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Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York

River Agency reports a successful year

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LOUISVILLE – The St. Lawrence River Valley Redevelopment Agency’s second full year of operation was a busy one.

“I think it’s gone very well,” said Chairman Robert O. McNeil. “We have had a very productive year, and we hope to have an even better one next year.”

In addition to giving out $571,052 in community development awards to spur economic development, the River Agency has partnered with a local bank to provide a $200,000 line of credit for the Ansen Corporation, Ogdensburg, restructured a loan for Slic Network Solutions and developed and rented space for businesses in the Massena and Canton industrial parks.

The River Agency received $16 million from the New York Power Authority in 2010 to help attract businesses and create jobs.

In addition, the agency has a stake in two buildings in the Massena Industrial Park — one of them leased to Fockler Industries — as well as loans to North Country Dairy, North Lawrence; Slic Network Solutions, Potsdam; Structural Wood Corporation (Roll Lock Truss), Waddington; and Nicholville Telephone Co. The agency has also provided a loan to the St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency to help finance the first building in the Canton Industrial Park.

The IDA serves as the River Agency’s staff.

In June, the Danko Construction Company, Massena, started construction on the Canton building. St. Lawrence Brewing Co. will be the building’s first tenant.

IDA Chief Executive Officer Patrick J. Kelly said that these projects combined have assisted in the retention of over 50 jobs as well as the creation of another 50.

“The relationship between the River Valley Agency and IDA is working,” he said. “We’ve been able to combine existing IDA programs and services with the assets of the River Valley Agency to fund a number of economic and community development projects.”

Mr. Kelly said the projects are producing results throughout the county through job creation, investments in sites and buildings, and in a variety of community and infrastructure projects.

In August, an agreement between the Massena Electric Department and NYPA granting the agency 20 megawatts of low-cost power for economic development projects was signed by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.

The power allocation will be used as a tool to either help existing companies expand or to attract new companies.

The River Agency has indicated that it would like to use the proceeds from selling any allocated power for more development activities and projects. The River Agency has been working with state officials to move that process forward, Mr. Kelly said.

Mr. Kelly said he optimistic about the future, adding that the North Country Regional Economic Development Council’s recent funding announcements support the initiatives under way between the IDA and River Valley Agency.

“In addition to the projects we already have under way, we’ve been awarded funds for the Canton Industrial Park and for improving the two River Valley buildings in Massena,” he said. “These awards, as well as the infrastructure and company awards in the county, should enable us to accelerate our activities in 2012.”

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