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2015 was a good year for the economy in Genesee County

BATAVIA – Despite last week’s news that the Muller Quaker Dairy LLC plant will be closing soon, 2015 has proven to be a very good year for the economy of Genesee County.

And even the yogurt facility’s pending shutdown may come with a silver lining after it was announced that Dairy Farmers of America, an $18 billion cooperative of 15,000 dairy farms in 48 states, is in the process of purchasing the 363,000-square-foot state-of-the-art factory at Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park on East Main Street Road.

That development aside, the county will receive $3.8 million of the $120 million awarded this year to the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council as a result of the fifth round of the state’s Regional Economic Development Council competition.

Ten of the 134 regional projects to be paid for through fifth round funds will take place in Genesee County.

Moreover, the nine-county Finger Lakes Region will get an additional $500 million over five years as one of three “Upstate Revitalization Initiative” winners.

“It certainly has been a big year for our region and Genesee County,” said County Planning Director Felipe A. Oltramari.

Without a doubt, especially when you consider that the Western New York Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park in the Town of Alabama will welcome its first tenant – the 1366 Technologies Inc. solar panel manufacturing plant – in the latter half of 2016.

The Bedford, Mass., firm is investing $700 million into the operation, which is expected to create 1,000 jobs.

The STAMP site is slated to receive $1.5 million in round five funds, which will be used for the installation of new waterlines in the Town of Alabama to support the 1,250-acre park and nearby residents.

Genesee’s other fifth-round projects include:

• Genesee Biogas, LLC – $750,000 for the purchase of new equipment in the Agri-Business Park to reduce waste entering landfills and water treatment plants while increasing production of biogas renewable energy.

• Genesee Gateway Local Development Corp. – $500,000 for infrastructure in the Agri-Business Park, including waterlines, sewer lines and a sewer pump station.

• Batavia Development Corp. – A $500,000 grant to assist in the rehabilitation of the old Newberry’s building in Batavia.

• Genesee County Economic Development Center – $420,000 toward the acquisition of land and development of infrastructure for the Le Roy Food and Technology Park. This project also is in the running for a $3 million America’s Best Communities grant.