OOC Presents Annual Activity Summary, Achievement Awards

OSWEGO, NY – Operation Oswego County held its 58th annual business meeting Friday at the SUNY Oswego Campus Center.

Nancy Bellow, president of the OOC board of directors, welcomed more than 150 representatives of business, government, education, labor and other ally organizations to the meeting.

The keynote speaker was Gary Center.

Gary Center speaks at Operation Oswego County's 58th annual business meeting.
Gary Center speaks at Operation Oswego County's 58th annual business meeting.

The new facility manager for the Sunoco ethanol manufacturing plant in the town of Volney updated the attendees about the progress to date and plans for the 100-million-gallons-per-year plant.

“We’re very close to getting the plant up and running,” Center said, adding they just received the first train load of corn two weeks ago and the second last Thursday.

The Fulton plant will make 100 million gallons a year, which is 25 percent of the ethanol Sunoco uses, according to Center.

Sunoco acquired the plant last year from Northeast Biofuels.

L. Michael Treadwell, executive director of OOC, reported that in 2009, projects assisted by the agency resulted in the creation or retention of 659 jobs with more than $99 million in capital investment associated with 77 new, expanded or retained facilities.

Several of those projects were outlined during the meeting.

Among them were:

Steven’s Auto Store expanded its automotive repair and restoration business and acquired a 7,200 square foot building in the city of Fulton. Five jobs will be created. The project involves renovations to the building and was funded by the County of Oswego Industrial Development Agency.

Oswego Sub Shop expanded its sandwich / sub restaurant business in the city of Oswego. The project involves the addition of a bakery to service the needs of the business, the addition of a catering service and building renovations. Funding assistance was provided by a SBA 504 loan through OOC and the County of Oswego IDA.

Sabona’s Café, a new restaurant in the town of Richland, acquired the former Waffle Works. OOC assisted with securing a SBA 7a loan to create 14 jobs.

Bardy’s 4 Season Tire will expand its automotive repair business and construct a new 6,000 square foot building on a 17-acre site in Sandy Creek. In business since 2006, Bardy’s will also continue to focus on its tire repair service and sales business. Funding assistance provided by a SBA 504 loan through OOC and the County of Oswego IDA.

Pulaski Early Learning Center was assisted by the County of Oswego IDA. The agency helped the not-for-profit with debt restructuring by refinancing two prior loans.

Otis Technologies gun cleaning system and research and development company acquired and renovated a 20,000 square foot building in the Oswego County Industrial Park in the town of Schroeppel. The $1.3 million project received funding assistance from the County of Oswego IDA and is projected to cerate 15 jobs.

Oneida Lake Ready-Mix is a new company located in the town of West Monroe that will specialize in the production of concrete for commercial and residential use, as well as heavy equipment repairs and sales. The $1.6 million, 7,300 square foot facility will employ 29 people with an estimated annual payroll of $800,000. Funding assistance was provided by the County of Oswego IDA.

Sunoco acquired the former Northeast Biofuels plant in the town of Volney. The company will put the facility in full production of 100 million gallons of ethanol per year in 2010 and projects the creation of 69 jobs at the plant, with an annual payroll of around $4.5 million.

BioSpherix expanded its tech manufacturing and research and development business in the village of Lacona, which targets specialized needs in cell research, cell therapy and regenerative medicine. The expansion will result in the retention of 37 jobs and creation of 30 jobs with an estimated $700,000 in new annual payroll. The project will be funded by the County of Oswego IDA.

The Bake Shop Eatery is a new retail eating /bakery business in the village of Mexico. The woman-owned business created five jobs and received funding assistance from the County of Oswego IDA. The owner is a Micro-Enterprise Training Program graduate.

Oswego Hamilton Home Phase II in the city of Oswego involves the renovation of 59 affordable housing units and expansion of a community room. The $14 million project received funding assistance from the County of Oswego IDA.

Healthway Home Products relocated and expanded to the former 18,000 square foot Ontario Iron Works facility in the village of Pulaski. Renovations of the historic structure will house the company’s headquarters and air filter manufacturing operations. The expansion will create 20 new jobs. OOC assisted the company with securing financial assistance from Empire State Development Corp.

Oswego County Opportunities’ Senior Nutrition Kitchen project was established in a 6,582 square foot renovated building in the village of Mexico. More than 2,000 seniors will be served and provided with nutrition, recreation and health information. The $1.4 million project created two jobs and retained 26. It was funded by the County of Oswego IDA.

Dunkin Donuts new 1,980 square foot store in the city of Fulton / town of Granby is the seventh Dunkin Donuts to be established in Oswego County. The store features new architectural design and its location selection in the Fulton Commons near Cayuga Community College was assisted by the County of Oswego IDA.

Fulton Thermal, a manufacturer of commercial and industrial heat transfer equipment located in the town of Richland, expanded its product lines with the addition of equipment. The expansion created 13 jobs. OOC assisted the company with securing assistance from the Development Authority of the North Country.

Treadwell also outlined several future projects and initiatives in progress including expansions at Huhtamaki in Fulton, Novelis in the town of Scriba, Fulton Thermal in Richland, Fulton Medical Center in Fulton; as well as new projects including Seaway Lofts, Best Western Conference Center and Stevedore Lofts in Oswego and Distribution Centers of America in the town of Scriba.

Economic development initiatives presented included the $1 million USDA Intermediary Relending Program, The Next Great Idea $25,000 Oswego County Business Plan Competition and a targeted marketing effort by OOC to reutilize the assets of the former New York Chocolate and Confections plant in Fulton.

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 2010 was presented to National Grid, recognizing it as an ally organization in the economic development process in Oswego County. National Grid was recognized for providing $134,390 in funding to complete a master plan for energy asset management and development at Riverview Business Park in the town of Volney and for consistently providing funding and prospect outreach assistance to OOC to help enhance the marketing of Oswego County for economic development.

The Business Excellence Award for 2010 was presented to Healthway Home Products for its ability to adapt, innovate and grow in a competitive business environment to become a global leader in the production of state-of-the-art air cleaning products, for acquiring and renovating a vacant 18,000 square foot historic structure, Ontario Iron Work and for expanding the company’s manufacturing, research and design and corporate headquarters operations in the village of Pulaski and for its commitment to enhancing the quality of life through the creation of indoor air quality solutions.

The 2010 Jobs Award, recognizing significant capital investment as well as job creation and retention, was presented to Oswego Health for being the second largest private employer in Oswego County with more than 920 employees and for its recent expansions to Oswego Hospital and future expansion of the Fulton Medical Center which represent a combined capital investment of more than $70 million to enhance access to quality health care for the citizens of Oswego County.

Heidi Hazen-Forte was the recipient of OOC’s 2010 Dee Heckethorn Entrepreneur Award. She was recognized for her Entrepreneurial spirit and determination in establishing am innovative business, an indoor sports facility tailored for girls’ fast-pitch softball training and preparation for successful college recruitment and for taking considerable risk in building a new 6,400 square foot building in the Rich Corporate Park in the town of Hastings.

Morris Sorbello was honored with the 2010 Martin Rose Economic Developer Merit Award for his record of establishing outstanding leadership, support and cooperation in furthering economic development efforts in Oswego County through his service as an Oswego County legislator since 1995, during which he served several years as chairman of the Oswego County Legislature and as chair for the county’s Economic Development and Planning Committee, as  a board member of the County of Oswego Industrial Development Agency since 1999 and for serving as an ex-officio board member of Operation Oswego County.

The OOC board of directors re-elected board members Barb Bateman, Alliance Bank; Nancy Bellow, SUNY Oswego Office of Business and Community Relations; Tom Greco, Fulton Savings Bank; George Joyce, Laser Transit; Ed Mervine, Pathfinder Bank; Mike Quenville, Pathfinder Bank; Ken Sherman, Sherman, Vincent Associates and Dave Vickery, Vickery Insurance.

The board also elected Eric Behling, owner of Behling Orchards and Kevin LaMontagne, CFO of The Fulton Companies to the board.

Retiring from the board were Mike Pollock of Fulton Savings Bank and Alan Horna, former CFO for Oswego Wire.

A new slate of officers was elected including Bellow as president; Llyod Buddy Stemple, retired Novelis, as vice president; Bateman as treasurer; and Roy Clark, Dunkin Donuts, as secretary.

For more information about economic Development services in Oswego County, call OOC at 343-1545 or visit www.oswegocounty.org