All posts by Anne

Virtual Robotics Camp Opportunity

The Manufacturing and Technology Resource Consortium (MTRC, is a sister NYMEP center, located on Long Island); is offering a state-wide virtual robotics program 2021 to NYS high school students who will be entering 7th -12th grade.

Attached is the flyer with program and online registration information. The camp is from August 2-13, 2021, with pre-camp activities from July 26-30. The information is available at:

The Robotics camp is free to students who are selected to participate. MTRC will pay for all expenses, including a robot kit.

Press Release – SCOPED PPP Performance

 Immediate Release

 Schuyler County Businesses Receive Over $11 million in COVID PPP Assistance

Nearly 53% of employers received approvals for loans  

Watkins Glen, NY – Funding is still available for the forgivable loan program for businesses to support bringing back their employees. The Small Business Administration has released information, by zip code, for PPP loans that were approved for businesses and not-for-profits. Schuyler County organizations were successful in obtaining approvals valued over $11 million dollars in Payroll Protection Program (PPP) forgivable loans. These loan monies were processed by 25 different financial institutions and approved by the Small Business Administration. There were 183 businesses or non-profit organizations approved for loans under $150,000 and 20 additional firms approved for loans over $150,000. Loans range in size from $900 to over $2 million dollars. Nearly 53 percent of the 385 establishments with employees in Schuyler County were approved for a PPP Loan. The number of jobs retained, based on the loans, equaled 1,523.

“While the COVID pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on our health and welfare, once again, as a community, we have risen to this latest challenge. It is gratifying to see such dramatic results of efforts to gain much needed financial assistance for our business community. The success of this initiative is a testament to the resilience of our businesses and the partnership with SCOPED to facilitate the access of critical resources. Thanks to these efforts our economic recovery and future outlook has become much brighter”, commented Tim O’Hearn, Schuyler County Administrator. There are still forgivable loan funds available from the PPP program for those businesses that have not yet applied. “It’s good to know that we had many businesses take advantage of it to get through the tough spot they were in. There is still PPP money available, and if there are businesses out there that still need a forgivable loan, they are welcome to contact us.” commented Judy McKinney Cherry, Executive Director of the Schuyler County Partnership.

For more information, please contact Anne Mace at 607-535-4341.


New EZ and Revised PPP Forgiveness Applications for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Released

New EZ and Revised PPP Forgiveness Applications for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Released

On June 17, 2020, the Small Business Association (SBA) in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, posted a revised PPP loan forgiveness application and instructions (Form 3508 – revised June 16, 2020), which implements the PPP Flexibility Act of 2020 that was signed into law on June 5, 2020. In addition, the SBA also published a new “EZ” version of the loan forgiveness application – Form 3508EZ. Links for these forms are provided below.

Do You Meet the Requirements to File Form 3508EZ?

The EZ application form requires fewer calculations and less documentation for eligible borrowers. The EZ loan forgiveness form does not include a calculation for the FTE Reduction Quotient or the 25% pay rate reduction for employees who made up to $100,000 annualized in 2019. However, Borrowers using this form must still maintain documentation that supports these assertions.

Borrowers can use the EZ form if they meet one of the following criteria:

  • The Borrower is a self-employed individual, independent contractor, or sole proprietor who had no employees when they applied for the PPP loan and did not include any employee salaries in the computation of average monthly payroll in the PPP loan application Form 2483; OR
  • The Borrower did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25% during the Covered Period or Alternative Payroll Covered Period as compared to January 1, 2020 through March 31, 2020 for employees who did not earn more than $100,000 at an annualized rate during 2019, AND the Borrower did not reduce the number of employees or the average paid hours between January 1, 2020 and the end of the Covered Period. (Borrowers can ignore certain headcount reductions as defined in the instructions); OR
  • The Borrower did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25% during the Covered Period (same as bullet above), AND the Borrower was unable to operate during the Covered period at the same level of business activity as before February 15, 2020, due to the issuance of health directives (as issued by the CDC, OSHA and Health and Human Services) between March 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020 related to COVID-19.

Covered Period Can Be 8 Weeks or 24 Weeks

Both applications (Form 3508 and Form 3508EZ) give Borrowers the option of using the original 8-week covered period (if the loan was made before June 5, 2020) or an extended 24-week covered period.  There is no current guidance providing an option to use a covered period that is between 8 and 24 weeks.  Therefore, if the Borrower believes they will qualify for 100% forgiveness before the end of the 24-week period, it is not yet known whether they will be able to apply at that time or if they will instead need to wait the full 24 weeks.

What are the Maximum Payroll Costs For Employees and Owners?

For both applications, the maximum amount of cash compensation (wages, salary, tips, etc.) that is eligible for forgiveness for each individual employee is $15,385 ($100,000 x 8/52) for the 8-week period and $46,154 ($100,000 x 24/52) for the 24-week period.

Owner compensation (i.e., sole proprietors, general partners and owner-employees) is limited to 2019 net profit up to $15,385 ($100,000 x 8/52) for the 8-week period and $20,833 ($100,000 x 2.5/12) for the 24-week period.  The owner compensation cap is inclusive of all payroll costs.  In its related Interim Final Rule, the SBA stated that they did not want Borrowers to qualify for additional forgiveness based on owner compensation exceeding the amount they were able to borrow against their compensation, which you may recall was 2.5 months of compensation, capped at $100,000 per annum.

The 60% Rule for Payroll Costs

At least 60% of the PPP loan proceeds shall be used for payroll costs. This rule applies to both the 8-week and 24-week covered periods. The 60% requirement for payroll costs is not an all or nothing rule. The Borrower’s eligible nonpayroll costs cannot exceed 40% of total costs eligible for forgiveness, which includes payroll and nonpayroll costs.

Haven’t Applied for a PPP Loan Yet?

Time is of the essence. The last day to file for a PPP Loan is June 30, 2020. See the revised PPP Loan Application link here.

Links to Updated and New Forms

SBA Form 3508 Application (Revised 6-16-2020) – Link here

SBA Form 3508 Instructions (Revised 6-16-2020) – Link here

SBA Form 3508EZ Application (Issued 6-16-2020) – Link here

SBA Form 3508EZ Instructions (Issued 6-16-2020) – Link here

We’re hiring! Economic and Community Development Specialist

Job Summary: The primary focus of this individual will be to support Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development (SCOPED) and the Schuyler County Industrial Development Authority (SCIDA) in efforts to leverage public & private sector relationships and decision-makers to assist the Villages, Towns and the County improve the local and regional economy. This individual will be responsible for providing technical support related to business development, community development, grant funding, real estate development and community engagement.  This includes, but is not limited to: growing and maintaining the financial resources (local, state and federal grants & loans) necessary to address the needs of new and existing small businesses; providing start-ups and existing companies with knowledge and access to a wide variety of resources critical to their formation and growth; working with local officials. This individual will be responsible for the organization’s social media including posting of legal notices and other regularly updated information on the website.

For a complete job description, click here. If interested in the position, please email a complete resume and coverletter to Judy McKinney Cherry, CEcD FM at

PPP Flexibility Act Becomes Law

The U.S. government has enacted changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) including the relaxation of PPP Loan Forgiveness rules with the goal of making it easier for many businesses to qualify for loan forgiveness on a larger portion of their loans. These changes were signed into law on Friday through the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 (PPPFA). This new legislation contains many important changes to the PPP.
  • Loan Forgiveness
The PPPFA extends the “covered period” from 8 weeks to 24 weeks from the date of the origination of the covered loan, or December 31, 2020, whichever is earlier. A borrower under an existing PPP loan may elect to keep the original 8 week covered period. The requirement that the Borrower use at least 75% of the forgivable amount of the PPP Loan on payroll costs was lowered to 60%. The Borrower may now use up to 40% on nonpayroll costs (mortgage interest, rent and utilities) for its loan forgiveness amount. However, the way the PPPFA is written, the new threshold is now a “cliff”, meaning that at least 60% of the loan amount must be spent on payroll costs in order to be eligible for forgiveness. It is not yet clear whether a Borrower electing to use the 8 week covered period should follow the new 60/40 rules or the original 75/25 requirement.
The Safe Harbor date to restore reductions in Full-time Equivalent (FTE) employees and wages has been changed from June 30, 2020 to December 31, 2020.
The PPPFA adds an exemption to the FTE Reduction calculation, if for the period beginning February 15, 2020, and ending December 31, 2020, the Borrower can document:
  1. An inability to rehire employees who were employed as of February 15, 2020, and
  2. An inability to hire similarly qualified employees for unfilled positions on or before December 31, 2020, or
  3. An inability to return to the same level of business activity as such business was operating at before February 15, 2020, due to compliance with requirements and guidelines issued by Health and Human Services, CDC or OSHA during March 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020 related to certain protocols for responding to COVID-19.
  • Deferral of Employer Payroll Taxes
Recipients of PPP loan forgiveness are no longer excluded from the deferral of the employer’s half of federal social security and Medicare taxes. Borrowers may now continue to defer payroll taxes through the end of 2020.
  • Loan Term and Deferral Period
The CARES Act (Section 1106) initially provided that a PPP loan would have a maximum maturity of 10 years from the date on which the Borrower applies for loan forgiveness. In its first Interim Final Rule (IFR) issued in early April 2020, the SBA reduced the loan maturity to two years. The PPPFA requires all new PPP loans made on or after the effective date (June 5, 2020) to have a minimum maturity of 5 years, up to a maximum of 10 years. The PPPFA also does not “prohibit lenders and borrowers from mutually agreeing” to modify the two-year term of existing PPP loans to conform with this new section. The six month deferral period before payments are due has been replaced. The deferral period now begins on the loan date and ends on the date that the SBA remits the amount of forgiveness to the lender.
If a borrower does not apply for forgiveness within 10 months after the last day of the covered period, the deferral period ends on that same date.
  • What’s Next?
The SBA will need to update the Loan Forgiveness Application released on May 15, 2020 for the changes enacted by the PPPFA. Additional guidance may also be released in the form of Frequently Asked Questions and new interim final rules to help borrowers and lenders implement all of the modifications required.
Some companies have already applied for and received forgiveness of their PPP loan amounts. With more than one million borrowers finishing their initial 8 week covered periods this week, time is of the essence to evaluate these options. If you wish to use the 8 week covered period, please contact your lenders about the appropriate steps to take to apply.
It remains unclear whether you can apply for forgiveness and prepare your FTE and salary reduction tests as of the date that you have fully used your loan proceeds towards qualified expenses. If businesses must wait to apply for forgiveness and perform these tests at the end of the 24 weeks, they will be faced with the challenge of having to maintain headcount and salary levels for full loan forgiveness, while not having the benefit of additional loan proceeds.
If you have not previously applied for a PPP loan, or you previously returned or did not accept your loan amount, you are still eligible to apply up until the loan application deadline of June 30, 2020. Of course, you still must meet the requirements of the program including the certification.

SBA Lenders accepting PPP Applications: (updated 6/9/2020)

NOTE: All changes above are retroactively applicable as if they were included in the original CARES Act, except for the change in loan term, which is prospective. As usual, please make sure to stay in contact with your accounting firm.

Phase 2 Business Reopening Guidelines and Affirmation Requirements

As we are preparing to move forward, it is extremely important that the health and safety of our employees, customers, and guest be at the forefront of our attention. It is also a requirement of the State of New York that ALL open or soon to be opened businesses (essential, phase 1, and phase 2) must have a Business Safety Plan on premises and must affirm that they are following safety protocols at the following site:

Guidance for Phase 2 industries has been posted at, including:

If you need assistance with completing your safety plan, please contact us and we will be happy to assist you in developing and implementing a safety plan.

New York Forward Loan Fund

The New York Forward Loan Fund (NYFLF) is a new economic recovery loan program aimed at supporting New York State small businesses, nonprofits and small landlords as they reopen after the COVID-19 outbreak and NYS on PAUSE. The NYFLF targets the state’s small businesses with 20 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees (90% of all businesses), nonprofits and small landlords that have seen a loss of rental income. The NYFLF is specifically timed to support businesses and organizations as they proceed to reopen and have upfront expenses to comply with guidelines (e.g., inventory, marketing, refitting for new social distancing guidelines) under the New York Forward Plan.
Pre-applications for the New York Forward Loan Fund are now open. Priority will be given to industries and regions that have been reopened. This is not a first-come, first-served loan program. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis as regions and industries reopen.
Small businesses and nonprofits must employ 20 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees; Small businesses must have gross revenues of less than $3 million per year; Nonprofits must provide direct services and have an annual operating budget of less than $3 million per year; and Have not received a loan from either SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) for COVID-19 in 2020.
For more information and to apply for the new loan, click here.

New York Forward Business Reopening Lookup Tool

On May 15 as part of Phase 1, non-essential businesses and business activities in Schuyler County began to re-open. Essential businesses and business activities that were already open, will be able to remain open. The guidelines accessible via the New York Forward Business Reopening Lookup Tool apply to both non-essential businesses in regions that are permitted to re-open, and essential businesses that were previously permitted to remain open.

This tool will help you determine whether or not your business is eligible to reopen, and the public health and safety standards with which your business must comply. Click Here to access the tool.

For assistance with the tool or developing a safety plan for your business, contact Amanda at 607-535-6862.

Phase 1 Business Reopening Guidelines and Affirmation Requirements

The Governor’s office has released guidelines and business safety templates for industries allowed to begin reopening in phase one. As of Friday, May 15, Construction, Manufacturing, Curb-side Retail, Agriculture, & Wholesale industries in Schuyler County will be allowed to start reopening. Below is a list of industries allowed to open during phase one, along with their guidelines and business safety templates. If you need assistance developing your business safety plan, please contact Judy at 607-535-6861 or Amanda at 607-535-6862.

Business owners must read the “Detailed Guidelines” for their industries and provide their digital signature affirming they have read and understand the document.

The State has published a dashboard to track the public health data regions must meet to reopen here.

Southern Tier Re-opening Plan Released

Monday, May 11th;  Governor Coumo announced that the Southern Tier has met all of the requirements to begin Phased Reopening on Friday, May 15. Click here for the complete plan.

Phased Reopening for Industries:

  • Phase One
    • Construction
    • Manufacturing and wholesale supply chain
    • Select retail using curbside pickup only
  • Phase Two
    • Professional services
    • Finance and insurance
    • Retail
    • Administrative support
    • Real estate and rental leasing
  • Phase Three
    • Restaurants and food service
    • Hotels and accommodations
  • Phase Four
    • Arts, entertainment and recreation
    • Education

NO COST Online Workforce Training Opportunities

CSS Workforce NY is offering no cost online training opportunities for ALL Schuyler County residents! This is a great opportunity for both laid off/ furloughed workers as well as workers seeking to upskill.

The CSS Skill Up website offers access to over 5,000 online courses in topics ranging from basic literacy through soft skills to technical skills for project managers – and include IT coursework, accounting/bookkeeping, and some medical coursework as well.

Click here to register for courses. 

Click here to access the entire course catalog.

Experienced Business Leaders Needed

Are you an experienced business leader who has owned and successfully operated a business?

We’re pulling together experienced business leaders and mentors to form a Business Continuance Task Force to help in a number of ways,  including: determining if a business could be considered  essential, finding ways around loss of customers, how to pay employees, how to mitigate the need for  layoffs, how to manage cash flows and minimize economic impacts to businesses and  how to safe guard friends and family while operating a business in the new paradigm. Our goal is to guide our businesses to be stronger and better positioned to accelerate their growth after this crisis is passed.

If you’re a semiretired/retired or otherwise experienced business leader who has owned/ operated, has successfully provided hands-on leadership, and has been responsible for payroll, employment, business strategies, and marketing/communication and are willing to volunteer your talent – we need you.

Please  complete the Business Continuance Task Force Member Form so we can begin to assemble our Task Force.

If you have any additional questions regarding the taskforce, please contact Judy McKinney Cherry, CEcD by email at or by phone at 607-535-6861.

Emotional Support Services

NY OMH Emotional Support Line – 1-844-863-9314

The COVID-19 pandemic has left many New Yorkers feeling anxious and stressed.

Call the support line to talk with a professional  if you are feeling anxious, stressed, or in need of emotional support.

The service is free and open to all New York residents.


Below is the essential list of common Schuyler County Businesses Exempt from Mandatory Workforce Reductions. For a complete list visit. If your business is part of an exempt industry/function on the essential list – or if any part of your business provides service to an essential industry – then you are already exempt and do NOT need to submit an application.

If you are business is not on the exemption list yo may request an exemption designation. To request an exemption designation complete the Request for Designation Form and email to

If you have any questions regarding your exemption status, please call SCOPED at 607-535-6861 prior to completing the Request for Designation Form.

1. Essential health care operations including

  • hospitals
  • walk-in-care health facilities
  • emergency veterinary and livestock services
  • elder care
  • home health care workers or aides
  • doctor and emergency dental
  • nursing homes
  • medical supplies and equipment providers

2. Essential infrastructure including

  • utilities including power generation, fuel supply and transmission
  • public water and wastewater
  • hotels, and places of accommodation

3. Essential manufacturing including

  • food processing, manufacturing agents, including all foods and beverages
  • chemicals
  • sanitary products
  • agriculture/farms
  • household paper products

4. Essential retail including

  • grocery stores
  • pharmacies
  • convenience stores
  • farmer’s markets
  • gas stations
  • restaurants/bars (but only for take-out/delivery)
  • hardware and building material stores

5. Essential services including

  • trash and recycling
  • mail and shipping services
  • laundromats
  • building cleaning and maintenance
  • child care services
  • auto repair
  • warehouse/distribution
  • funeral homes
  • animal shelters

6. News media

7. Financial Institutions including

  • banks
  • insurance
  • payroll
  • accounting

8. Providers of basic necessities to economically disadvantaged populations including

  • food banks
  • human services providers whose function includes the direct care of patients in state-licensed programs

9. Construction including

  • skilled trades such as electricians, plumbers
  • other related construction firms

10. Defense

  • defense and national security

11. Essential services necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operations of residences or other essential businesses including

  • law enforcement
  • fire prevention and response
  • building code enforcement
  • security
  • emergency management and response
  • building cleaners or janitors
  • general maintenance
  • automotive repair
  • disinfection

12. Vendors that provide essential services or products, including logistics and technology support, child care and services:

  • logistics
  • technology support for online services
  • child care programs and services
  • government owned or leased buildings
  • essential government services


Watkins Glen DRI Fund is open!

Watkins Glen Downtown Revitalization Initiative Fund Application Period is open!

Do you own a commercial building located in the Watkins Glen DRI Area? Is your building in need of commercial façade renovations, interior commercial renovations, and/ or the rehabilitation of residential rental units? The DRI Fund provides reimbursable matching grants of up to 50% for awarded qualified and approved projects.

Project applications and program guidelines are available here. Applications can also be picked up at the SCOPED office located at 910 S. Decatur Street and at the Village Hall at 303 N. Franklin Street. All Applications are due to SCOPED Offices no later than 4pm on Wednesday, April 8, 2020.

For more information or to schedule a meeting to discuss your project, please contact Amanda Arnold Rodriguez at 607-535-6862 or at

Grant Writing and Grant Administration Workshop

Grant Administration Workshop 2019

Grant Writing Workshop 2019

Over the past five years, the business, municipalities, nonprofits, and individuals have done an incredible job of writing and winning local, state, federal, and foundation grants.

The workshop is open to all interested citizens, municipal board members and employees, business owners, educators, entrepreneurs, property owners, and nonprofits that have a project idea for grant or need assistance with administering a grant. Local municipalities with open grants are strongly encouraged to attend.

The Workshop will be divided into two sessions. Grant Writing and Grant Administration

What:   Grant Writing and Grant Administration Workshop

When: Tuesday, October 29, 2019

                Session 1: Grant Writing; 9am – 12pm

                Session 2: Grant Administration; 1pm – 4pm

Where: Shared Services Building

                910 S. Decatur Street

                Watkins Glen, NY 14891

The workshop is designed specifically for projects located in Schuyler County. The last hour of each session will be answering your specific questions about current projects.

Registration is required and is limited to the first 20 people for each session. When registering, please indicate which sessions you will be attending.

Please register via email to Amanda Arnold Rodriguez at Include your name, organization, and any grants that you are hoping to apply for or currently administering.

Over $200,000 in Skill Training Grants Available to Area Businesses

Chemung Schuyler Steuben Workforce New York (CSS WFNY) has Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA) grant funds available to provide training to the employees of Chemung, Schuyler or Steuben County businesses.

The program is designed to provide financial assistance to area businesses to hire new employees in need of skill upgrades, or to upskill their existing workforce to meet the demands of today’s globally competitive marketplace. Grant funds can help pay for training provided by external or internal training providers. New hire On-the-Job Training (OJT) grants can provide up to $2,000 per qualifying new hire, and Customized Training (CT) grants can cover up to 50% of the cost of training existing workers. Applications for training grants are accepted on a rolling basis and have no minimum/maximum cap (other qualifications/limitations may apply.) Employees need not be residents of the three Counties to qualify.

Interested applicants should contact Kellie Christopher, Business Services Manager, for additional information. or (607) 368 – 8704.

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Opportunity Zones

In April 2018, two Opportunity Zones were designated for Schuyler County. The two zones are Orange-Tyrone and Catharine-Cayuta-Montour. Thank you to everyone that reach out to the State of New York on behalf of Schuyler County. Check out our Facebook Post below.

Workforce Housing

As we gear up for the tourist season, the issue of workforce housing because more timely. There are misconceptions on what workforce is and what it isn’t.

Check out our Facebook post below for more information.




Two Village Regional Economic Development Strategic Plan Interactive Program – Montour Falls and Watkins Glen

Purpose: To gather community member ideas, project suggestions, and other comments about the futures of both Montour Falls and Watkins Glen. All community members will have unlimited responses. Responses can include possibilities related to housing, recreation, retail, services, historic preservation, and other areas important them and the community. We encourage respondents to be creative and dream big. The community’s input will build on the planning efforts completed to date and will contribute to creation of a Regional Economic Development Strategic Plan.

The Online Interactive Program can be found at

The Interactive Program is available April 26, 2019, 5:00pm — May 24, 2019, 5:00pm

Community members having issues accessing the program can visit one of two locations for personal access and computer access – Montour Falls Library (406 Main St, Montour Falls, NY 14865) or the SCOPED office (910 South Decatur Street, Watkins Glen, NY 14891).

For more information on the Two Village Regional Economic Development Strategic Plan, contact Amanda at 607-535-6862.

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Clute Park Architectural Firm Proposal Presentations

In November 2018, a Request for Proposal was issued by Schuyler County for Architectural and Engineering Services for renovation and new construction at Clute Park. Fifteen architectural firms submitted proposals. A proposal review committee composed of Village of Watkins Glen employees and trustees, Schuyler County staff, and SCOPED staff reviewed the proposals and conducted firm interviews. The two highest rated firms were selected and will be presenting their proposals to the public and village board. The proposals will be held on Wednesday, March 6 at 4pm and 6pm at the Village of Watkins Glen Village Hall at 303 N. Franklin Street Watkins Glen, NY 14891.

The public is encouraged to attend. There will be an opportunity for questions after the presentations. For more information, please contact Amanda Arnold Rodriguez at 6047-535-6862.

Discover Engage Transform

Over $60 million dollars in projects are planned for Schuyler County in 2019! This event is designed to provide information to potential contractors and the general public regarding upcoming 2019 projects in Schuyler County. Project representatives will be present to answer project specific questions and meet with interested contractors.

The event will be held on Wednesday, November 14 at 2pm at the Harbor Hotel in Watkins Glen, NY.

Click here to RSVP. Seating is limited.

New FLX CDC Board Members Appointed

We would like to congratulate and acknowledge Brian Kenney and David Mizerak on their appointment to the CDC Board. Thank you for your dedication to the residents of Schuyler County! We would also like to thank Rich Greenberg for agreeing to serve for three more years. Rich has been instrumental to the success of our downtown beautification efforts.

We would also like to thank Beth Duane and Jessica Ryan for their past service. You both will be missed on the CDC Board but we know that each of you will continue to support the CDC and Schuyler County!

New DRI Documents

The latest DRI documents have been added to the DRI page. The project list is almost finalized and the final proposal will be submitted on March 30! The lat public input session was March 7. The final draft will be presented at the final local planning committee on Tuesday, March 13.

Governor Cuomo Announces Local Waterfront Revitalization Program


 Program Will Spur Local Economy and Waterfront Access Opportunities

 Development to Increase Tourism Season as Part of the Southern Tier Revitalization Plan

 Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the Village of Watkins Glen will be part of the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program to develop projects that will spur economic development in the community. The Local Waterfront Revitalization Program serves as a management program for the Village’s treasured waterfront resources along the Seneca Canal system outlined in the Southern Tier Soaring Upstate Revitalization Initiative plan.  The Local Waterfront Program is aimed to invigorate targeted New York areas with potential to grow into communities where the next generation of workers want to live, work, and play.

 “Through our Local Waterfront Revitalization Program, we are laying the groundwork for the growth of the tourism industry in the Seneca Canal system,” Governor Cuomo said. “The transformed Watkins Glen will be ready to offer a world class destination for thousands of tourists to visit year-round and will serve as an economic engine to keep the Southern Tier rising for decades to come.”

The Watkins Glen Local Waterfront Revitalization Program consists of an assessment of the Village’s current and desired waterfront uses, identifying exceptional opportunities to grow the local economy, bolster waterfront access opportunities, and preserve the unique community vision of natural and cultural resources. The program also seeks to strengthen the relationship of Watkins Glen with Seneca Lake in light of the economic resurgence that is transforming the Southern Tier. While Watkins Glen is currently a summertime destination, the Village intends to stretch the tourist season by increasing the attractiveness and accessibility of the Village’s commercial areas and waterfront parkland well into the fall season.

 The Capital projects identified in this Local Waterfront Revitalization Program for Watkins Glen include:

  • The rehabilitation of Clute Park bathhouse;
  • Upgrades to the Village’s public boat launch and marina; and
  • Improvements to the Catherine Valley and the Queen Catherine Marsh Loop Trails that provide public access to the waterfront.

New York State has focused a variety of resources to help Watkins Glen advance the goals of the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program and re-imagine the community as part of the plan to create economic development in the southern region of the state. Schuyler County won a 2016 Environmental Protection Fund-Local Waterfront Revitalization Program grant for nearly $1.1 million for part of the first phase of Project Seneca. Schuyler County will use the funds to prepare a regional strategic plan that will generate job opportunities, development and tourism, benefiting local residents of Watkins Glen and Montour Falls.

 As part of the overall economic development plan for the Southern Tier, the state also awarded over $1.3 million through the 2017 Environmental Protection Fund-Local Waterfront Revitalization Program to Schuyler County for the second phase of the proposed Project Seneca Redevelopment of the Village Seneca Lake Waterfront. Improvements will include design and construction of a four-season pavilion with restrooms and a commercial grade kitchen in Clute Park, as well as preparation of a Reuse Feasibility Study, exploring options for redevelopment of the soon to be decommissioned lakefront Waste Water Treatment Plant.

 Secretary of State Rossana Rosado said, “The Local Waterfront Revitalization Program establishes a consensus between the Village and the state, assuring that we work in partnership to promote activities and projects that are appropriate and benefit the greater community. As Watkins Glen advances its vision through this year’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative, the LWRP will provide an essential and complementary plan for the lakefront to spur economic development, job creation and tourism for local residents to be part of the Southern Tier boom that’s transforming this region.”

Senator Tom O’Mara, Chair of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, said, “These are exciting projects to revitalize the Watkins Glen waterfront and strengthen the village’s position as an anchor of the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes economy. This program will benefit local residents, taxpayers, employers, and workers, as well as enhance the attraction of Watkins Glen as one of New York State’s premier destinations.”

 Assemblyman Phil Palmesano said, “Village leaders and the community at large are taking important and exciting steps to ensure that Watkins Glen remains strong for generations to come.  This waterfront revitalization program is a critical piece of this overall strategy to benefit village residents and taxpayers, create new economic opportunities, and keep Watkins Glen as one of the absolute highlight attractions of the Southern Tier, Finger Lakes, and all of New York State.”

Dennis Fagan, Chairman of the Schuyler County Legislature, said, “The Local Waterfront Revitalization Program for Watkins Glen announced by Governor Cuomo will spur the local economy of Schuyler County by extending our tourism season into the fall.  We are currently experiencing record sales tax and room tax growth and this program will help us sustain our tourism related revenues.  This will in turn help Schuyler County to minimize property tax increases to our businesses and residents.”

Sam Schimizzi, Watkins Glen Mayor, said, “First, we are grateful to Governor Cuomo for his investments in our community.  The waterfront revitalization award will provide the Village of Watkins Glen enhanced ability to transform our lakefront and further cultivate the economic growth for our municipality.  This investment, along with the Downtown Revitalization Initiative award, recognizes the Governor’s commitment to strengthen and invest in communities to enhance economic development.  For that, we are grateful and look forward to working with our State Officials.”

Judy McKinney Cherry, Co-Chair of the Watkins Glen DRI Local Planning Committee, said, “We are so thankful for Governor Cuomo’s attention to Update New York and especially his focus on the revitalization of the waterfront and waterways. Our local economic development efforts have definitely been bolstered with the State’s investment in the waterfront and the Downtown Revitalization Initiative for Watkins Glen.  We expect jobs and significant private investment as a result of these public monies being invested in our community.”

Watkins Glen was also selected as the second-round Downtown Revitalization Initiative winner for the Southern Tier region, which has directed $10 million to the Watkins Glen downtown. The Village is in the process of refining information from their Downtown Revitalization Initiative application to develop a list of projects suitable for funding. The program is designed to undertake redevelopment activities that will affirm the Watkins Glen downtown as an active, inspiring, and fun place to be.

 The Department of State’s Office of Planning, Development & Community Infrastructure works in partnership with waterfront communities across the state through the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program. This partnership focuses on strengthening the local economy and expanding public access opportunities while protecting natural and cultural resources.

 Accelerating Southern Tier Soaring

This announcement complements “Southern Tier Soaring,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. New York has already invested more than $4.6 billion in the Southern Tier since 2012, building a redevelopment foundation, attracting a talented workforce, growing business and driving innovation. Unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Binghamton, Johnson City and Corning as a destination in which to grow and invest. The region is accelerating Southern Tier Soaring with a $500 million state investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The state’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion, with the region’s plan, as submitted, projecting up to 10,200 new jobs. More information is available here.

NYPA’s Reimagine the Canals

A competition to reimagine the New York State Canal System​

The New York Power Authority and the New York State Canal Corporation, under Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s leadership, are looking for visionary, implementable concepts and initiatives that promote the Canal System’s heritage, foster economic development and tourism, and improve the Canal System’s long-term financial sustainability.

Click here for more information and to submit your idea.

The submission deadline is January 12!

The direct link is https:/

Village of Watkins Glen Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) Presentations and Committee Meeting Notes

Village of Watkins Glen Downtown Revitalization Initiative
Local Planning Committee Meeting #1  September 27, 2017

Watkins Glen DRI Local Planning Committee Meeting #1 Notes

Watkins Glen DRI Public Workshop Presentation October 18, 2017

Village of Watkins Glen DRI Workshop Presentation #2 – October 25, 2017

Watkins Glen DRI Local Planning Committee Meeting #2 Notes

Notice to the Community of Watkins Glen

We’d like to update the community on the $10 Million DRI award from NYS to Watkins Glen. First, we are excited about this opportunity and the planning process is just beginning.  In the communities that were awarded the DRI last year, this planning process took nearly a year to complete.  There will be a VERY PUBLIC process used to develop the plan and project list.  The projects put forth in the DRI application were submitted to identify potential investment and related jobs.  Because a project is listed does not guarantee any grant funding.  The $10M is designed to leverage private sector match.  We will work diligently to have a mechanism to ensure a fair and transparent process.


RFP Engineering Services for an Ultra-Premium Shared Wined Production Facility







The Schuyler County Partnership has recently begun development work on a proposed state-of-the-art shared wine facility for production of premium wine for exportation outside Schuyler County.

SCOPED is requesting proposals from qualified engineering firms or individuals to provide schematic design and construction documents for bidding and construction of an ultra-premium wine production, warehousing and distribution facility that is approximately 19,500 Sq. Ft. The overall intent of this proposed facility is to build a physical asset on the vacant business park site allowing for three (3) wine manufacturing entities to be housed simultaneously. The tenants will have a common loading dock area, warehousing space, bottling area, employee parking, and restrooms while maintaining individually secure production and crushing space. This facility will serve as the anchor for future development/investment in the business park. The facility should also be easily expanded in at least two directions.

Below is a link to the RFP:

Business Park RFP

RFP Architectural Services for an Ultra-Premium Shared Wined Production Facility






The Schuyler County Partnership has recently begun development work on a proposed smart, state-of-the-art shared wine facility for production of premium wine for exportation outside Schuyler County. 

SCOPED is requesting proposals from qualified architectural firms or individuals to provide schematic design and construction documents for bidding and construction of an ultra-premium wine production, warehousing and distribution facility that is approximately 19,500 Sq. Ft.  The overall intent of this proposed facility is to build a physical asset on the vacant business park site allowing for three (3) wine manufacturing entities to be housed simultaneously.  The tenants will have a common loading dock area, warehousing space, bottling area, employee parking, and restrooms while maintaining individually secure production and crushing space. This facility will serve as the anchor for future development/investment in the business park. 

Below is link to the RFP.

Request for Proposal


Schuyler County: Partnering for Resources


Schuyler County: Partnering for Resources

Below are information from the Schuyler County: Partnering for Resources Workshop.


1.      Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council 2016 PROGRESS REPORT


2.      2016 Regional Economic Development Council Awards


3.      2016 Regional Council Handbook


4.      2016 CFA Resource Manual


5.      2016 CFA Application Guide


6.         Handbook for New Yorkers: Sustainable Development and Collaborative Governance:


Schuyler County Percentage Job Increase Strongest in the Southern Tier Region

From October 2015 to October 2016, Schuyler County has continued to stand out within the Southern Tier region of New York.  The county has had sustainable growth with a 2.6% increase in the Private sector jobs.  This number includes a 11.1% increase in production of goods jobs and 16.7% increase in manufacturing jobs.  In comparison with the Southern Tier, production of goods employment is 12.3% higher and manufacturing is 18.7% higher within Schuyler.

These positive trends have not only set Schuyler County apart from the Region but within the state of New York, the third largest economy in the country.  The growth within the private sector employment in the county is 1.4% higher than the State with a 11.9% higher increase in production and 16.6% in manufacturing. These numbers are very similar in comparison to the country with 11% higher in production and 14.1% higher in manufacturing.

The Schuyler County government and Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development (SCOPED) is committed to continuing to grow our local economy.  We are dedicated to continue these positive trend to a building a stronger, thriving and sustainable economy in Schuyler County.