No decision on biodiesel fuel plant

Staff Reporter

COOPERSTOWN — An expected decision on the placement by SUNY Morrisville of a biodiesel fuel plant in one of three locations in Cortland County or a location in Oneida County didn’t materialize at a meeting in Cooperstown on Friday.
The issue was discussed during a four-hour meeting that included SUNY Morrisville officials, investors for the project and other interested parties.
However, representatives from Cortland left the meeting encouraged that the county was being strongly considered.
“We all came away feeling that Cortland County is still at the top of the list,” said Linda Hartsock, executive director of the county Business Development Corp. “I think we did a great job of demonstrating support in the county for the project, and I think they’re very much leaning our way.”
SUNY Morrisville President Ray Cross said before the meeting that he hoped to make a decision at the meeting, but he would not have any immediate public comment after the meeting.
Hartsock attended the meeting with county legislator Tom Williams (R-Homer) and Mike Brown, owner of the former Homer Oil plant, one of the three Cortland County sites being considered.
The other two are the 26-acre Noss Industrial Park along Valley View Drive that once housed the Rosen Brothers Scrap Yard and the Wickwire Bros. factory, and a 10-acre property in Polkville, next to the Suit-Kote rail facility.
The property in Oneida County is located in Sangerfield and has been offered to SUNY Morrisville by the county for free.
Much of the discussion at Friday’s meeting was about the very different financial bonuses and downfalls each site brings, Hartsock said.
“Each site has its own unique set of financial considerations,” she said. “They had to look at things like cost of infrastructure, cost of technology — it’s close to an $8 million investment so they had to look closely at a lot of different variables.”



Greek Peak begins work on $36M expansion

Staff Reporter

VIRGIL — Greek Peak is drawing near to the actual construction of the first phase of a $36 million expansion project.
Seventy-two thousand cubic yards of soil have been moved and compacted for parking lots and the like, said Al Kryger, Greek Peak president.
“We expect to finish the bulk of the site work here over the next couple of weeks, and start the footers by no later than mid-August,” Kryger said Friday afternoon. “It just depends on the weather — the weather’s been killing us.”
In addition to finalizing the _design of the first stage — which includes a 150-room four-star _hotel, lobby and restaurant, as well as a 52,000-square-foot indoor water park — Kryger said the resort _is also finishing up the paperwork for the financing and deciding which source would be better in the long-term.
Kryger would not elaborate on the possible sources of funding beyond saying that one is a local lender, and the other is a retirement fund.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation has signed off on the facilities as well as the logistics for water runoff and drainage, Kryger said.
Kryger said the first phase of the project will generate about 240 jobs locally through sub-contracts awarded by the resort’s contractor, the Pike Construction Co. of Rochester.
The second phase of the project, which involves the construction of a golf course and conference center, will generate an additional 45 jobs, Kryger said.
Kryger hopes to open the first phase of the project by August 2007, and estimates that construction of the second phase won’t begin until 2008.
Condominium sales for the hotel started in March, and Kryger said they have already sold about 30 percent of the available (soon-to-be-constructed) units, mainly to investors in the project but also to unconnected parties, as well.
A building permit has yet to be required for any work on the site, but Virgil Supervisor Jim Murphy said that at a meeting of the Town Board on Thursday night, Kryger said Greek Peak will apply for the permit when it is ready to pour the footers.
Murphy gave a rough estimate of the cost of the building permit at around $20,000. The permit price is based on the square footage of the proposal, Murphy said Friday.
Another upcoming project involves realigning Clute Road where it intersects Route 392 near Greek Peak, which Murphy said is something that has been considered for several years.
Instead of the Y-intersection that exists now, the intersection of Clute Road and Route 392 will be moved several hundred feet to the east, and will become a T-intersection that is aligned with Greek Peak’s parking lot, Murphy said.