It seems good news doesn't come our way often these days, but the millions of state dollars that will be funneled into economic development in Fulton, Montgomery and Hamilton counties is a reason for hope. With high unemployment in the area, every productive dollar counts.
The state announced funding for economic-development projects in the three counties last week. Not all of the money consists of direct or indirect grants. Some of it also includes tax credits for hiring and capital improvements and the ability to float low-interest, tax-exempt industrial revenue bonds, according to Kenneth Rose, director of Economic Development and Planning for Montgomery County. Still, in whatever forms aid comes, it incentivizes the profit, nonprofit and public recipients to pursue their development goals. More jobs and better services are among the expected outcomes.
For instance, the Gloversville-Johnstown Wastewater Treatment Facility in Johnstown was awarded $1 million, but future aid reportedly may increase the total to more than $2 million. The award will help the facility to upgrade so it can handle more waste from the Greek-style yogurt maker Fage USA's $150 million expansion. Some 150 new jobs at Fage are expected.
TecMar NY was awarded $1.4 million toward building a $50 million indoor aquaculture facility in the Glen Canal View Industrial Park in Montgomery County that would produce more than 17 million pounds of fish annually and create more than 175 new jobs.
Hamilton County will receive $1.7 million to improve broadband conductivity in the county.
These are just a few of the local projects.
Money produces money, in more than one way. Money spent is then respent, resulting in a multiplier effect on businesses, organizations and individuals. Also, when new or more abundant products and services are provided, revenue usually flows in.
The quality of life also is improved for those who receive those products and services. One obvious example is St. Mary's Healthcare in Amsterdam being awarded $307,000 toward constructing an outpatient pavilion at its Memorial campus. The facility will serve people with chronic medical conditions. As Baby Boomers age, more people will need those services.
Obviously, the roles governmental bodies and private enterprise should play in the economy are the subjects of strongly differing opinions. But if the state is going to spend money anyway, the recent local awards seem to be among its wiser choices.