Legislators approve funds for new voting machines, grant application for brewery on Griffiss Park
UTICA — The Oneida County Board of Legislators approved funding for the Board of Elections to purchase new voting machines and to allow the county to apply for state funding to renovate an old parachute facility in Rome into a brewery.
The board voted unanimously to approve a capital project and $2,163,000 in funding for new voting machines for the Oneida County Board of Elections.
“The voting machines are approximately 15 years old and had a lot of breakdowns during the last election which caused the results to be reported extremely late,” Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. said in a letter to Gerald Fiorini, chairman of the board of legislators. “The Commissioners and I have deemed the current voting machines will not be able to handle next year’s election.”
The most recent election took place Nov. 8 2022, and during election night, Oneida County’s results reporting stalled at around 9 p.m., with few updates coming from the Board of Elections until late at night.
The day after the election, the commissioners said that the computerized systems used to gather the results had not performed the way that they were supposed to, and that they would figure out what had happened.
Restore NY Grant
The board of legislators has authorized the county to request $1,800,000 in funding from Empire Development as a part of the Restore NY grant program, to establish a brewery at a former parachute dry-out facility at the Griffiss Business and Technology Park in Rome.
The “parachute shop” was used by the Air Force when it was built in the 1950s, but has now been closed and vacant for a long time. The Restore NY program’s purpose is to renovate and rehabilitate rundown and dilapidated buildings.
If the county receives the funding, it will transform the parachute shop into Parachute Brewery, a craft brewery, tasting room, and an indoor and outdoor performance venue.
The county will work with Mohawk Valley Edge to plan and implement the project. The project will create jobs and generate sales and excise taxes and property taxes for the area.
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