Partners in Regional Progress
serving the North Country â€˘ Jefferson, Lewis & St. Lawrence Counties
Table of Contents
Table of Contents 1. Introduction 2. Emphasis on Partnerships & Municipal Shared Services 4. Municipal Partnerships 6. Capital Investments 8. Continuing Tradition â€“ Fort Drum Housing 10. Redevelopment Projects 12. Waste Diversion 14. Technology 16. Community Benefits 18. Regional Leadership 20. Conclusion 21. Development Authority of the North Country Board
About the Development Authority of the North Country
Introduction Statement of Purpose: The mission of the Development Authority of the North Country is to serve the common interests of Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence Counties by providing technical services and infrastructure which will enhance economic opportunities in the region and promote the health and well being of its communities. Since the mission statement was crafted by the Development Authority’s founders, the words in that phrase have gained dimension and momentum. The Development Authority’s name is backed by a 30-year reputation of integrity and leadership throughout the region. Starting in 1985, the Development Authority has nurtured projects that have ushered the region into the 21st century. Towns founded in the early 1800s have evolved into thriving hubs for businesses and families, with unique cultures and histories all supported by state-of-the-art infrastructure. The Development Authority of the North Country is unique in that it continues to achieve its purpose without taxing communities, instead funding its operations by providing real and necessary services to villages, towns and counties within its coverage area. These services – to approximately 500,000 residents – include ownership or management of water and sewer facilities that serve thousands of families, a solid waste management facility, and a 1,250-mile open access telecommunications network. The Authority also provides technical assistance in geographic information services, and other telemetry services, and manages revolving loan funds for affordable housing and small business development.
Emphasis On Partnerships & Municipal Shared Services The Development Authority was founded to assist Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence Counties, and the City of Watertown in keeping up with the growth spurred by the expansion at Fort Drum. The Authority has expanded its reach to include assistance to dozens of individual municipalities, alliances, businesses, and other entities across the tri-county region, and beyond. Thirty years ago, local governments were not enthusiastic about the concept of regional partnerships. Although local leaders recognized a need to keep pace with the expansion spurred by Fort Drum, they were concerned about losing authority, autonomy, and identity. Since that time, the Development Authority of the North Country has proven time and again that it is possible to provide fee-based services to all three counties without compromising each communityâ€™s individual needs. Today, partners work closely with the Development Authority to bring innovations directly to north country citizens. Development Authority partners make the real-world connections that range from the building of new, affordable housing and revitalizing existing structures, to carrying lightning-speed internet service from the mainline, directly into businesses and schools.
Emphasis on Partnerships & Municipal Shared Services
Partners Expand Telecom Opportunities
Engineering Division and the Village of Hermon Dissolution Study
The Development Authority of the North Countryâ€™s Open Access Telecommunications Network provides middle-mile transport services for last-mile voice, data, and Internet service providers in the region. For example, the Authority has partnered with SLIC, a subsidiary of the Nicholville Telephone Company, to facilitate their last-mile customer connections in several small communities in St. Lawrence and Franklin Counties.
The engineering staff at the Development Authority has at its disposal powerful computerized systems, including Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), and Enterprise Content Management Systems (ECMS). These automated systems can help Authority engineers in their development and streamlined management of infrastructure and data.
The Authority has also partnered with the regionally-based telecom companies Westelcom, Northland Networks, ION, Prime Link, KVVI, Tech Valley and SLIC to coordinate the construction of several hundred miles of broadband across the region funded by federal and state grants.
Up next for the Development Authorityâ€™s engineering staff is helping the Village of Hermon research the pros and cons of dissolving the village government. The Development Authority will help the village in assessing everything from water and sewer infrastructure to its personnel and budget requirements.
Municipal Partnerships The Development Authority supports its municipal partners with a variety of technical services.
Supervisory Control and Data Acquisitions (SCADA) SCADA technology allows the owner of water and wastewater operations to remotely manage those facilities. SCADA technology provides real-time data about pumps, tank levels, chemical residuals and other critical information; and sends an alarm to the operator when the systems are out of proper order. Use of SCADA allows small governments to more effectively deploy their DPW staff by not requiring 24/7 attendants at the municipal works. The Development Authority maintains a broad SCADA network that serves Authority-owned facilities, and 16 town and village partners, including: Village of Heuvelton, Town of Clifton, Town of Gouverneur, Town of Martinsburg, Village of Lyons Falls, Village of Port Leyden, Village of Antwerp, Village of Black River, Village of Chaumont, Village of Sackets Harbor, Village of West Carthage, Town of Champion, Town of LeRay, Town of Pamelia, Town of Rutland, Town of Wilna.
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) GIS technology is used by the Development Authority to map property boundaries and infrastructure locations for Authority customers and its own facilities. GIS allows for quick, paper-free access to infrastructure records that is vital in times of emergency (such as a water main break or a telecommunication outage), or to ensure safety and integrity of the infrastructure during construction or maintenance activities. The Development Authority provides GIS services to 29 municipalities across three counties, including: Village of Heuvelton, Village of Canton, Town of Clifton, Town of Colton, Town of DeKalb, Town of Edwards, Town of Fine, Town of Gouverneur, Town of Parishville, Village of Harrisville, Village of Lyons Falls, Village of Port Leyden, Town of Martinsburg, Village of Antwerp, Village of Black River, Village of Cape Vincent, Village of Chaumont, Village of Clayton, Village of Glen Park, Village of Sackets Harbor, Town of Brownville, Town of Champion, Town of Clayton, Town of LeRay, Town of Lyme, Town of Pamelia, Town of Rutland, Town of Theresa, Town of Wilna.
Regional Water Systems
Regional Wastewater System
The Development Authority owns and operates two regional water distribution systems â€“ the Army Water Line and the Western Jefferson Regional Water Line.
The Development Authority owns and operates a regional wastewater system, the Army Sewer Line, which supports the wastewater disposal requirements of Fort Drum. The ASL also supports the municipalities that comprise the Route 3 Sewer System, a collaborative effort of five local governments to provide an environmentally-appropriate wastewater disposal solution, with the capability to support economic development and community growth.
The Development Authority has developed long-standing partnerships with the municipalities adjacent to these distribution systems. The Authority supplies water to these communities to support essential services, and to provide capacity for community growth. Communities that work with the Authority along our regional water facilities include the: Town of Brownville, Town of Cape Vincent, Town of Champion, Town of LeRay, Town of Pamelia, Town of Lyme, Village of Brownville, Village of Chaumont, Village of Dexter.
Communities that work with the Authority along our regional wastewater facilities include the: Town of Champion, Town of LeRay, Town of Pamelia, Town of Rutland, Village of Black River.
Warneck Station LEED Project
The Warneck Pump Station was originally constructed in 1986 to serve as the primary sewage pumping station between Fort Drum and the City of Watertown. In 2011, the Authority invested $2.5 million to expand the Warneck Station to house critical additions to water and wastewater operations, provide functional office space for engineering staff, and continue to meet the needs of the Army and its municipal customers.
In 1992, the Development Authority of the North Country opened the first double-composite landfill sited, permitted, constructed and operated under NYS DEC Part 360 rules and regulations. Since that time, the Development Authority has led the way in waste management, operating a state-of-the-art disposal facility, but also in educating a region unaccustomed to recycling into conservation-conscious citizens, and ushering in a new generation of waste-to-power innovation with its gas-to-energy project in 2008.
In 2002, the Authority made its first foray into telecommunications by signing contracts with Jefferson-Lewis and St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES to provide â€œfiber optic connectivity and distance-learning equipment.â€? The resulting 450 miles of fiber optic lines (called the Open Access Telecom Network), has multiplied into 1,250 miles of high-speed internet fiber optics in a vast and growing web of telecom infrastructure throughout the whole of northern New York, and into the Adirondacks.
The project was designed to U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards, which promote energy savings in design and operation.
In 2013, the final two cells of the originally designed landfill were authorized by the NYSDEC to begin accepting waste. The existing landfill is expected to have capacity for another decade.
The network provides transport services to public and private sector telecom providers. The Authority recently renewed its BOCES contracts, and has also recently completed a telemedicine network that links together 95 hospitals and clinics across the region for better patient care.
Capital Investments The Development Authority has made a tremendous investment in critical community infrastructure over the past three decades, in order to support our partners, protect the environment, and enable economic development. For example, our investments in methane gas collection at the landfill ensure our compliance with state and federal regulations, and also support the landfill-gas-to energy plant located on site. The Authorityâ€™s open access telecommunications network has more than doubled in size since its inception, creating opportunity for businesses and institutions throughout the region. Our water and wastewater investments allow our partner communities to provide essential services, and the opportunity for sustainable growth.
Creekwood In 2011, New York State and the community invested over $17 million in low-interest loans and low-income housing tax credits to begin Phase One of the Creekwood apartments. Developed by Norstar Development, Creekwood Phase One consisted of 96 units which became available for tenants in July 2012, and were filled to occupancy as soon as they were opened. The Creekwood Apartments Phase Two began in April 2013, and the Authority loaned $3.25 million as part of the $21 million project. Upon completion in late 2014, there will be 104 new units, 78 of which will be available to persons with incomes at or below 60% of the area median income.
Beaver Meadows Beaver Meadows Apartments, developed by COR Development Company, broke ground and commenced construction in 2012. The $38.5 million project was selected on the basis of a competitive process managed by the Authority and the Community Rental Housing Program (CRHP). The project in the Town of Watertown will total 296 units upon completion. The project is 80% market rate and 20% affordable housing. The project is slated for completion in early 2015.
Preserve at Autumn Ridge The Preserve at Autumn Ridge is developed by the Morgan Development Group. The $54.5 million project in the Town of Watertown will bring 394 new market rate townhouse-style units, built in phases. The first phase was completed, and 242 apartments were available for lease in April 2014. The remaining 152 units will be available by summer of 2015.
Continuing Tradition – Fort Drum Housing
Continuing Tradition – Fort Drum Housing The first financial assistance for the development of affordable housing for Fort Drum soldiers and their families came in the fall of 1987 when New York State committed funds to create the Housing Loan Revolving Fund. Soon after, the Authority gained a NYS Housing Credit Agency designation. The Authority has used these tools to support the construction of nearly 2,800 market rate and low-income housing units through low-interest loans and tax credits for developers, and has worked hard to help the north country keep pace with both Fort Drum’s growth and the region’s need for affordable housing.
Lyons Falls Mill Redevelopment In 2012, the Development Authority began working with the Village of Lyons Falls, Lewis County, the Tug Hill Commission, and the Lewis County Development Corporation to re-develop the former Lyons Falls Pulp & Paper property, a sprawling, and quickly deteriorating industrial site. The project kicked off in July of 2014 with the demolition of 12 crumbling buildings at the site. Once the demolition phase of these – and possibly other buildings on the site – are completed, the Lewis County Development Corp. will work to clean the site to NYS DEC standards, and recruit developers to take full advantage of the site’s shovel-ready potential.
“The Development Authority of the North Country has assisted the Village of Lyons Falls in numerous different projects in the past few years. They are presently assisting us with administration of a sidewalk/trail grant, a major water main project over Route 12, and are the project manager of the paper mill site redevelopment. They recently did an Asset Management Plan for us which was excellent and exactly what we requested. They are professional, personable, supportive and really care about our community”. —Catherine Liendecker, Mayor of Lyons Falls
Mercy Hospital Redevelopment The Development Authority halted the decline and deterioration of Watertownâ€™s greater downtown area by leveraging their partnership with the North Country Regional Economic Development Council and recruiting COR Development to the former Mercy Hospital site. The North Country Regional Economic Development Council supported the proposed project with $4 million in funds from the state of New York. The Authority served as the sub-grantee for the state funds, and also committed $2 million from its community rental housing program to aid in the proposed $65 to $70 million redevelopment. When completed, the project will feature mixed-use commercial development and housing.
Since the Solid Waste Facility opened in 1992, the Development Authority has taken on the task of educating the public about best practices for recycling and re-use. Each year, the Solid Waste Facility hosts an open house, inviting north country citizens to learn about the landfillâ€™s operations. In 2013, the Development Authority initiated a direct mail campaign to generate student and resident interest and understanding of recycling. The brochure containing recycling rules and information was sent to over 160,000 households in the tri-county region.
The Development Authority partnered with the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County in 2012 to fund the position of Recycling Educator. The Recycling Educatorâ€™s purpose is to help schools and businesses throughout the tri-county area develop recycling and composting programs. Schools that have successfully participated in education and recycling projects include South Jefferson, Carthage, Gouverneur, General Brown, Indian River, Harrisville, Ogdensburg, South Lewis, and Colton-Pierrepont, among others.
Each year, the Authority hosts up to six free household hazardous waste and electronics collection events. These Household Hazardous Waste Disposal events are open to any resident of Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties, and the City of Watertown. These events make it possible for people to rid their households of leftover cleaning chemicals, spray paint cans, oil, and other waste that cannot go into the landfill, but can not be safely recycled or re-used.
The Development Authority operates the website www.NorthCountryRecycles.org. The free site makes practical information about recycling, re-use, and the reduction of household and business waste, easily accessible and targeted to the specific needs of citizens of the tri-county region.
Waste Diversion The Authority has been involved in solid waste management activities for more than 20 years. It is widely accepted that the Solid Waste Management Facility located in Rodman, New York is state-of-the-art in its construction and operation. Building upon our successes in solid waste disposal, the Authority’s perspective was expanded significantly in 2009. Rather than focusing exclusively on this solid waste disposal mission, the Authority took a more holistic view of the region’s solid waste management needs. Our solid waste management strategy now includes a more collaborative and comprehensive regional perspective, with particular emphasis on waste diversion. The Authority’s expanded role began with the establishment of the tri-county’s first Regional Recycling Coordinator position. We have also submitted a consolidated, three-county solid waste management plan to NYSDEC. The Authority’s leadership role in this regional approach has been applauded by NYSDEC, and supports the state’s “Beyond Waste” vision.
Funding Telecom Fifteen years ago the Development Authority identified the critical impact of the “digital divide” on Northern New York businesses, schools and universities, healthcare providers, and other institutions. The Authority’s response to the issue has been a program of continual investment in fiber optic cable and high-speed optical transmission equipment. The Authority’s state-of-the-art telecom network supports 15 private carriers, two major education networks, and two healthcare networks that span nine counties. This leap in technology was made possible, in part, by a federal ARRA grant from the U.S. Broadband Stimulus Program. The grant allowed the Authority to build a diverse ring of fiber network to Utica, Syracuse, Plattsburg and Albany. This anchoring infrastructure will continue to expand as new partnerships are funded with low-interest loans to take connections the “last mile” and help make local businesses and institutions more competitive, create new high-tech job opportunities, and help the education and healthcare industries in northern New York keep pace with the rest of the world.
Broadband Revolving Loan Fund The Authority was awarded a $500,000 Connect New York Broadband grant to create a low-interest loan fund to extend telecommunications services the “last mile” to end users. The Authority will match the funds with $500,000, creating a $1 million revolving loan fund. These loans will help “last mile” providers connect services to commercial and residential customers by linking to the “middle mile” carrier network operated by the Authority in the tri-county region.
Public Safety Network The Authority is working with Emergency Management officials across the region to create an integrated emergency communications infrastructure for the North Country. The system will leverage the Authority’s fiber optic backbone, and it will be the first of its kind in New York State.
Open Access Telecommunications Network
Kanik Nature Trail
The James R. Kanik trail is named after the Authorityâ€™s first Chairman and Executive Director. The trail is 2.2 miles long, and is built in the Army Sewer Line right of way. It parallels US Route 11 near the hamlet of Calcium, where there are two well-marked trail access parking areas, and is heavily used year around.
The Glasier Trail is named for the Glasier family, whose farm was purchased as part of the solid waste management facility land holdings. The main portion of the trail is .85 miles long and is available for year around use. Two other portions of the trail, totaling 1.1 miles, are available for winter use only. The trail is accessible from a parking area adjacent to the solid waste management facility main entrance on Rt. 177.
Douglas L. Murray Agricultural Trail The Douglas L. Murray Trail is named for former Authority board member and Chairman Doug Murray. The trail has two loops totaling 1.6 miles which highlight the agricultural nature of the property surrounding the solid waste management facility. The Murray trail is available for year round use, and is accessible from a parking area one-quarter mile north of the solid waste management facility entrance on Rt. 177.
Community Benefits The Development Authority believes there is added value to its infrastructure projects which accrues to the benefit of the community. The construction of water and sewer right-of-ways provides essential opportunities to afford the added value of a recreational walking trail. As a steward for our environment and host communities, the Development Authority partners with organizations like the Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust and Ducks Unlimited to preserve our natural resources while maintaining a high quality of services to our customers. Through these partnerships, the Development Authority is able to provide the public with access to our regionâ€™s natural assets utilizing its infrastructure right-of-ways to facilitate nature and educational trails.
Regional Loan Funds The Development Authority of the North Country manages several regional revolving loan funds. Utilizing the Broadband Revolving Loan Fund (funding “last-mile” high speed internet carriers), the Community Development Loan Fund (providing loans to developers), the Regional Value Added Agriculture Fund (funding agriculture and agriculture services), the Regional Tourism Development Fund (funding construction or rehabilitation of tourism destination facilities), and the Regional Digital Theater Fund (funding digital film projectors for north country theaters) the Authority has increased the availability of products, services, destinations, facilities, and hardware that will bring commerce to northern New York communities for years to come.
North Country Alliance The North Country Alliance is a not-for-profit local development corporation that aims to serve as “the voice of the north country” in economic development affairs. This public-private sector alliance offers business owners and institutions access to low-interest loans through its Regional Revolving Loan Fund, develops and hosts economic development training programs, helps educate elected officials about the region’s needs, and provides a forum for the region’s developers to share best practices with one another for the betterment of the area as a whole. The Development Authority’s support helps the NCA stay focused on the economic well-being of Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties, and beyond into Franklin, Clinton, Essex, and Hamilton counties.
North Country Economic Development Fund On August 28, 2014, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the creation of the North Country Economic Development Fund to provide low-cost loans to businesses expanding their facilities and creating or retaining jobs in the North Country. The $10 million fund was the result of a long-term contract between the New York Power Authority and Alcoa. The Development Authority administers the program on behalf of the New York Power Authority.
Regional Leadership A hallmark of the Development Authorityâ€™s stewardship has been their willingness to partner with other community development organizations, working cooperatively to improve the economic health of the region. The Development Authority saw from the beginning that to successfully support the regionâ€™s growth beyond Fort Drum, they would need to bring as many opportunities as possible to the region, for entrepreneurs, small businesses, and larger corporations. This effort has resulted in the creation of numerous loan funds and other financial support programs, in partnership with local, state and federal governments. These resources have delivered value to the region, supported businesses, created jobs, and strengthened our economy.
Conclusion The Development Authority of the North Country has endeavored to serve its multi-faceted mission â€“ providing infrastructure and municipal services, protecting the environment, and enhancing the regional economy â€“ for nearly three decades. The Authorityâ€™s investments in infrastructure, partner organizations, and local businesses have paid dividends across the region. Looking ahead, the Development Authority of the North Country will continue to listen to the community members and provide services that meet or exceed the needs and expectations of their customers, while striving to protect, conserve and enhance the health and well-being of the region for current and future generations.
Board of Directors
Alfred E. Calligaris Chair
Gary Turck Vice Chair
Thomas H. Hefferon Treasurer
Fredrick J. Carter, Sr. Secretary
William K. Archer
John B. Johnson, Jr.
Margaret L. Murray
William M. Shelly
Mary Reidy Doheny
Thomas Sauter, Deputy Executive Director Carl Farone, Comptroller Michelle Capone, Regional Development Director Timothy Field, Information Technology Director James Wright Executive Director
Amy Austin, Human Resources Director
Carrie Tuttle, P.E., PhD., Engineering and Environmental Director Richard LeClerc, Solid Waste Division Manager Patricia Pastella, P.E., Water Quality Division Manager David Wolf, Telecommunications Division Manager
Development Authority of the North Country 317 Washington Street, Watertown, NY 13601 (315) 661-3200 www.danc.org