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$5 million of Buffalo Billion released for Genesee technology park

BATAVIA – The state this week released $5 million from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion program to prepare the Western New York Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park in the Town of Alabama for the arrival of the 1366 Technologies solar energy plant.

“We’re drawing down on the first portion of Buffalo Billion funding that was originally approved in the 2013-14 state budget and then reauthorized last year,” said Rachael J. Tabelski, marketing and communications director for the Genesee County Economic Development Center.

The center is coordinating the placement of 1366 Technologies, a Massachusetts-based firm that will become the park’s first tenant in the latter half of 2016.

1366 Technologies is investing $700 million in its first silicon wafer manufacturing facility, which is expected to create 1,000 jobs over the next several years.

Tabelski said the $5 million is earmarked for six initiatives connected to the 1366 Technologies project:

• A contract with CC Environment & Planning of Batavia for water and sewer preconstruction environmental review and technical support for archeological studies for specific parcels within the campus;

• Three contracts with Clark Patterson Lee of Rochester for on-site infrastructure design and general engineering services, off-site sanitary sewer design, permitting and engineering services, and off-site water design, permitting and engineering services;

• An engagement letter with Philips Lytle of Rochester for legal services;

• Land acquisition;

• Funding to hire a firm to prepare a benefits analysis study on the merits of a project labor agreement for STAMP infrastructure construction;

• Engineering, design and construction management services of a substation to service 1366 Technologies via the existing National Grid lines that transect the STAMP site. A request for proposals for this work was issued Dec. 4 and submissions are due by Monday, Tabelski said.

Earlier this month, the STAMP site was awarded $1.5 million in funding as a result of the fifth round of the state’s Regional Economic Development Council competition. That money will be used to install new waterlines at the 1,250-acre park and to homes nearby.

In a related development, a public hearing on proposed tax incentives for 1366 Technologies is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Alabama Fire Hall.

Two weeks ago, center directors voted that a public hearing should take place after accepting the company’s application for $34.7 million in sales tax, mortgage tax and property tax abatements.

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