Progress

Tags: Chenango County, Commerce Chenango, community, Raymond Corporation, Rogers Center, Friends of Rogers, the Village, Steve Craig, The Evening Sun, New York, New Berlin, Crystal Engel, Ramon Casipit, Deanna Parsons, Christine Bates, Sun Staff Writer, Niko Koutividas, Barbara J. Schindler, Howard Johnson, Chenango Forks, Golden Artist Colors, Craig, Rogers Environmental Education Center, GRADY THOMPSON Sun Staff Writer, Kelly Kasmarcik, Dental Assistant, Norwich, New York, Administrative Assistant, Pittsburgh Steelers, Jill Bennett, George Raymond, New York State, George Raymond Sr., Chuck Taylor, Natalie Beckwith, Stacy Scheer, Dallas Cowboys, Congratulations Donna, Shannon Robinson, New Berlin Fire Dept., New Berlin Firehouse, Brian Burton
Content: Progress
A visitor at Friends of Rogers' annual Youth Fishing Day hooks a large pike.
Chenango Published by The Evening Sun 2017
01
A lively year for Commerce Chenango
positions them at-the-ready for 2017
BY GRADY THOMPSON Sun Staff Writer
Eveing Sun File Photo Above is the Norwich Pharmaceuticals, An Alvogen Company, ribbon cutting in October, 2016 to celebrate the one of Chenango County's largest employers' expansion. President and CEO Steve Craig was in attendance as a representative of Commerce Chenango.
One of the new, high-capacity culverts that will protect the investment in railroad repairs.
Submitted Photo
2016 was an eventful year for Commerce Chenango as they continued to address the evolving business and economic climate throughout Chenango County. In a year that included a number of objectives and targets for those at Commerce Chenango, President and CEO Steve Craig says that there's been plenty of progress and strides made in the right direction towards their goals in the past year to position them in favorable standing as they look ahead to the future. "Our goals [in 2016] included the restoration of the rail line through the center of the county, the renovation of the downtown Norwich hotel, the growth of Chamber Special Events including the Soiree-in-the-Park and the College and Career Connection, and the re-establishment of the Chobani Chamber Challenge as a trail run in the state land west of Norwich," said Craig. Of these goals, a particular highlight of the headway made in 2016 by Commerce Chenango was the repair of long-standing damage to the NYS&W Utica branch rail line. In conjunction with sister company Chenango County industrial development Agency (IDA), developmental partner Development Chenango Corporation, Chenango County, the New York State DOT, and the U.S. Commerce Department's economic development Administration, Commerce Chenango was able to hire Frontier Railroad Services to restore serviceability to 45 miles of railroad track between Earlville and Chenango Forks. In order to restore the track, several dozen washouts that CONTINUED ON PAGE 6
Golden Artist continues to Color the World
BY MICHAELA WATTS Sun Staff Writer NEW BERLIN -- For decades now, the global leading manufacturer, Golden Artist Colors of New Berlin has proven to provide the best product while upholding the best customer satisfaction. Golden Artist Colors continues to inspire and spark creativity among the community, classrooms and even on a global sphere though providing the very best tools and materials when bringing a vision to life. Since the warehouse expansion back in 2014 and the launch of the
new water colors, 2016 has been nothing short of a great year for Golden Artist Colors. Golden President & COO, Barbara J. Schindler said that, "The company has had a tremendous year in terms of productivity. However there's always improvements when it comes to this line of work. Some days current colors are extremely trend and the next day a new color is developed. So as a paint manufacturing company we have to be able to adapt an stay on top of new products." Now that Golden's has the opportunity to house the three foremost varieties of paint:
"We are so grateful for all the support and dedication shown by employees over the years." BARBARA SCHINDLER GOLDEN ARTIST PRESIDENT AND COO
acrylic, oil and watercolor to ments and development to be con-
artist, "A 25 percent growth in the structed," said Schindler.
past year has allowed new invest- Jodi
L.
O'Dell,
Communications Coordinator also commented on the fact that through a increase in product demand, other new strides were taken in the year of 2016. In the fall, "Golden Artist Colors partnered with DCMO BOCES to offer a professional painting instruction course for second grade art teachers within the Delaware, Chenango, Madison, and Otsego BOCES District. Since the 8 week course, Golden Artist Colors will host an art exhibition during the month of February in its Loft Gallery fea- CONTINUED ON PAGE 3
Published by The Evening Sun, Chenango County's Hometown Daily Since 1891.
Visit us online at www.evesun.com.
02
PROGRESS CHENANGO 2017
PUBLISHED BY THE EVENING SUN
Rogers Environmental Conservation Center:
A land of opportunity
BY GRADY THOMPSON Sun Staff Writer
When New York State
closed Rogers Environmental
Education Center in 2010, it
was the Friends of Rogers
organization who stepped up
and intervened.
Fastforward six years later,
and Friends of Rogers reports
that nearly 13,000 people vis-
ited the center in 2016, and
that's just the people who vis-
ited the lobby.
"We've underwent a lot of
change in the past six years,
and all for the better," said
Friends of Rogers Executive
Director Simon Solomon.
Today, Friends of Rogers
operates on an annual budget
of $250,000, and they contin-
ue to enhance their programs
and partnerships to fully take
advantage of all that Rogers
Center's 600 acres has to
offer.
"We see ourselves as a
community resource, a desti-
nation, and an eco-tourist
attraction," said Friends of
Rogers
Developmental
Executive Jessica Moquin.
"We're working diligently to
really finesse our role as an
economic driver in the com-
munity."
As the only environmental
conservation center in a 50-
mile radius, Solomon says
that a major factor that sets
Rogers Center aside as
unique from state land is that
they have taken a programat-
ic stance to advance events
and exploit the best things the
land has to offer.
"We've taken a strategic
approach by increasing our
programs and relations, and
we're seeing dividends being
paid as a result," said
Solomon.
Consequently, Friends of
Rogers was recognized by
Commerce Chenango as the
2016 Business of the Year.
The complete renovation of
the Friends of Rogers lobby
for the first time in 25 years
was among the notable hap-
penings of 2016. A donation
from the Mid-York
Foundation enabled the reno-
vation that was unveiled at a
ribbon cutting featuring
Commerce
Chenango
President and CEO Steve
Craig on January 19, two
days before Friends of
Rogers' chief winter program:
the 39th annual Winter Living
Celebration on January 21.
The Winter Living
Celebration organized and
hosted by Friends of Rogers
is a yearly free-will donation
program that highlights the
winter months at Rogers
Center and typically draws
over 1,000 people. This year's
program featured live music
by Susquehanna String Band,
horse drawn sleigh rides,
cross-country skiing and
snowshoeing, nature and out-
door living demonstrations,
Grady Thompson Photo
Pictured from left to right are Friends of Rogers Development Executive Jessica Moquin, Executive Director Simon Solomon, Educator Sarah Freeman, and Intern Amanda Phillips.
crafts, and refreshments. The program precedes other large annual events organized by Friends of Rogers such as Earth Fest in May, the Wild Goose Chase in September, and Animals of
Halloween in October. There are also a number of smaller programs organized by Friends of Rogers every month. Friends of Rogers employs two full-time employees in Solomon and Moquin, as well as two other part-time employees. They also rotate in environmental interns over the course of the year from schools such as the SUNY College of Environmental
Science and Forestry in Syracuse, and SUNY Cortland. While the Friends of Rogers employees focus on the day-to-day operations, Solomon says that it is the support of their active and ambitious Board of Directors that keeps them in motion. "We've evolved a lot over the last few years and increased the number of board members. Some have
come and gone, but anyone who is or has served on the board has put in tons of effort," said Solomon. Moquin noted that their board members have a wide skill-set with geologists, marketers, even an attorney on board. "We rely on them and the huge depth and expertise they bring. They're solid, strong, and engaged, and CONTINUED ON PAGE 3
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TEL: 607.336.2273 10 Henry Street (Behind Howard Johnson's) Norwich, New York 13815 www.thenorwichdental.com
Submitted Photo A visitor at Friends of Rogers' annual Youth Fishing Day hooks a large pike. While hunting and fishing is not permitted at Rogers Center, Friends of Rogers host an annual catch-and-release event.
PUBLISHED BY THE EVENING SUN
PROGRESS CHENANGO 2017
03
New Berlin - A year in review from the mayor
BY TERRY POTTER Mayor There were several activities in the Village of New Berlin throughout the year that as Mayor, I was proud to be a part of. Some of these activities include: "The Helping Hands Project"-a project that has stayed true to its original mission of helping others in our community who may need "a helping hand". We had a Record Number of volunteers come into our community and help out on this year's projects. Thank you to our committee (Gene, Tony, Betsey and Gary) and all who make this possible! The traditional Christmas Tree lighting ceremony and parade drew hundreds of peo-
ple to the center of the village to experience this holiday kickoff once again. This festivity continues to grow and isn't possible without the support of the UV School, community members, and businesses. Thank you to our committee (Justin, Rachel, and Gina), the Baio family, Frontier, Curtis Lumber, the New Berlin Fire Dept. and the Village of New Berlin DPW for all your help in making sure this event is a success every year! The Spirit of Christmas took place this year at the New Berlin Firehouse and we handed out food baskets and provided toys to families in the village and surrounding area that were in need. Thank you Marty , Jeff, Shirley,
Bob,
Tony,
Mary
Ellen,Mickey, the Levinson's,
and Gary for spear heading
this effort. This year was with
a heavy heart as Father Chuck
Taylor who was a pillar of our
community and helped estab-
lish Spirit of Christmas was
not with us. Thank you Father
Chuck for maker our commu-
nity a better one, you will
never be forgotten. I will miss
our Pittsburgh Steelers and
Dallas Cowboys banter.
Working with the UV
Youth Baseball and Softball
League throughout the spring
and summer continues to be a
pleasure. They hosted their
annual tournament and the
games drew people from
through out the area into our
village.
Coloring the
world ­
The youth summer pro-
gram provided both educa-
tional experiences and fun for
many children in the village.
This was combined with the
free breakfast and lunch pro-
gram in Hyde Park through a
USDA grant.
In May I had the honor of
emceeing the Village of New
Berlin's Memorial Day cere-
mony. In June the Village cel-
ebrated its bicentennial that
was an entire day of activities
capped off by a marvelous
fireworks display! We had
our first village luncheon that
was organized by a group of
ladies and held on the side
street by Hyde park. There
was entertainment there for
all to enjoy along with bands
playing on the corner of Main
St and the Donna Frech
dancers performed as well.
The parade that followed was
well received and many of the
local business had open hous-
es showcasing what they
were all about.
Our New Berlin Fire Dept.
continues to be strong and
arguably one of the best fire
departments in the county
and in 2017 will be celebrat-
ing its 150th Anniversary! Our
EMS continues to serve the
village residents, the Town of
New Berlin, The Town of
Columbus, and the Town of
Pittsfield. We appreciate the
relationships and cooperation
that we have with all of them.
The businesses in and out-
side the village continue to
have a great impact on our
local economy.
Inside the Village:
-
Preferred Mutual
remains one of the fastest
growing businesses in their
industry and continue to be
actively involved with our village events and projects. Multiple meetings throughout the year with CEO Chris Taft continue to keep our relationship strong with the top employer in the Village. - Milford Academy is the number one (football) prep school in the country we had 49 division one schools in the village at the end of November, with the likes of Temple, UMASS , and Florida. My recent conversation with Coach Chaplick was like a proud father talking about his sons. He has Milford Academy alumni that competed in the AFC Championship (Tyler Metakevich-Pittsburgh Steelers) and Niko Koutividas (former New England Patriot player and now a member of their staff). Coach Chaplick and the Falcons went undefeated this season. Congrats coach! - NBT Bank - 2016 saw the departure of my good friend Brian Burton as he moved on to be the branch manager in Norwich, his work over the last 10 years is greatly appreciated and the list is too long but events like Youth Days, Helping Hands, and Dollars for Scholars come to mind where he volunteered his time and talent. We miss you Brian, but NBT of New Berlin is in good hands with the new branch manager Jill Eddy. - The NY PizzeriaThey are celebrating their 35th anniversary in 2017 Congratulations! They have built a tremendous business here in our quaint little village and draw people from
near and far. Everyone knows their food is fabulous but above and beyond that they treat you like family and our entire community benefits from the way they generously give of their time and talents to this community. - Stewarts Shopsremains the top Stewarts for their region. If they are open , 99.9% of the time there are customers in there and they are busy. They continue to be generous to our youth programs and give us funding to help subsidize our programs. We will be submitting our application again for this funding and appreciate their generosity . - Donna Frech School of Dance- Celebrating 40 years of dance in New Berlin, Congratulations Donna! - Other businesses in the Village that continue to have success and add to our local economy include, Service Pharmacy, Lake Street Lanes , Remember When (the best Reuben around! stop in and try one),Ted's Body Shop,Stages Auto, Gillee's Auto Parts, Homestead General Store, S and K Treasures, Gates-Cole, Joys Beauty Shop, Dakin Funeral Home, Chase Nursing Home, Red Apple and Mirabito's. Im looking forward to Kelly Banks Cakes open their doors in the Village in 2017 . Outside the Village limits but having a significant impact: -Chobani - Our dear friend Hamdi and his Chobani Team congratulations to you for CONTINUED ON PAGE 5
Cameron Turner Photo Above is a photo taken at Golden Artist Colors of various paint products.
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Cameron Turner Photo Above is a photo taken at Golden Artist Colors of various paint products.
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 turing the artwork of 11 local teachers who participated in the class. The Master Teacher Program was facilitated by professional artist Carrie Mae Smith and was focused on helping participants explore their creativity." Golden Artist Colors still remains as an employeeowned company with its values of five precepts of 1) Honor work-life balance 2)
Pursue growth and learning 3) Act as stewards in all we care for 4) Lead and inspire creativity and innovation 5) Build and engage community relationships, "Has created an environment where people can thrive and company has flourished. We are so grateful for all the support and dedication shown by employees over the years", said Schindler. Currently Golden's employees 200 people
between the main plant located in New Berlin and the warehouse located in Norwich. When ask if any further expansions would be made, Schindler comments that, "We has a facility would like to remain in New York and investigate back into the community."
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04
PROGRESS CHENANGO 2017
PUBLISHED BY THE EVENING SUN
`In your own words'
Michael Field, CEO, The Raymond Corporation
The
Raymond
Corporation has been
part of Greene, New
York, for close to a century
now. In that time, Raymond
has evolved from early begin-
nings in 1840 as a century-
old iron foundry making agri-
cultural equipment to a mate-
rial handling industry pioneer
in 1922 with innovations and
technologies that include the
creation of the forklift.
In fact, as we celebrate 95
years of material handling
innovation, Raymond's long
history is filled with many
firsts. In 1939, George
Raymond Sr., our founder,
and William House, received
the patent for the first
hydraulic hand pallet truck
and the double-faced wooden
pallet. The pallet patent
enabled stackable unit loads
for warehouse organization.
Raymond again revolution-
ized the industry in the 1950s
by creating the narrow-aisle
warehouse concept and the
narrow-aisle forklift. This
concept is still used in ware-
houses around the globe to
maximize space and efficien-
cy.
Raymond continues to
influence the material han-
dling industry by not only
producing world-class mate-
rial handling equipment, but
also by providing end-to-end
solutions that are specific to
our customers' evolving
needs. Many industries today are taking the opportunity to maximize data and technology, and Raymond looks to lead the way. By providing a high caliber of products and solutions that are more technologically advanced, including telematics and automation, we hope to continue to drive the evolution of our industry. World-class principles, close to home As a leading global forklift manufacturer, we still maintain the sense of family in our workplace. We have five best practices that you could say make up our "recipe for success". The first is having the courage to do the right thing and demand the same of others. Secondly, in an effort to find better solutions, we are constantly learning, which helps drive innovation in everything we do. Next, our customer-first mantra -- "Will we meet or exceed our customers' expectations" -- ensures we're always thinking about what's right for our customers. Also, we are driven by compassion to treat others as we would like to be treated. And finally, our drive for results pushes us to develop products and services we are proud of. Through these principles, we are empowered to reach future milestones as a world-leading company.
It's imperative we stay competitive, and look to our community, our people and our customers to help us achieve that. New York State's continued support in making our state businessfriendly helps promote globalization, expands the talent pool and creates investment in our communities. The drive to increase technology jobs within our Supply Chain ecosystem exemplifies New York's commitment to job creation, while pioneering a vision for the future in which New York State is a global leader in innovation and technology. We are appreciative that state leaders, with the help of local and state organizations, see the value of businesses and communities working together to create a solid and prosperous New York State. Initiatives like the transmission of vital natural gas to Greene, and the importance of transportation systems such as the railway and highways, are vital to keep Raymond competitive on the world stage with global competitors. We will continue to work with the state and community to achieve these infrastructure improvements. A future built on many achievements Our hardworking, commit-
Holy Family School Of course, you want the best school for your child... ­­ MERIT ­­ A school where morality and academic standards go hand in hand ­­ PRIDE ­­ A school with a tradition of excellence ­­ PEACE ­­
ted team of employees are a critical asset to the future of our organization. They enable us to create superior products for our customers and empower Raymond to deliver global, quality solutions for our industry. This has led to our continued growth. To accommodate our physical growth, we are excited by the many expansion projects across our campus for manufacturing space, as well as the creation of turning lanes and updates to Route 12 for ease of access. Our manufacturing floor is always under constant evolution, implementing a number of state-of-the-art technologies. With this in mind, the development and retention of talent is necessary to achieve our long-term goals in the industry and for accommodating the demands of our customers. As an active member of the community, Raymond partners with vari-
ous colleges, trade schools and high schools to build our future workforce with the necessary skill sets, as well as recruit talent for current positions. Raymond continually supports the advancement of future technologies through non-profit giving and educational programs. In 2016, Raymond contributed to more than 140 non-profit and educational organizations. Raymond aids the advancement of technologies by supporting education and programs that revolutionize the future through financial contributions, facility tours, mentoring, a cooperative and other programs. Raymond continually collaborates with high schools, trade schools, colleges and universities, one example being the Greene TRobots Robotic club where we were able to provide MakeBlock robotic kits to the
club to encourage STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. Our appreciation goes out to our employees and their families who give of their time, monetary donations and participation in fundraising events that mean so much to the organizations and individuals we help. Annually, our team, RAY OF HOPE, supports the American Cancer Society and participates in the yearly Making Strides against breast cancer walk. Innovation, quality and service have been in Raymond's DNA since George Raymond Sr. purchased the company in 1922. With the support of our community, county and state, the Raymond team looks forward to continuing to exceed our customer's' expectations for the next 95 years.
Friends of Rogers
pushes into 2017 ­
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 they've been the champions behind us ever since the transition. It's the reason we're successful," said Moquin. Camping is becoming an additional revenue generator for Friends of Rogers, and Solomon says that they recognize the opportunity and have been testing the idea. Although the public is prohibited from camping at Rogers Center, they have hosted Boy and Girl Scout organizations and intend to continue doing so as an educational opportunity for scouts. Moquin says that there is a mutually symbiotic relationship shared between Friends of Rogers and scout organizations, as Rogers Center provides unique educational opportunities for scouts, and they in turn have helped Rogers Center. Last year, Eagle Scout Cole Yankowski built and created a 'little free library' at Rogers Center in front of the lobby, where anyone can come and
take or leave a book. In
another instance, a group of
Girl Scouts refurbished the
Rogers Center woodshed to
receive a merit badge.
In October of 2017, Friends
of Rogers plans to host an
overnight event for roughly
150 scouts.
"It should be a great event,"
said Solomon. "The scouts
have been great. They look at
this property as being full of
unique opportunities, and it
is. Rogers Center is an oppor-
tunity for many things."
One quality that makes
Rogers Center unique is the
mutual facility agreement
between Friends of Rogers
and the New York State
Department of Environmental
Conservation
(DEC).
Currently, Friends of Rogers
and the NYS DEC are under a
10-year mutual facility agree-
ment, which is an unusual
relationship for the DEC to
be in as they typically run
land solely by themselves.
Solomon says that in the
future, Friends of Rogers
would like to expand their
agreement with the DEC span
30 or 40 years, but in order to do so, they would like to see more give on behalf of the DEC. "It's going to take work and compromise, but we'd like to see things change more in our favor," said Solomon. "We've learned to manage regardless, but for the long haul, we would like [the agreement] to be restructured to benefit our end more." When asked if the existance of the unusual agreement in the first place was a testament to the level of commitment that the community and Friends of Rogers' has to the center, Moquin said, "Absolutely. Only by virtue of community support and regional love for the center are we able to accomplish all that we have. 12,800 annual visitors in just the visitor's center alone last year shows the fact that Rogers Center is a destination for people everywhere."
A school where your child is safe,
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& Flea Market Chenango County Fairgrounds - 168 East Main St., Norwich, NY 13815 MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND 2017
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PUBLISHED BY THE EVENING SUN
PROGRESS CHENANGO 2017
05
New Berlin celebrates bicentennial, mayor delivers updates on village ­
Submitted Photo
A shot from New Berlin's biCentennial Celebration.
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3 having another stellar year! Some of the National and International headlines put New Berlin in a positive light and our community continues to benefit. We appreciate our strong relationship with you and appreciate your generosity. In 2016 Chobani was once again in tune with our community and its needs. They donated product and money to help families in the village and throughout our area. In December they gave away hundreds of cases in the village. Words can not express our gratitude. We can not wait to see what 2017 has in store for Chobani. -Golden Artist- Another success story in our area on a national and international scale.They continue to amaze us with their generosity and
their genuine concern for how things are in the village and the surrounding area as well. When I met with Mr. Golden back in the fall , he asked how my father (Gary Potter) was doing and it caught me off guard. Despite all of the success he remains humble and kind , thank you Mr. Golden for all you do for our Village and for taking the time to meet with me. -NYCM - Although its location is across the river and in another county NYCM remains a generous donor to all of our village functions and our village benefits from their outreach and volunteerism. Thank you NYCM for your continued generosity. -Dollar General - Dollar General was eager to pitch in for village events and activi-
Submitted Photo ties. They helped out with the Spirit of Christmas among others. The Village of New Berlin remains on solid ground and is fiscally sound. The committment of our board members and the village clerk continue to keep us on this path. In 2016 we took a close look at the villages water system and are trying to be proactive with some system upgrades that we anticipate will be coming from state and federal mandates. We have engineers and grant writers involved and will be pursing grant funding for these upgrades. Overall , 2016 was a year of prosperity for businesses, having to say good bye to loved ones, saying goodbye but not farewell to friends , continuing traditions, making
A shot from New Berlin's bicentennial celebration.
new traditions, and carrying out our fiduciary responsibilities. But as I reflect even closer it was a year about relationships. It was about establishing new relationships and
maintaining existing relationships. This is another note that I can put into my mental journal of being Mayor ..... "never underestimate the power of a relationship".
Thank you to everyone who made 2016 a memorable one for the Village of New Berlin.
Success Story "We've aged as well as our finest wines" Nazzitto's Wines & Liquors Still great after 58! This would make a great catch phrase for Nazzitto's Wines & Liquors as 2017 marks their 58th year in business. Nazzitto's Wines & Liquors is the oldest operating wine & Liquor store in Chenango County with the original liquor license dating back to the 1930's. Frank J. Nazzitto moved his family to Norwich in 1950. Frank loved Norwich and felt it would be a great place to raise his nine children (8 girls, 1 boy). In 1959 Frank purchased Herman's Liquors Store which was located on American Avenue in Norwich. Frank, along with with his wife Grace, ran the small store until 1976. In 1974 he was joined by his son John, and in 1976 they moved the family operation (now known as Nazzitto's Wines & Liquors) to a new downtown plaza anchored by the new A&P Supermarket and new Rite Aid Drug Store. This plaza was located on South Broad Street across from NBT Bank. Nazzitto's remained in this plaza for 25 years until the year 2000 when the A&P Supermarket left Norwich and Rite Aid moved to it's new location. In 2000 John Nazzitto, now the sole owner and operator after Franks death in 1985, relocated in the Chenango Towne Plaza (Price Chopper Plaza) on Route 12 just South of Norwich. Always expanding their inventory with new wines and spirits Nazzitto's has one of the largest selections anywhere in Chenango County. Nazzitto's features wine and spirit tastings which gives customers the opportunity to "Try before they buy". when it comes to weddings, graduations, parties or any other celebrations their 58 years of experience is most helpful in choosing the right wines and spirits. Nazzito's also "Specializes" in "Special" requests. if they do not have the product you want in stock, they will order it for you. Providing the best customer service, having the most knowledgeable and friendly staff, and offering a great selection of wines and spirits is just part of a family tradition that has continued Nazzitto's Wines & Liquors success since 1959.
06
PROGRESS CHENANGO 2017
PUBLISHED BY THE EVENING SUN
Commerce Chenango says they're ready for the year ahead ­
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
occurred during the floods
of 2006 in 2011 had to be
repaired, as well as replacing
hundreds of rail ties, re-deck-
ing of bridges, and the instal-
lation of new, robust drainage
structures that are specifically
designed to protect the
roadbed and rails from future
potential flood damage.
"The challenge moving for-
ward is to use the availability
of freight rail transport as a
business attractor," said
Craig. "We have been con-
tacted by several companies
eager to ship bulk resources
on the Utica branch of
NYS&W. We have joined the
statewide rail association, and
plan to partner with that line
and Norfolk Southern [to
devise] a marketing strategy."
In terms of the renovation
to the downtown Norwich
hotel that was sought by
Commerce Chenango, Craig
says that the renovation has
been put on hold because the
hotel owner backed away
from making the necessary
refurbishments to affiliate
with Best Western. As a
result, the grant funding that
was awarded from the Market
New York program has since
been withdrawn. As for
Commerce Chenango's sub-
sequent strategy to renovate
the hotel, Craig said, "We are
working with community
leaders to craft an alternative
plan."
Other initiatives by
Commerce Chenango that
were to take place in 2016
included: devising a way to
provide natural gas to the
Raymond Corporation and
the Village of Bainbridge, the
continuance of quality loans
through
Development
Chenango's three loan pro-
grams, and reforming work-
ers' compensation as a public
policy initiative to benefit the greatest number of Chamber members. "Our staff was instrumental in winning grant funding for a gas pipeline spur from the Constitution Pipeline to Bainbridge and Greene, but the Constitution Pipeline itself remains tied up in legal battles over permitting," said Craig. One factor that makes the pipeline to Greene important is that it would benefit Chenango County's leading employer­the Raymond Corporation­but Craig was not able to put a timeline on potential pipeline progress in the future. Despite this fact, the Raymond Corporation has been continually growing, and Commerce Chenango reports that the demand for its industry-leading products, services, and systems show no signs of slowing down. Craig says that the success of the Raymond Corporation and other large manufacturing and financial companies is a testament to the widely diversified economy throughout Chenango County. "From a land use perspective we are largely agricultural, including forestry," said Craig. "Chenango County boasts 110,000 acres of state land: the most of any county outside the Adirondack and Catskill parks. But if you look at our wealth creation, it lies with our manufacturing sector's production of very high-value products." Raymond's narrow-aisle electric lift trucks and warehouse systems, GE/Unison's jet aircraft components, Chentronics' industrial ignition systems, and Alvogen's complex oral solid-dose pharmaceuticals are all Chenango
Photo Courtesy of Pinstripes Photography
Photographed is of the inaugural Chobani Chamber Challenge organized by Commerce Chenango and Chobani to showcase one of the area's most precious resources: forestry and state land.
County products that are primary to building the economy, Craig says, but it is Outdoor Recreation, annual events, and unique destinations like the Northeast Classic Car Museum that are the core tourism attractions in the area. "The spectacular collections at Northeast Classic Car Museum are Chenango County's major, year-round visitor attraction. Otherwise, our county's main attractions consist of recurrent events, including: Colorscape, the Chenango Blues Fest, the General Clinton Canoe Regatta, the Gus Macker tournament, the antique car show, and county fair," said Craig. It is reported that in 2015, the most recent year that data was available, visitors to these annual attractions contributed $28,455,000 into the local economy, supporting more than 500 jobs and generating $1.9 million in local
taxes.
Still, Craig notes that the
economy
throughout
Chenango County remains
polarized.
"Our large companies with
regional, national, and global
customer bases continued to
grow and prosper in 2016,"
said Craig. "These include
Alvogen, Chobani, GOLDEN
Artist Colors, GE/Unison,
Kerry Bio-science, NBT
Bank, and Raymond
Corporation. And while this
growth has resulted in the
creation of many good jobs,
employers are often unable to
recruit qualified candidates
from within Chenango
County."
Craig suspects the lack of
qualified workers throughout
the county is a result of the
fact that­as with most small
communities­the majority of
young people are known to
leave the area after high
school or college for employ-
ment in larger metropolitan
areas. While a number of
Chenango County natives
eventually return to the area
as professionals, Craig says
in the meantime most of these
positions are filled by com-
muters from neighboring
counties.
"Over time, this erodes the
viability of some of our
small-businesses­especially
in the retail and service sec-
tors­because paychecks that
are earned in Chenango
County are spent elsewhere,"
deduced Craig.
In an effort to counter this
dilemma,
Commerce
Chenango says that they have
a number of projects current-
ly in-process that share the
common goal of increasing
job opportunities throughout
the county. When asked if it
could be expected that some
of these initiatives would be
implemented in 2017, Craig
says, "2017 could see some
of these projects cross the fin-
ish line, but we can't reveal
specifics at this point for rea-
sons of confidentiality."
Whether or not the pro-
posed meat-processing plant
in the Town of Sherburne
would be among these job
opportunities
remains
unclear.
"Value-added processing of
farm products is a major eco-
nomic development priority
in much of upstate New York.
A USDA slaughter facility
would be part of that," said
Craig. "Whether Sherburne is
the best location, though,
remains an open question."
Looking ahead to 2017,
Commerce Chenango is plan-
ning on playing an important
role in a regional and
statewide push to reform
workers' compensation as a
public policy initiative. It is
reported that in order to
advance this initiative, they
are working with NYS
Senator Fred Akshar's Senate
District 52 Small Business
Advisory Council­a council
formed in early 2016 to aid
businesses with a bottom-up
approach­and the National
Federation of Independent
Businesses.
The underlying goal of it
all, says Craig, is to increase
the size and number of pay-
checks earned, cashed, spent,
and ultimately invested
throughout
Chenango
County.
"The chamber part of our
organization was founded
with the goal of being the
business voice of Chenango
County. That was more than
50 years ago. And most mem-
ber businesses rely on indus-
try-specific trade organiza-
tions and lobbying groups to
advance their public policy
goals. But we believe that
many policy makers­espe-
cially at the state level­still
fail to grasp the issues that
define day-to-day life in rural
upstate New York," said
Craig.
Nevertheless, Commerce
Chenango plans to focus on
integrating job creation and
education with community
development this year.
"It is complicated, but it's
very important that people
around the county understand
what they're supporting with
their membership dollars, and
that goes beyond the ability to
attend chamber events," con-
cluded Craig. "So coming up
in February, we will launch a
series of outreach events
around the county­particular-
ly centered on school dis-
tricts­with invitations to all
stakeholders as well as
prospective members. Stay
tuned."

File: progress.pdf
Title: untitled
Published: Tue Feb 7 13:09:39 2017
Pages: 6
File size: 0.74 Mb


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