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Genesee County to share in $500 million in state funds for Finger Lakes region

BATAVIA – The development of next-generation manufacturing and technology in Genesee County received a significant shot in the arm Thursday with the announcement that the Finger Lakes Region was awarded $500 million in “Upstate Revitalization Initiative” funding from the state Regional Economic Development Council.

Three of the state’s seven economic regions – Finger Lakes, the Southern Tier and Central New York – were chosen for the $500 million revitalization awards, which will be spread over five years.

The news was announced by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo at a program that was streamed online.

“This is a big thing for our county in that it will mean more money toward the STAMP project along with funds for the Agri-Business Park in the Town of Batavia,” County Manager Jay A. Gsell said.

STAMP is an acronym for the Western New York Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park in the Town of Alabama. The 1,250-acre shovel-ready mega-site recently gained its first tenant, 1366 Technologies Inc., a solar panel manufacturing firm based in New Bedford, Mass.

The STAMP project was listed as a priority in the proposal submitted by the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council in October.

The site has room for several more businesses since 1366 Technologies will only take about a seventh of its available space. 1366 Technologies’ investment of $700 million is expected to create around 1,000 jobs over the next several years.

Gsell said the timing of the revitalization award goes “hand in hand” with the $305 billion five-year transportation bill passed by Congress and signed into law last Friday by President Obama.

“It means the repair and building of bridges and roads at the state and local levels, and is a much better offering than has previously come of out Washington,” Gsell said.