A Kingston waterfront events space, a Woodstock manufacturer, a Town of Ulster bakery, and two New Paltz projects are the five Ulster County projects on the state final list of 21 priority projects for funding in the mid-Hudson region. The list was released by Empire State Development on October 1.
Though appearance on the state list of preferred projects is a major step toward possible state funding, it is no assurance of an award. The list of awards has been announced by Albany in early December for the past seven years. And the receipt of an award is no guarantee a project will ever be permitted or move forward; there’s a long pipeline of not-yet completed projects.
If successfully pursued to completion, all five projects will create 252 new permanent Ulster County jobs. According to the state Department of Labor, 63,200 persons worked in Ulster County in August 2018. The new projects would add four jobs for every 1000 existing workers — not a robust rate of job growth.
“Anticipated” and “in progress” are the words being used to describe the two very different New Paltz businesses that made the state’s final list of priority projects .The two are the GoPal produce and creamery expansion on 76 acres between Springtown Road and the Wallkill River and the Wildberry Lodge and Spa project next to the New Paltz Exit 18 Thruway exit.
GoPal is seeking $1.2 million in a state grant and $949,000 under the Excelsior jobs program. GoPal will build a creamery and greenhouse to expand its capacity to produce heirloom traditional ethnic fruits, vegetables and dairy products. Its application promises an investment of $5.8 million to create 73 permanent jobs.
The Wildberry Lodge and Spa would like $5.8 million in state funds in order to build a themed hotel with spa and wellness facilities plus events and catering spaces, two restaurants, a 500-seat ampitheater and outdoor amenities including a large butterfly conservatory. A total projected investment of $29.1 million will create 103 permanent jobs.
Bread Alone on Route 9W in Ulster projects its Route 9W bakery facility will add 50 new jobs to its 150-job workforce. It is seeking $800,000 in state support for a $4.4-million facility expansion.
Ametek, which employs 250 people in its Woodstock and Saugerties facilities, is seeking $504,000 in state support to help pay for infrastructure improvements at its Woodstock plant that will create five new jobs. The $2.5-million project will create an advanced manufacturing operation.
A $12.5-million second phase of the expansion of Hutton Brickyards on the Hudson River will add infrastructure and site enhancements “that will make the property a tourism magnet.” The facility is seeking $2.5 million in state grants. It will create eleven permanent jobs and help retain two.