News Archive

Ogdensburg council unanimously approves Newell building sale

2017-03-14 12:14:26

pOGDENSBURG — City Council unanimously approved the sale of the former Newell Manufacturing building to a Canadian electronics and technology company promising to hire more than 40 workers over the next three to five years./ppThe deal to bring Canexsys Networks, Inc., to Ogdensburg was brokered by city officials and members of the St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency./ppCanexsys specializes in the manufacture of electronic circuit boards, connectors, metal fabrication and injection mold plastic, according to officials involved with the deal./ppCanexsys will occupy the Newell property this spring. Ogdensburg City Council authorized sale of the property at their meeting Monday for $66,734. The property was acquired by the city in 2012 for non-payment of taxes./ppOfficials with the IDA say an affiliate of Canexsys will develop the property as part of the $3.7 million project to revitalize and reuse the former Newell Manufacturing building./ppThe company’s decision to locate its operation in Ogdensburg was a culmination of economic development efforts among the IDA, the city of Ogdensburg, National Grid, Empire State Development, the Development Authority of the North Country and the New York Power Authority, according to officials./ppThe IDA is working with its development partners to finalize a package of local and regional funding assistance to supplement over $2 million in equity and private financing that the company is bringing to the project, the IDA said in a press release. Empire State Development has offered the company up to $250,000 in performance-based Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits. The New York Power Authority is also working with the company for an allocation of low-cost power from the Preservation Power program. National Grid has also invited the company to apply for assistance through its economic development programs for the revitalization of the Newell property, officials said./ppCanexsys Networks, Inc. is a full service, vertically integrated electrical mechanical manufacturer. With over 20 years electronic assembly experience, Canexsys offers turn-key PCB Assembly, Plastic Injection Molding and light Metal Fabrication./ppCanexsys’ partner companies include engineering and design services, electronic assembly, component manufacturing and logistics, according to company officials./pp“Canexsys is very excited about our new facility in Ogdensburg and the possibilities with the new building,” Canexsys Vice President James McShane said. “The enthusiasm we experienced from the IDA and business community has been tremendous. We look forward to becoming a valuable member of the St. Lawrence County business community.”/ppSt. Lawrence County IDA Chief Executive Officer Patrick J. Kelly said he and other development officials are thrilled to welcome Canexsys to St. Lawrence County./pp“This project not only creates jobs with a high quality firm, it returns a vacant facility in the center of the community to productive use, building the tax base and furthering Ogdensburg as a cross-border business destination for Canadian companies,” Mr. Kelly said./ppOgdensburg City Manager Sarah Purdy echoed Mr. Kelly’s sentiments./pp“We look forward to assisting them in any way we can,” she said “The city is also very grateful to our partners in this endeavor: the St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency, Empire State Development Corporation, the Development Authority of the North Country, the New York Power Authority and National Grid. Bringing Canexsys to Ogdensburg would not be possible without their assistance.”/ppIn October of 2015, the Industrial Development Agency, along with the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority, the American Chamber of Commerce in Canada, and Commercial Service of the United States Embassy in Ottawa hosted an “Expand to the United States” workshop at the Dobisky Visitors Center in Ogdensburg. Executives from Canexsys attended the event and have been working with IDA officials since that time, officials said./p

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Lowville Ready To Handle Kraft-Heinz Expansion

2016-12-21 12:45:27

By next month Lowville's work to prepare for the Kraft-Heinz expansion will be complete.

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Canadian manufacturer to create 15 jobs at Ogdensburg Commerce Park

2016-12-21 12:44:35

pOGDENSBURG — A Canadian company that manufactures wiring harnesses will open a branch in Ogdensburg in February. The move is expected to create 15 jobs over the next three years./ppOttawa-based Flexus Electronics is a manufacturer of wiring harnesses, cables and electro-mechanical assemblies, according to a news release from the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority./ppFlexus Electronics was incorporated in 1995 and originally provided wire harnesses, cables and electro-mechanical assemblies to the rail industry, according to the company’s website. Since its founding, the company’s customer base has expanded into servicing other industries including the aerospace, military and medical fields./ppThe company is described as “a full service supplier that provides their customers with total manufacturing support from engineering prototypes through to final volume production.” /ppFlexus Electronics will begin operations in Ogdensburg in February at the OBPA’s Commerce Park. The company initially plans to hire four employees, adding 11 more in the next three years, according to the OBPA./ppIn a statement, the company’s general manager said expanding into Ogdensburg will help the company fulfill its contracts that require a U.S. presence to complete./pp“This new facility will open up new business opportunities for Flexus with companies we supply that need to meet buy-America requirements for U.S. military contracts and public transportation projects,” Ron Ringuette, general manager of Flexus Electronics and Flexus USA, said. /ppOBPA officials said the company’s decision to develop a manufacturer base in Ogdensburg will provide an ideal location from which the company can further expand, should it choose. /pp“We are glad they chose Ogdensburg for their project, and look forward to working with them on this and future expansion projects,” said John A. Rishe, director of Commercial and Industrial Development./ppThe OBPA Commerce Park is already home to a number of U.S. and Canadian firms, including Med-Eng, which makes bomb suits for the U.S. military; Ansen Corp., an electronic components manufacturer; and DeFelsko, a manufacturer of electronic instruments; Tulmar, a U.S. military supplier and third-party manufacturer for Canadian firms; and T-Base Communications, a printer of large-format and braille documents./ppBusinesses at the Commerce Park employ more than 500 people in St. Lawrence County, according to the OBPA./p

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$1.2 million in seed money awarded for 40-acre Ogdensburg greenhouse

2016-12-13 13:05:40

pOGDENSBURG — Building a 40-acre greenhouse on surplus land at the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center is an ideal use for the property, developers say, given its proximity to State Route 37, the Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge and the availability of steam heat from a cogeneration plant on the psychiatric center grounds. /ppThe proposed high-tech, year-round facility could also benefit from the purchase of discounted electricity available from the New York Power Authority, according to officials involved with the project./ppEmpire State Development officials announced last week that Confluent Energies, a Massachusetts company specializing in advanced technology greenhouses, will be awarded $1.2 million through this year’s round of Regional Economic Development Council awards to help build a state-of-the-art agricultural facility near Route 37 and the St. Lawrence River./ppThe Confluent Energies greenhouse initiative in Ogdensburg is one of the private business development plans being given a thumbs up this year by state officials. /ppEmpire State Development, the St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency, and Ogdensburg officials have been working with Confluent Energies for the past two years, according to St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency Director Patrick Kelly./ppThe company is proposing a multi-million-dollar investment to build a year-round hydroponic greenhouse on surplus land at the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center, according to a 2015 REDC report highlighting the project. The city of Ogdensburg is in the final stages of negotiations with the state over transfer of the surplus property, known as Parcel A, on the psychiatric center grounds. The city is hoping to eventually convince the state to turn over hundreds of acres of idle property at the psychiatric center campus./ppMr. Kelly said the property’s location for a high-tech greenhouse is considered ideal by the company and by development officials because it is directly across from the Canadian market via the Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge and has access to renewable energy sources through a cogeneration plant operated by AG-Energy on the psychiatric center grounds, and through a NYPA program that offers north country businesses discounted electrical rates./pp“There is the tie-in with the excess property, the potential for steam heat, the availability of low-cost electricity and a project developer with whom we’ve had a positive history,” Mr. Kelly said. “There are a lot of positive, potential attributes that we hope will come together to make this project happen.”/ppMr. Kelly said spearheading the greenhouse project for Confluent Energies is Dennis Brunell, the former president of the now idled Newton Falls Paper Mill. /pp“He had been the plant manager for the Newton Falls Paper Mill facility,” Mr. Kelly said. “He knows the area and we have worked with him before. He is a quality individual with a proven ability to move projects forward.”/ppA time frame for the greenhouse has not been identified, according to Mr. Kelly. He said the county IDA’s involvement so far has only been to help facilitate the project./ppThe 40-acre, year-round greenhouse would grow leafy green vegetable hydroponically to be shipped to U.S. and Canadian markets within a day’s drive of the facility, according to officials. The facility would market fresh produce to metropolitan markets across the northeastern U.S. as well as population centers in Ontario and Quebec, Canada./p

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Massena trustees agree to allow NYPA to repurpose funds to attract new businesses to region

2016-11-03 14:32:21

pMASSENA — Village trustees have agreed to let the New York Power Authority repurpose some funds designated under the 10-year review of the 2003 settlement agreement to help bring new businesses into the area./ppThe funds — $10 million annually for three years — are currently being used to provide reduced electric costs for businesses and active dairy farms in the Preservation Power region of St. Lawrence, Jefferson and Franklin counties. Funding for the Temporary North Country Power Discount Program ends in 2017, Mayor Timmy J. Currier told trustees Tuesday. It covers 858 farms in St. Lawrence County, /pp“That money is going to farms to reduce their electricity costs. That part of the agreement expires next year,” he said./ppInstead, NYPA officials want to use the balance of the funding — $2 million a year over a five-year period — to support a collaborative marketing effort to bring new Preservation Power customers to the region./pp“NYPA approached us. They want to repurpose some remaining funds. Instead of spending that $10 million in that one year, the balance would be spread out over five years,” Mr. Currier said./ppWith Alcoa’s reduced purchases of Preservation Power, NYPA has more than 230 megawatts of uncontracted Preservation Power, which by law must be contracted for business use in the three-county region. NYPA officials will work with local communities to identify, attract and facilitate the creation or expansion of businesses that can be users of Preservation Power. The effort would run for five years, or until contracts for all available Preservation Power have been executed./ppMr. Currier said a number of entities support the move. The Massena Town Council approved the resolution during a meeting last week./pp“So, these reductions in electric bills, is it something the farmers have been promised and are counting on?” Deputy Mayor Matthew J. LeBire said./ppMr. Currier said it would likely impact them./pp“They could be counting on them,” he said./pp“What guarantee is there that power is going to stay (in the north country)?” Trustee Francis J. Carvel asked./pp“This particular portion is a five-year commitment,” Mr. Currier said./ppVoting in favor of the resolution were Mr. Currier, Mr. LeBire and Trustee Albert “Herb” Deshaies. Trustee Timothy J. Ahlfeld, a New York Power Authority employee, abstained, and Mr. Carvel voted no./p

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WIC board discuss two proposals for Jain Irrigation relocation

2016-10-26 11:54:51

pWATERTOWN — Jain Irrigation Inc. will consider two proposals for how to relocate its warehouse into a new space at the Watertown Center for Business and Industry./ppThe two proposals, which were discussed during the Watertown Industrial Center Local Development Corp. board of directors meeting Tuesday, were either to build a new facility behind Building C, which houses Colonial Insurance, NYTRIC Electrical Contractors, W.B. Mason and Upstate Construction Services Inc., or to renovate and expand space A-15 in Building A. In December, WIC received a $400,000 grant from the Empire State Development Corp. to build a new facility for Jain./pp“We just have to work out the agreements of the project,” said William J. Soluri, WIC’s director of site facilities. /ppIf Jain chooses to move into a new building, the WIC board of directors will invest $2.4 million to build the 40,000-square-foot facility. If it decides to move into Building A, the WIC board will invest $1.1 million to have the approximately 16,000-square-foot space renovated and build a 15,050-square-foot warehouse connected to it./pp“We have all of the pieces right now, but all of the pieces of the puzzle need to fit together to financially make it work,” Mr. Soluri said. /ppCarson D. Lennox, general manager for Jain, said that “corporate personnel” were still evaluating both proposals. /ppMr. Lennox said the company received details regarding the potential renovations to Building A last Thursday, but have discussed the relocation of their warehouse within the center for a year. “We definitely have to do something, but we have to do something that makes economic sense,” Mr. Lennox said. /ppAfter the manufacturer relocates its warehouse facility, WIC intends to have Building D torn down./ppMr. Soluri said WIC spent $24,699 in maintenance expenses for the approximately 32,000-square-foot facility since 2006, including $7,094 to replace deteriorating brickwork at the front of the building. “The building there is now over 100 years old,” Mr. Soluri said. “Building D won’t last forever.” /ppThe WIC board also discussed three prospective tenants who expressed interest in leasing spaces in Building A and Building B. /ppMr. Soluri said a general construction company is interested in leasing either space A-15, which may or may not be available depending where Jain Irrigation will relocate, or the 9,600-square-foot B3 space. An office supply distribution company also expressed interest in leasing B3. Another startup construction company that specializes in indoor heating expressed interest in leasing the 1,500-square-foot B5 warehouse space./pp“We want the new businesses here,” Mr. Soluri said./p

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Proposed soybean processing plant receives approval for $10 million tax-exempt revenue bonds

2016-10-26 11:53:38

pCANTON — A proposed $16 million soybean crushing facility moved a step forward Monday night./ppDuring their Finance Committee meeting, St. Lawrence County lawmakers approved the issuance of $10 million in tax-exempt revenue bonds by the county’s Industrial Development Agency. The full legislature votes Nov. 7./ppThe new company, St. Lawrence Soyway Co. LLC, plans to process about 500 tons of soybeans a day at a new 40,000-square-foot facility it plans to construct in Massena. The site is adjacent to the Massena Industrial Development Park at the former village Department of Public Works site on Main Street/ppThe plant would employ an estimated 38 people./pp“The project has been in the works on and off for a couple of years,” IDA Executive Director Patrick J. Kelly told legislators. “I’m sure you recall that there was another soybean processing facility in Massena years ago. This group had initially came into contact with us because they were looking at acquiring that facility which is currently owned by Curran Renewable Energy. They decided they’d rather do a new facility from the ground up.”/ppThe plant would produce three main product: high-protein soy meal used primarily to feed dairy herds, crude soy oil and husks./ppMr. Kelly said company officials like the site’s proximity to Ontario, Quebec and the Northeast, and the availability of low-cost power in Massena. There is a CSX rail spur at the site./pp“They are optimistic that if they can build the project that they will have a market within in 150 miles or so of this area and they wish to move forward,” Mr. Kelly said./ppAlthough the county Legislature must approve the issuance of the bonds, he said neither the county nor the IDA have any financial obligation toward the $10 million bond./pp“There has to be a buyer for the bonds who ultimately has the financial risk for that portion of the project,” he said./ppThe developers include five individuals who live outside the area plus a sixth entity, Mohawk Soy Corp. which is a subsidiary of the Mohawk tribe’s economic development organization, Mr. Kelly said./ppLegislator Anthony J. Arquiett, D-Helena, said the project sounds “tremendous” and he’s hopeful it can be expanded at some point./ppThe county has a great deal of farmland formerly used by dairy farms that could be usedto grow soybeans, he said./pp“This could potentially cause the restoration of thousands of acres,” Mr. Arquiett said. “I see a ripple effect here.”/p

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Kraft Heinz recruitment event set in Lowville this weekend

2016-10-12 12:07:21

pLOWVILLE — The Lewis County WorkPlace is hosting a recruitment event this weekend to help fill around 100 jobs at the Kraft Heinz plant here./pp“We’re doing what we can to help them with recruitment,” said Cheryl A. Mayforth, director of the Jefferson County Department of Employment & Training at the WorkPlace, which also oversees the employment center here. “It’s a pretty significant thing for Lewis County and Kraft Heinz.”/ppThe event is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Work Place, at the rear of the Lewis County office building on outer Stowe Street. Interested job seekers are encouraged to pre-register by calling the office at 376-5800./ppKraft Heinz is undertaking an expansion project at its Utica Boulevard cream cheese manufacturing plant cream cheese that is to add more than 100,000 square feet to the factory and bring in new product lines, including string cheese. An initial ramp-up in production is expected in mid-December./ppMrs. Mayforth said her agency has been working with the company to send along resumes and help in any way with the massive recruitment effort. A company official recently indicated that about 50 positions had already been filled but around 100 were still yet to be filled, she said./ppKraft Heinz has had representatives at other area job fairs, including last week’s New York Youths Job Fair at Jefferson Community College, Watertown, Mrs. Mayforth said./ppHowever, Saturday’s event will allow area residents who are “looking to upgrade their jobs” but can’t attend an event during regular business hours to meet with company representatives about the job openings, she said./pp“This is reaching out to those who may be feeling underemployed,” Mrs. Mayforth said, adding that an evening event is also being considered./ppMost of the available jobs are manufacturing line positions, with varying rates of pay, she said./ppMore information on job openings is available at www.kraftheinzcompany.com/careers-apply.html./ppMrs. Mayforth said she expects a good crowd at Saturday’s event, particularly given the response at the last such session held here./ppA job fair in August held for DHL, a Pennsylvania company that was looking to hire 30 people after taking over warehousing distribution at the Kraft Heinz plant, drew 123 people./ppKraft Heinz warehouse workers whose positions were cut were all reportedly moved to manufacturing jobs at the facility, Mrs. Mayforth said./ppWhile the extensive hiring at Kraft Heinz is obviously very positive, it remains tempered by the loss of 158 jobs from the abrupt closure of the Climax Packaging plant here in April, she said./pp“It’s not so much that we’re adding,” Mrs. Mayforth said. “It’s that we’re replacing.”/ppWhile Lewis County’s August unemployment rate of 5.4 percent was actually down slightly from 5.6 percent in August 2015, manufacturing jobs in the county were down 18 percent over the prior year, she said./p

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Convergys to offer new seasonal employment

2016-08-26 13:45:07

pWATERTOWN — A health care client of the Convergys call center on Arsenal Street awarded 60 new seasonal customer service positions to the company on Monday, expanding the total number of job opportunities for that client to 370 positions. /ppSite Director Bryan M. Black said these new positions are full time at $15-an-hour with benefits. These seasonal employees must be available to work anytime between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m. and will work until the end of the year. /pp“Our client is very happy with the employees that we hired,” Mr. Black said, “(and) the client says ‘We want more.’”/ppFive weeks of lecture and on-site health care training will be provided, said recruiting manager Shelbi L. Cooper. Training will start in early September and last until Sept. 26./pp“You get paid health care training to be successful at the job,” Mrs. Cooper said./ppThe hiring window for these positions will last until early September, Mr. Black said. The company requires applicants to have a customer service background and prefers applicants with a health care background. /ppWhile these new positions are only for seasonal work, Mr. Black and Mrs. Cooper said that opportunities for permanent employment may be made available at the end of the year. /ppPotential permanent positions would include customer care service for the health care client, which Mr. Black has declined to name due to the company’s corporate policy, or work for the company’s other three clients such as their entertainment client. /pp“We are hoping to be able to transition (them) into permanent roles,” Mrs. Cooper said. “If they are interested.” /ppMr. Black said the original 310 permanent positions, which the company is still looking to fill, were made available at the beginning of the year. /ppMrs. Cooper said Convergys has worked with the health care client since last spring, providing customer service for multiple products including the client’s health and dental insurance services. After months of service, the client began awarding permanent positions to the company in October. /pp“This is a continued investment,” Mrs. Cooper said. /ppMr. Black and Mrs. Cooper said that their goals for the company are to earn more clients and expand their services, which they hope would allow for more openings for employment and opportunities to promote their current workers. /ppMrs. Cooper said that the company is always searching for prospective employees because of the increasing demand for labor from their clients. “We have happy clients and they want more (workers),” Mrs. Cooper said. “With growth comes opportunity for current employees to grow further in their careers,” she said./ppMr. Black said that 200 of their 900 employees work for their health care client’s customer service program. /ppConvergys moved into the local center in 2014 after acquiring it from Stream Global Services. /p

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Stefanik touts Ogdensburg port, airport as economic assets

2016-08-19 11:46:51

pOGDENSBURG — With an international ship unloading wind turbine parts as a backdrop, U.S. Rep. Elise M. Stefanik, R-Willsboro, told officials from the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority that they can count on her to continue lobbying Washington for the money and resources needed to maintain and expand the authority’s facilities./pp“We have some of the strongest economic assets in the country, in the north country, right here,” Ms. Stefanik said./ppEarlier in the day, the congresswoman also toured the Ogdensburg International Airport and received an update on the ongoing airport and terminal expansion. When completed, the $25.6 million upgrade will include a major runway expansion, a new terminal building, and a commitment from low-cost carrier Allegiant Air to begin offering nonstop flights from Ogdensburg to Florida./ppThose flights are scheduled to begin in October./ppMs. Stefanik said she was impressed at the speed in which the airport project has unfolded since her last visit./pp“It looks completely different because there has been so much construction,” Ms. Stefanik said. “We had the opportunity to drive down the longer runway, it was great to see that expansion. They’re working very hard to meet the timetable so they will be ahead of schedule.”/ppMs. Stefanik said she was proud to play a role, along with other elected officials, in helping secure funding from the Federal Aviation Administration to help move the airport expansion project forward. She said she continues to remind other lawmakers in Washington that the OBPA’s infrastructure network is crucial to the regional and national economy./pp“Whether it is our partnership with Canada, whether it’s the port, whether it’s the St. Lawrence Seaway, whether it’s our tourism opportunities, I am taking that story to Washington,” Ms. Stefanik said. “I am constantly highlighting the positive economic growth that we’ve been able to deliver for this district with so much help from our local advocates and our community leaders.”/ppOgdensburg Bridge and Port Authority Executive Director Wade A. Davis praised Ms. Stefanik’s role in helping secure funding for the authority’s transportation infrastructure, and for her willingness to work on a bipartisan level./pp“Actually delivering results, like you see here today, we couldn’t do without Congressman Stefanik, Senator (Charles) Schumer and Senator (Kirsten) Gillibrand. It really is a team effort,” Mr. Davis said. “What is good about infrastructure is that it is not a Democrat, it is not a Republican, it is not an Independent, it’s infrastructure. It creates jobs, it creates benefits and it creates employment that otherwise wouldn’t be here.”/ppMs. Stefanik’s trip coincided with expansion projects at the Ogdensburg Airport and at the Port of Ogdensburg, both facilities operated by the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority./ppThe airport expansion includes a 1,200-foot extension of Runway 27, taxiway widening and extension, runway approach, lighting improvements, relocation of a section of Route 68 and obstruction removal. The airport terminal is also being expanded to better accommodate Allegiant Air, based in Las Vegas. The company will begin using the Ogdensburg Airport in October with planes capable of seating 156 to 223 passengers./ppThe airline is owned by the Allegiant Travel Co./ppExpanding the Ogdensburg airport is expected to support 125 to 135 jobs, and the amount of direct and indirect economic activity produced by the airport could nearly double, from $7.4 million in 2010 to $13.8 million in 2017, officials said./p

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New company seeks financing to build soybean processing plant in Massena

2016-08-19 11:45:09

pMASSENA — A new company is seeking financing to develop a soybean processing facility at the former village Department of Public Works site on Main Street that would employ an estimated 35 people. /ppKenneth D. Jahre, a principal in St. Lawrence Soyway Co. LLC who resides in New York City, said the firm is seeking some outside funding to help finance the $16 million project./ppPlans include construction of a 40,000-square-foot processing facility that would crush soybeans into high-protein soy meal used primarily to feed dairy herds. It can also be used to feed hogs and poultry. /ppThe process includes extracting the oil which can be sold to hog, poultry and other livestock farms./ppMr. Jahre said many north country farmers buy soy meal produced in the Midwest and transported by rail because they can’t purchase it locally. He said demand for soy meal products is high./pp“It’s a good location for what we want to do,” Mr. Jahre said. “There are a lot of dairy farms in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties. We’re going to produce a quality product for the dairy farms.”/ppCounty Industrial Development Director Patrick J. Kelly said the IDA board on Wednesday agreed to accept the company’s application for $10 million worth of tax-exempt industrial revenue bonds that would be issued through the IDA. /ppThe company is also applying for grant funding through the state’s Empire State Development Corp./ppIf the financing materializes, construction of the plant could begin in November and production could start next summer, Mr. Jahre said./ppSt. Lawrence Soyway would like to buy property at 536-540 S. Main St., which previously housed the village of Massena DPW operations. There is a rail spur at the site./ppBesides jobs at the facility, Mr. Jahre said an estimated 15 to 18 jobs would be created for independent truckers./ppA public hearing is required and the St. Lawrence County Legislature would have to approve the bond issuance before the project can move forward. The IDA would also have to approve the bonds./ppIndustrial revenue bonds exempt bondholders from paying federal tax on their interest earnings, Mr. Kelly said./ppKitty A. O’Neil, a regional crop specialist with Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County, said she’s certain that having a soybean processing facility in the area would encourage more north country farmers to grow soybeans. /pp“If there was a market for more, we’d grow more in a heartbeat,” Ms. O’Neil said. “There’s quite a few soybeans grown locally, but not as many as there could be. More and more farmers are trying it because it’s not too difficult to grow.”/ppA facility in Massena would also give farmers the option of buying soy meal locally, she said./pp“If we had a large-scale processing facility it should be a win-win,” Ms. O’Neil said. “I think it would be really good for the farmers and really good for the area if it works.”/p

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Missile-tracking computer data center opens at Fort Drum

2016-07-22 11:46:05

pFORT DRUM — A new computer center used for missile defense was formally unveiled on post Thursday./ppThe Missile Defense Agency said the In-Flight Interceptor Communications System data terminal is able to send and receive messages from the kill vehicle in defense missiles, constantly transmitting target updates./pp“This state-of-the-art facility has enhanced our ability to deter or defeat the limited use of long-range ballistic missiles against our nation,” said Brig. Gen. William T. Cooley, the agency’s program executive for programs and integration. “It is a vital asset provided to U.S. Northern Command to execute their critically important homeland defense mission.”/ppConstruction began in August 2013, and it was accepted for use in December 2015. It was constructed by Black Horse Group LLC, of Watertown, under the oversight of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers./ppCreation of the site was funded in the 2013 fiscal year defense authorization bill./ppFive similar data terminals operate at Fort Greely, Alaska, and Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., where interceptor missiles are already placed, along with Shemya, Alaska./ppThe data terminal was heralded in a ceremony featuring a number of local and regional military officials, which was not open to local media./ppThe ceremony comes as the a href="http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/comment-period-on-potential-fort-drum-missile-site-extended-to-aug-17-20160716"military reviews locations for the placement of a new missile site/a on the East Coast, including Fort Drum. No decision has been made on if or where such a site will be placed./ppRa href="http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/dco/new-study-says-fort-drum-missile-site-could-bring-jobs-tax-revenue-20160602"esearch suggests a site at Fort Drum/a, near Route 3A, could mean hundreds of temporary and permanent jobs, and millions of dollars of direct and indirect economic impacts for Jefferson County./ppOther sites under consideration for missile placement are Camp Ravenna Joint Military Training Center, Ohio, and Fort Custer Training Center, Mich./p

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$1.6 million airport project completed in Potsdam

2016-07-19 11:44:30

pPOTSDAM — The only thing left to do to complete the capital project at the Potsdam Municipal Airport is to wait for the new asphalt to cure so permanent markers can be placed. /ppAccording to Village Administrator Everett E. Basford work was completed on July 13./ppThe project, Mr. Basford said, was completed on time and on budget. /pp“There were no change orders either way,” Mr. Basford said./ppThe project included milling and leveling the main runway, repaving it and expanding it to make it wider, Mr. Basford said. /ppAll the runway lights were replaced and new light controllers were installed. /ppLast fall the project began with the removal of some trees and the removal of a hill that were obstructing the runway. /ppThe new runway, while widened from 60 to 75 feet, was not lengthened. /ppThe wider runway will make it safer for bigger planes, like those used by UPS./pp“The runway was a little narrow,” Mr. Basford said. /ppIn the winter, if some of the bigger planes got a little off center they could run into trouble with wing tips and snow banks, he explained. /ppThe total project cost was $1,631,059. The Federal Aviation Administration paid $1,467,953. The village’s cash layout for the project was $17,316. The balance of the money came from village land credits and New York State. /ppThe permanent markings on the runway will be placed in about two weeks. /ppAir Methods Corp., a medical air transport business based at the Potsdam airport, operated out of Massena while repairs to the runway were being made. /p

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Lt. Gov. Hochul touts commerce growth at Port of Ogdensburg

2016-07-19 11:42:33

pOGDENSBURG — During a whirlwind tour Monday, Lt. Gov. Kathleen C. Hochul had the chance to see first-hand how millions of dollars in state money for infrastructure projects has translated into jobs, cargo and commerce at the Port of Ogdensburg. /ppMrs. Hochul also toured the Frederic Remington Art Museum and visited with senior citizens who were eating lunch at the Dobisky Center. Prior to arriving in Ogdensburg, she visited The Wild Center, Tupper Lake./ppSeveral local officials, including Ogdensburg City Council members, some county legislators and state representatives, joined Mrs. Hochul for an hour-long tour of the port along the St. Lawrence River where a giant cargo ship from the Netherlands was docked. /ppThe ship delivered turbine tower components that will be trucked to a wind farm project being done between Malone and Plattsburgh, Clinton County./ppAlso on display were 184-feet long wind turbine blades that were transported on the OBPA’s rail line for the wind farm project./pp“This is where we spend money wisely, infrastructure, ” Mrs. Hochul said as she looked over the giant turbine blades. “This is the only U.S. port along the St. Lawrence Seaway. This is a tremendous link to the markets in Europe as well as servicing the rest of the United States.”/ppOBPA Executive Director Wade Davis said the investments made by the state include $3.2 million for construction of an access road in 2012./pp“The road was built for exactly for the oversize, over-dimensional cargo we have here today,” Mr. Davis said. “It will meet our future needs.”/ppHe said the state also funded roughly $6 million in upgrades to the agency’s rail line over the past 10 years which have allowed the OBPA the ability to handle the giant blades which are about one-third larger than blades delivered there previously./pp“What you’re seeing is the confluence of New York state policy and business coming together to promote wind generating jobs,” Mr. Davis said./ppHe said another $2,6 million state-funded upgrade to the rail line is forthcoming that will further improve the rail line’s cargo capability./pp“We’ll be able to carry everything you can carry on a main line rail line,” /ppMrs. Hochul said the upcoming rail investment will focus on improving agribusiness opportunities at the port./pp“We think there is room for tremendous growth (in agribusiness) and can literally become the bread and butter of this port in addition to the specialty products and salt that’s brought in more seasonally.” she said. “If we can have a focus on agribusiness and even have processing here, it will give us new opportunities to create jobs and establish Ogdensburg as the premiere destination for shipping along the St. Lawrence Seaway./ppShe said Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo understands that in order to support upstate communities like the city of Ogdensburg which has a unique asset, the state needs to continue to invest in infrastructure./ppOgdensburg City Manager Sarah Purdy said Ms. Hochul’s visit was an opportunity for the city to demonstrate the port’s value./pp“I think the second floor in Albany needs to know how important this port is to our economic vitality,” she said. “It’s also great to showcase Ogdensburg in the summer time.”/p

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ACCO to celebrate 70 years in Ogdensburg with open house

2016-07-14 12:12:17

pOGDENSBURG — ACC­O Brands is celebrating 70 years of doing business in Ogdensburg with an open house Friday at its manufacturing and warehouse facility at 941 ACCO Way./ppIt was right after World War II, in 1946, that what was then known as ACCO Products, first began making office products in Ogdensburg./ppThe original building was located approximately five miles from the company’s current facility, which opened in 1989. Through its 70-year history in Ogdensburg, various types of file folders, binders and, most recently, dry erase boards have been produced, according to company officials./ppToday, the facility produces a full line of Wilson Jones brand and private label polypropylene three-ring binders that are sold across the northeastern U.S. and throughout all of Canada. The company also makes data binders and classification folders./ppThe 300,000-square-foot facility houses a state-of-the art distribution center that handles shipments of ACCO Brands products throughout the northeastern U.S. and Canada. Company officials say the facility’s proximity to major Canadian and American commercial markets has helped make it a thriving business center over the years./ppThe company has approximately 145 employees in Ogdensburg. /ppLisa Toole, ACCO site leader in Ogdensburg, said the open house allows the community to play a part in celebrating the company’s success. In addition to the general public, local and state officials are expected to attend the open house from 2 to 6 p.m. at 941 ACCO Way. The event will include food and refreshments as well as guided tours of the plant and distribution facility./pp“Retirees and employees and their families, as well as the community, are invited,” Ms. Toole said. “A team of volunteers is planning a variety of activities for the event and a history in pictures is being assembled.”/ppIn 2014, a consolidation project brought some of its binder manufacturing and the company’s Canadian distribution function into the Ogdensburg Distribution Center. In addition, funds were provided through the St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency to help train workers. The site was also granted Foreign Trade Zone status in the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority’s industrial park./ppThomas W. Tedford, ACCO’s executive vice president, and president North America Office and Consumer Products, said it has been a combination of support by local and state officials, and generations of dedicated employees, that have been instrumental in ensuring the company’s success./pp“We have had good partnerships with local representatives and are delighted to include them in our 70th anniversary celebration,” Mr. Tedford said in a release. “Ogdensburg employees have distinguished themselves in our company. Their commitment to quality and productivity have been key to our success.” /ppOgdensburg City Manager Sarah Purdy praised the company for providing jobs in the greater-Ogdensburg area, and for remaining actively involved in the community./pp“ACCO has had a significant presence in Ogdensburg over the past 70 years, not only through the manufacture of quality office products and consumer goods, but also through the provision of jobs and consistent participation in the community,” she said. “Their plant is impressive, and they are to be congratulated as they celebrate 70 years in business.”/p

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Roth Industries embarking on nearly $6 million project

2016-06-22 11:52:53

pWATERTOWN — Work is expected to start around July 1 on a nearly $6 million expansion at Roth Industries Inc. in the City Center Industrial Park on North Bellew Avenue./ppThe company is completing the 27,500-square-foot addition to retain about 24 jobs, add a shift and create at least 12 more jobs over the next three years./ppRoth Industries President and CEO Joseph A. Brown said the expansion will allow the company to add different types of products and keep up with demand. /pp“Certainly, we’re going to able to grow the business because of this,” he said./ppThe $5.925 million project is getting a $425,000 boost in Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits from the state, Empire State Development officials announced on Tuesday. /ppLast week, the Watertown Local Development Corp. approved its portion of a 15-year, $750,000 loan in gap funding for the expansion, said CEO Donald W. Rutherford. The Development Authority of the North Country and the North Country Alliance also will kick in $250,000 each for the loan, he said./ppConstruction should be completed in mid- to late-November and then take several months to install a mold-blower equipment that will allow Roth to expand its plastics manufacturing./ppThe addition, to be built on the plant’s west side, will consist of 6,000 square feet of manufacturing space, 26,000 square feet for dry storage and 43,500 square feet of exterior asphalt space for storage./ppThe company is projecting that its North American market will increase from $22.5 million to $30 million over five years, according to state economic development officials. /ppA billion-dollar company headquartered in Germany, the local plant manufactures double-walled plastic oil storage tanks, construction barriers and monitoring controls for radiant heaters. /ppLocal plant officials had to go to Germany to lobby for the venture with its parent company. The Watertown plant also had to compete with locating the expansion at one of its customer’s plants/ppThe addition, to be built on the plant’s west side, will consist of 6,000 square feet of manufacturing space, 26,000 square feet for dry storage and 43,500 square feet of exterior asphalt space for storage. /ppThe project first surfaced about two years ago when company officials discussed the project with the local development corporation, which operates the city industrial park. /ppRoth, a family-owned business established in Germany more than 60 years ago, has locations in more than 40 countries and 1,100 employees. Roth entered the North American market in 1997 and then moved to Watertown from Rhode Island a decade ago, partly because of its proximity to Canada./ppDeveloped about 12 years ago, the industrial park now has seven businesses. In addition to Roth Industries, the companies are Current Applications, United Auto Supply, Blue Mountain Spring Water, Alteri’s Bakery, Renzi Bros. and Frito-Lay. /p

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Roth Industries, Inc. in Watertown Plans to Expand and Add New Jobs

2016-06-22 11:50:53

New jobs will soon be coming to Watertown. A local manufacturing company plans to expand, creating a dozen new jobs in the coming years. Alex Valverde tells us what impact this could have on the county.

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Study: New York ranks highly in economic performance

2016-06-06 19:56:02

pA new study put New York in the top ten among American states in terms of its economic performance./ppThe Wallethub study put New York in eighth place, between the District of Columbia and Texas, based on categories such as economic activity, economic health and innovation potential./ppThe state ranked sixth place for economic activity and eleventh place for innovation potential, but 27th for economic health./ppUtah topped the website’s ranking./ppThe full ranking can be found at a href="http://wdt.me/state-economy"http://wdt.me/state-economy/a./p

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Employees at Watertown call center climb to record-high 900

2015-12-29 16:13:32

WATERTOWN — The number of full-time employees at Convergys climbed to about 900 this month — the most the Arsenal Street call center has ever had. But it’s not the peak. View Original Article >>

Two St. Lawrence County businesses receive sales tax exemptions for new projects

2015-12-18 13:20:15

CANTON — Two St. Lawrence County businesses will receive more than $100,000 in sales tax exemptions through the county’s Industrial Development Agency as financial incentives for their expansion projects. View Original Article >>