Return home

GUEST COLUMN: 2022 was strong year for development in Herkimer County

John J. Piseck Jr., Herkimer County Industrial Development Agency CEO
Posted 1/4/23

In a series wrapping up this week, the Daily Sentinel, in partnership with the Genesis Group, has published articles written by area elected officials and business and community leaders. In addition …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

GUEST COLUMN: 2022 was strong year for development in Herkimer County


In a series wrapping up this week, the Daily Sentinel, in partnership with the Genesis Group, has published articles written by area elected officials and business and community leaders. In addition to the Sentinel’s Editorial Page, the articles are appearing in the Genesis Group’s weekly newsletters and social media pages.

In 2022, Herkimer County saw many projects come to life.

Four businesses found new homes: The Fountainhead Group, Pepsi, and Hale Manufacturing opened in Schuyler, and Amazon in Frankfort. As of today, we have completely filled our expanded 188-acre business park in Schuyler.  

The Herkimer County Industrial Development Agency (HCIDA) continues to work on the Eastern Mohawk Valley Water Transmission Line that will service the towns of Schuyler and Herkimer and the villages of Frankfort, Ilion, and Herkimer. When complete, it will support more than 22,000 residents, 1,500 businesses, two assisted living facilities and Herkimer College.

In November, the HCIDA was awarded $9.3 million to not only advance the project, but to reduce the amount of funds required by each community to complete the project. 

Anything that happens in Herkimer County would not happen without the support of the County Legislature or the HCIDA board of directors. The legislature is always looking for ways to assist with the economic growth of the county. The HCIDA works closely with our partners at Mohawk Valley EDGE and such New York State agencies as Empire State Development, the Department of Environmental Conservation, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Health, the Environmental Facilities Corporation, the office of Homes and Community Renewal, and the Department of State among others.

We also work with state Assembly representatives Robert Smullen, Marianne Buttenschon, and Brian Miller and state Sen. Peter Oberacker, as well as federal agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency and our representatives in Congress Elise Stefanik, Claudia Tenney, and Sen. Charles E. Schumer.

However, without the support of our towns and villages, we would not be able to move any projects to where they are today. All of their continued support is the main reason why Herkimer County has been so successful.

Again in 2022, we received an EPA grant totaling $500,000 to complete Phase I and II environmental site assessments on properties throughout the county that are believed to have contamination issues. We saw the cleanup of the Charlestown Mall and the award of a $2 million RestoreNY grant for the former Duofold site. I was also able to present the Duofold property at the National Brownfield Convention in Oklahoma City to many developers looking to expand their property portfolio.

The HCIDA was also able to begin the process of preparing the former Chips Gas Station in the town of Frankfort for cleanup, with a clear goal for repurposing the site. In April, the six counties in the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council held their first Brownfield Developers Conference at Fulton-Montgomery Community College and had great success. The 2023 conference will be held in April at Herkimer College, a frequent partner of the HCIDA, and we will build off of our previous success.

The HCIDA conducted many studies to help assist with what direction we should focus on in the future. We received a grant for $50,000 from state office of Homes and Community Renewal to study food processing in our county. We have used that information to begin attracting processors that can support our number one economic driver: agriculture.

Several housing studies in various locations throughout the county were also completed. In addition, the HCIDA has started a venue study. With the interest and success of the Nexus Center, it has opened a need for different events in Herkimer County, which will be analyzed by the venue study that is currently underway.

To further economic development and to assist with education and tele-medicine, the HCIDA partnered with Oneida County to conduct a broadband study to show where the true connections begin and end.

The HCIDA staff continues to work with communities to assist with grant processes, from the start of applications to contract administration. With our current staff of four, we administer many grants that otherwise may not have been sought after due to limited municipality resources. We work with many new and existing companies on the grant process, and continually look for ways to help support any project.

The HCIDA board of directors understands the importance of renewable energy, which is why we have been diligent in proceeding with these types of projects. Herkimer County currently has wind, solar, and hydropower being produced locally. Our Payment In-Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) process is in place, and we believe it is up to the home community to be the decision-maker on projects in their community. 

I would furthermore like to thank the Genesis Group for always promoting our region and the local media which has consistently been supportive and gives a clear picture on how well our region is doing.

The HCIDA looks forward to 2023 and beyond!

John J. Piseck Jr. is the chief executive officer (CEO) of the Herkimer County Industrial Development Agency.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here