several future projects and initiatives in progress including the Incubator development at the site of the former Price Chopper in the city of Oswego, the development of Champlain Commons in the town of Scriba, the expansion of Novelis Corporation in the town of Scriba, the development of the Central New York Raceway Park in the town of Hastings, the expansion of Allen Chase Enterprises in the town of Scriba, the expansion of the Center for Instruction, Technology and Innovation (CiTi) in the town of Schroeppel, the expansion of Tailwater Lodge in the town of Albion, the redevelopment of Camelot Lodge/Cahill Landing in the city of Oswego, the Downtown Revitalization Initiative in the cities of Fulton and Oswego, the COIDA Incubator Project in the city of Oswego, CNY REDC Round 6, Start-Up NY Opportunities and the Oswego County Land Bank.

Three business organizations, a successful entrepreneur and a long-standing economic development advocate were also honored for significant contributions to economic development and job creation in Oswego County.

The Ally Award for 2016 was presented to the Upstate Energy Jobs Coalition, in recognition and appreciation of its outstanding contribution and dedication to preserving the economic benefits and environmental benefits of the nuclear industry in Oswego County and for Upstate New York; for its formation of a diverse and broad-based coalition of government, business, labor, education and economic development leaders throughout Upstate New York who have supported and emphasized the critical role that the nuclear power industry plays in being economic engines that drive our communities; for its effort to have nuclear power recognized as an integral component in the State’s Clean Energy Standard as the most significant producer of carbon-free electricity by providing over 61% of the State’s supply; for being an active and involved supporter of the Clean Energy Standard’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40% and increasing generation from clean and renewable energy sources by 50% by 2030; for its commitment to save the economic benefits of the nuclear plants operating in Upstate New York, including Ginna in Wayne County, Nine Mile Point and FitzPatrick in Oswego County that account for 25,000 direct and secondary jobs, that contribute annually $3.2 billion in State GDP, $144 million in state and local tax revenues and helps to avoid over 16 million tons of CO2 emissions.

The Business Excellence Award for 2016 was presented to Universal Metal Works in recognition for demonstrating and implementing a collaborative effort between two industry leaders that has resulted in a significant economic development impact for the city of Fulton and Oswego County; for investing over $2.4 million to expand the Fulton plant by 20,000 square feet to accommodate an expansion of Universal Metal Works as well as providing space for Davis-Standard to relocate its blow molding operations from New Jersey to Fulton; for improving efficiency and expanding capacity and services for Universal Metal Works’ custom metal fabrication business that offers more than 300 years of combined fabrication experience; for its reputation for making products that are recognized industry wide for quality, strength and reliability; and for employing 25 people and doing business in Oswego County, NY.

The 2016 Jobs Award, recognizing significant capital investment as well as job creation and retention, was presented to Eagle Beverage Co., Inc. in recognition and appreciation of its significant contribution and commitment to the Oswego County economy by constructing a new 62,000 square foot state of the art distribution center in the town of Oswego to consolidate warehousing for its beverage distribution business for more than 30 different beverage suppliers that serve Cayuga, Jefferson, Lewis, Oswego and Seneca counties; for investing over $5.6 million; for growing its workforce to 113 employees representing a 24% increase in jobs since 2012; for being a leader in its core business of beer distribution; and for the successful transition to the third generation of family ownership.

Atom and Falecia Avery received OOC’s 2016 Dee Heckethorn Entrepreneur Award in recognition and appreciation of exceptional entrepreneurial spirit, creativity, and dedication to fostering economic, community and tourism growth in Oswego County through diverse real estate development activities; for transforming the former historic Knights of Columbus building in the city of Oswego into the Beacon Hotel, a 14-room boutique style hotel; for redeveloping the former Black Walnut Inn in the town of Scriba into the All Seasons Inn; for partnering in the conversion of the former Loretto Health and Rehabilitation Center into The Gardens by Morningstar, a 106-bed assisted living complex in the city of Oswego; for operating, since 1999, Avery Rental Properties providing housing for students, families and business professionals; for being the recipient of the U.S. SBA’s Small Business Excellence Award in 2014 for the Beacon Hotel; for being outstanding supporters of community events and programs such as Habitat for Humanity, Oswego Harborfest, Oswego Youth Hockey and the Oswego YMCA Skate Park; and for serving on the Board of Directors of Oswego County Federal Credit Union and Oswego Health.

Thomas W. Schneider was honored with the 2016 Martin Rose Economic Developer Merit Award in recognition and appreciation of his outstanding record of exhibiting leadership, expertise, support and cooperation in helping to advance economic and community development efforts that have enhanced the business climate and quality of life in Oswego County and in Central New York; for his dedication and commitment serving in the financial services industry for 32 years; for serving as President and CEO of Pathfinder Bank since 2000; for serving on numerous boards and organizations that are vital to economic development and the quality of life of the area such as past chairman of the New York Bankers Association and Oswego Health, past president of Springside at Seneca Hill, board member of the Shineman Foundation and WCNY; for serving on the Financial Services Committee for the Upstate Revitalization Initiative and for being an adjunct professor at SUNY Oswego.

The OOC board of directors re-elected board members Barbara Bateman, NBT Bank; Eric Behling, Behling Orchards; Thomas Greco, Fulton Savings Bank; George Joyce, Laser Transit; Edward Mervine, Pathfinder Bank; and Michael Quenville, Pathfinder Bank.

The OOC board of directors also elected MC King, managing director of Dynegy; and Mike Egan, Board President for Oswego Industries to the board.

A new slate of officers was also elected including Barbara Bateman, NBT Bank, as president; Ellen Holst, Oswego County Opportunities, as vice president; Michael Quenville, Pathfinder Bank, as treasurer; and Eric Behling, Behling Orchards, as secretary.

For more information about economic development services in Oswego County, call OOC at 343-1545 or visit