October 19, 2012
Study to chart future C’ville growth
Town to examine which areas are best to develop commercial, housing projects
CORTLANDVILLE — The town is looking into hiring Syracuse-based consulting firm Clough Harbour to conduct a study on where it would be best for the town to expand its commercial and residential development.
Recent success in growing businesses along the Routes 281 and 13 corridor has led to town government thinking more can be done in the town.
A spike in population from 2000 to 2010 has also played a large role in the town looking into the idea.
Another reason Cortlandville is becoming attractive for businesses is because last year the town won a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant for $4 million to replace old sewer and water piping along Route 13 up to the Cortland line.
The new lines will provide more stable access to water and sewer services for businesses interested in expanding to Cortlandville.
Town Supervisor Richard Tupper said the federal funds ran out before the town ever got the money. He added that the town will get some money this year — he made it clear it probably will not be $4 million, but rather half that — for the project.
“Whatever grant we get, we’re going to replace the lines,” Tupper said. “They are getting old and we want to be proactive. We’re trying to predict what’s next, and we think that’s growing our local business selection.”
In 2003, the town conducted a similar study that cost $80,000. Tupper said there was a public outcry over spending that much money, and that it was basically just a waste of cash. That study showed that it was feasible to develop business along Route 13, which directly led to the building of a Wal-Mart.
“Look at the town now,” he said. “That entire corridor is thriving with businesses which have allowed neighborhoods to pop up. Plus, the more businesses we have here, the more all of the (towns, cities, villages) benefit because of increased sales tax revenue.”
Town Board member Ted Testa said the town paid $80,000 for a feasibility study of Route 281 from Exit 12 in Homer to South Cortland that emphasized how to improve Route 281 and protect the aquifer.
Tupper said that Cortlandville accounts for 68 percent of Cortland County’s sales tax revenue, and that number would increase if any expansion happens.
Cortland Director of Administration and Finance Mack Cook said he is completely behind the town making a major expansion on the commercial front. Cook said that any time new businesses come to the area, that means an economic boom.
“What would happen if Cortlandville does this is that it will provide employment to people not just in the town, but also in Cortland and the entire area,” he said. “As for sales tax, that’s good for everyone in Cortland County. I find no fault in what they’re trying to do.”
Tupper said the thought of recruiting new businesses is just an idea right now, but that it could become a reality pending a study by Clough Harbour. Tupper said he and Testa have been holding daily meetings to go over as much detail as possible prior to getting Clough involved.
Cortlandville had a population of 7,919 in 2000. That number jumped by 590 to 8,509 in 2010, according to U.S. Census date. In contrast, the entire county gained just a total of 700 people in that span.
“It shows that the majority of people that come to the area are attracted to our town,” said Testa. “Plus, we’re always thinking about the future. There’s about 5,000 cars a day that pass through Route 13, so it’s prime location for something special.”
Tupper said the study is in its preliminary stages and is unsure when it will be completed.
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