OSWEGO, NY – Operation Oswego County held its 62nd annual meeting at the SUNY Oswego Campus Center on Tuesday.
Kevin LaMontagne, president of the OOC board of directors, welcomed more than 160 representatives of businesses, government, education, labor and other ally organizations to the meeting.
Keynote presenter Zelko Kirincich, executive director of the Port of Oswego Authority, highlighted plans to increase activity at the port, efforts to market the port and several enhancement projects that are scheduled to begin in 2014, including improved rail access and service, improved marina construction, and the installation of solar panels that will enable the port to be energy independent.
As the first port of call in the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System, the Port of Oswego is part of more than 2,300 miles of water transportation from Duluth, Minnesota to the Atlantic Ocean and a key logistical asset for Oswego County.
L. Michael Treadwell, executive director of OOC, reported that in 2013, projects assisted by OOC resulted in the creation or retention of 920 jobs with over $263 million in capital investment associated with 50 new, expanded or retained facilities.
Several of those projects were outlined at the meeting including:
• Northland Filter International, located in the Lake Ontario Industrial Park in the City of Oswego, purchased and installed two new production lines to produce low to medium efficiency air filtration products to compliment their existing HEPA filtration line. The $650,000 project will create 25-30 new jobs. Financial assistance is being provided by Empire State Development Corporation and Operation Oswego County.
• Southern Graphic Systems is expanding in the Oswego County Industrial Park in the Town of Schroeppel by adding new production machinery and equipment to expand its capacity to manufacture printing engravings, including upgrades to the chrome and copper plating lines. The $2.2 million expansion will create 6 jobs and retain 26. The project received funding assistance from Empire State Development Corporation and the County of Oswego IDA.
• K&N’s Foods USA acquired the 280,000-square-foot former BirdsEye plant in the City of Fulton. The $4 million project involved renovating and equipping the facility in order to manufacture a wide variety of frozen, valued-added, Halal chicken products, under the brand license from K&N’s Foods Limited, Pakistan. This is the first North American facility for K&N’s, a popular international brand. Assistance was provided by the County of Oswego IDA, Empire State Development Corporation, M&T Bank and Operation Oswego County.
• Pathfinder Industries, a women-owned manufacturer of large scale sheet metal and machine work, rebuilt their business in the City of Fulton after their former building was destroyed by fire. The $4.1 million project retained 26 jobs. Funding assistance for the 18,288 sf plant was provided by the County of Oswego IDA.
• Novelis Corporation is adding a third aluminum finishing line and expanding its automotive scrap recycling operation in the Town of Scriba. The $200 million projects are expected to create another 90 jobs. Assistance for the projects is being provided by the Empire State Development Corporation and the County of Oswego IDA.
• Felix Schoeller North America, located in the Town of Richland, acquired new machinery and equipment, purchased inventory, and made renovations to expand their world class paper converting operation. The $6.35 million project created over 150 jobs. Assistance was provided by Empire State Development Corporation, the County of Oswego IDA and Operation Oswego County.
• Laser Transit, a third party logistics company located in the Village of Lacona, acquired equipment capable of lifting 50,000 pounds to handle heavy coils. The $338,000 project created two jobs. Assistance was provided by Pathfinder Bank and the County of Oswego IDA.
• Murphy’s Automotive Solutions built a new, 3,300 sf state-of-the-art automotive repair facility in the Town of Oswego. The $450,000 project created four jobs. Assistance was provided by Pathfinder Bank and the County of Oswego IDA.
• Patterson Warehousing, Inc. added a 21,000 sf expansion on their facility in the City of Fulton increasing their warehousing capacity to 148,000 sf. The $1.3 million project retained 44 jobs. Financial assistance was provided by the County of Oswego IDA.
• FX Caprara is constructing two automotive dealership buildings (Ford and Chevrolet), each 18,500 sf, adjacent to I-81 in the Village of Pulaski. The $7 million project is expected to create an additional 40 jobs. Assistance was provided by the County of Oswego IDA and Watertown Savings Bank.
• Premier Living Suites opened its new 30,000 sf student housing complex in the City of Oswego. The $3.4 million project provides housing for 71 students and was financed by of the City of Oswego CDO, Pathfinder Bank and the County of Oswego IDA.
• BioSpherix, Ltd. acquired and are renovating a closed 40,000 sf elementary school in the APW School District in the Village of Parish, which they will use for manufacturing and R&D for the production of laboratory equipment. The $571,000 project will retain 56 and create 12 jobs. Assistance was provided by M&T Bank and the County of Oswego IDA.
• Eagle Beverage Company is expanding their facility in the Town of Oswego with a new 62,300 sf warehouse and distribution center. The $5.6 million project will retain 54 and create eight jobs. Assistance was provided by Comerica Bank and the County of Oswego IDA.
• Dr. Padma Ram acquired a 26,000 sf building in the City of Oswego, which has been renovated to expand her medical practice. The $1.6 million project will create 14 jobs. Assistance was provided by Wells Fargo Bank, the City of Oswego CDO and the County of Oswego IDA.
• Fulton Tool Company, in the City of Fulton, acquired a horizontal machining center to address new business in the castings and forging product line such as commercial water pumps, remote generators and non-commercial aircraft products. The $209,000 project created three jobs. Funding for the project was provided by Pathfinder Bank and the County of Oswego IDA.
• New Moon Telescopes, located in the Town of West Monroe, designs and manufactures large, portable and precise Newtonian telescopes. The owner is a graduate of the Oswego County Micro-Enterprise Training Program. The $70,000 project included the addition of storage/warehousing and equipment to expand the home-based business and created two jobs. Financing was provided by the County of Oswego IDA and the CNY Enterprise Development Corporation.
• Hillside Plaza Laundry, a woman-owned business in the City of Oswego, acquired new equipment and made renovations to help improve energy and water efficiencies. The $80,800 project created one job. Assistance was provided by the County of Oswego IDA.
• SAM North America, a division of Sung An Machinery of South Korea, acquired a 10,000 sf building in the Oswego County Industrial Park in the Town of Schroeppel. The facility houses a pilot scale co-extrusion laminating and film casting machine for use in R&D, as well as new product development and servicing of flexible packaging equipment. This new location will serve as their corporate headquarters in North America. The $2.2 million project will retain four and create 10 jobs. Assistance was provided by the County of Oswego IDA and Key Bank.
• Sunoco, Inc. invested approximately $2 million making infrastructure improvements and equipment upgrades to its ethanol plant in the Town of Volney. Assistance was provided by the County of Oswego IDA.
• Ontario Shores R.V. Park, Inc. was provided financing assistance to acquire the former Rainbow Shores RV Park in the Town of Richland. The 34 acre park has 213 campsites and 12 rental units, plus full water, electric, sewer and cable hookups. Amenities also include a swimming pool, playgrounds, basketball and volleyball courts. The $1.5 million project will create four jobs and financial assistance was provided by First Niagara Bank and a SBA 504 loan from Operation Oswego County, Inc.
• Tailwater Lodge is a 42-room, 32,000 sf hotel, corporate retreat and fishing resort set on 35-acres with 1,700 feet of riverfront access along the Salmon River in the Town of Albion. The $4.5 million project created 30 full-time and 24 part-time jobs. Assistance was provided by the County of Oswego IDA and Pathfinder Bank.
• Mother Earth Baby, located in the City of Oswego, offers baby products, parenting resources, cloth diaper delivery and laundering services and education classes. The $200,000 project created four jobs. Funding assistance was provided by the Oswego CDO, Pathfinder Bank and the County of Oswego IDA.
• ServiceMaster Janitorial is a licensed, locally owned and operated franchise of ServiceMaster Clean, the largest janitorial services provider in the world. The franchise is located in Lacona and services Oswego County. The owner is a graduate of the Oswego County Micro-Enterprise Training Program. The $60,000 project created five jobs. Funding was provided by the County of Oswego IDA.
Treadwell noted that, over the last few years, there have been six projects representing significant foreign investment in Oswego County including SAM North America (South Korea), Teti Bakery USA (Canada), K&N’s Foods USA (Pakistan), Novelis (India), Huhtamaki (Finland), and Felix Schoeller (Germany).
These projects represent a total investment of $434 million and will create/or retain 640 manufacturing jobs in Oswego County.
Treadwell also outlined several future projects and initiatives in progress including the Next Great Idea Business Plan Competition in Oswego County, the expansion of Fred Raynor Ford in the City of Fulton, the redevelopment of a vacant hardware store in Town of Hastings by Design Concepts and Enterprises, the development of an office/warehouse on a 3.2 acre lot in the Airport Industrial Park by Doty Contracting in the Town of Volney, the development of the Central New York Raceway Park in the Town of Hastings and the redevelopment of a vacant Phoenix CSD school into Pennelville Senior Living Center in the Town of Schroeppel.
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 2014 was presented to Empire State Development Corporation, in recognition and appreciation of its significant contribution to the economic development process in Oswego County.
Empire State Development Corporation was recognized for its outstanding support in helping to finance economic development projects since 2010 that will result in over $400 million in capital investment and the creation and retention of 950 jobs for such businesses as Central New York Raceway Park, Northland Filter, Southern Graphic Systems, Novelis Corporation, Felix Schoeller North America, Design Concepts and Enterprises, K&N’s Foods USA, Stevedore Lofts, Lake Ontario Event and Conference Center, Kallet Theater, Champlain Valley Specialty and Teti Bakery USA.
They were also recognized as an essential partner in advancing and diversifying the economy in Oswego County.
The Business Excellence Award for 2014 was presented to Pathfinder Industries in recognition for demonstrating adaptation, commitment and perseverance in overcoming a devastating fire on March 9, 2013, to rebuild a new 18,228 sf plant in the City of Fulton, for the outstanding and dedicated leadership of the company that preserved 26 manufacturing jobs and that has continued the life of the third-generation family owned business, for its outstanding reputation of providing excellent customer service, quality parts and on-time delivery and for doing business in Fulton and Oswego County for 43 years.
The 2014 Jobs Award, recognizing significant capital investment as well as job creation and retention, was presented to Felix Schoeller North America for its significant contribution to the Oswego County and Central New York economies by investing in a $6.3 million expansion of its world class paper converting center in the Town of Richland, for creating more than 150 new manufacturing jobs, for being the 4th largest manufacturing employer in the County with 290 employees and for its 50-year history of doing business in Oswego County.
Gregory A. Furlong and Patrick D. Furlong Jr. received OOC’s 2014 Dee Heckethorn Entrepreneur Award.
The Furlongs were recognized for their exceptional entrepreneurial spirit, creativity, and dedication to fostering economic and community growth through excellence in commercial and housing construction, being a catalyst to advancing Premier Living Suites, a 40,000 sf, 18 apartment student housing project in the City of Oswego, and for spearheading modular construction for housing and commercial use via Furdi’s Homes, a family owned business started in 1979 and run by Gregory and Patrick since 2002.
They were also recognized as owners of numerous rental properties including Utica Court Office Complex and developers of two major housing subdivisions that will represent 45 lots in the City of Oswego.
Ann C. Gilpin was honored with the 2014 Martin Rose Economic Developer Merit Award for her outstanding record of exhibiting leadership, vision, passion and dedication to advancing the transformation of healthcare services in Oswego County.
Ann was recognized for serving as president and CEO of the largest private employer in Oswego County, Oswego Health, with more than 1,200 employees, for expanding access to high quality healthcare services with the construction of the Fulton and Central Square medical centers and the expansion of Oswego Hospital, for serving on numerous boards and committees that play a vital role in community and economic development such as Operation Oswego County, Inc., CenterState CEO, Central NY Area Health Education Center and the Advisory Board for SUNY Oswego’s MBA Program in Health Services Administration, and for playing an integral role in improving the quality of life in Oswego County.
The OOC board of directors re-elected board members Pete Cullinan, Entergy; William Galloway, Century-21 Galloway Realty; Ann Gilpin, Oswego Health; Jeffery Grimshaw, SUNY Oswego Office of Business & Community Relations; Theresa Himes, Bosco & Geers Food Market; Daniel Murphy, Integrys Energy Services; Bruce Phelps, Fulton Tool Company; and Nancy Weber, Mexican Pride Farm.
The OOC board of directors also elected Zelko Kirincich, executive director of the Port of Oswego Authority ; John Kleis, owner of Kleis Equipment; John Sharkey IV, vice president of Universal Metal Works; and Mike Leszczynski, owner of Dynamic Automotive & Home Accessories to the board.
A new slate of officers was also elected including Kevin LaMontagne, The Fulton Companies, as president; Barbara Bateman, NBT Bank, as vice president; Thomas Greco, Fulton Savings Bank, as treasurer; and Michael Quenville, Pathfinder Bank, as secretary.
For more information about economic development services in Oswego County, call OOC at 343-1545 or visit www.oswegocounty.org