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It’s been a long time since we’ve seen growth like this W

e’re living in historic times in Sullivan County. We lead much of New York State in economic development. Our unemployment rate is a tenth of a percent away from a record low. We’re nearing

BY JOSHUA POTOSEK, SULLIVAN COUNTY MANAGER

completion of the largest building project County government has ever undertaken. And both government and private business are benefitting from

FRED STABBERT | DEMOCRAT

Sullivan County Manager Josh Potosek stands in front of the largest building project Sullivan County government has ever undertaken – the new Sullivan County Jail.

increased revenues thanks to bustling downtowns, a slew of new tourism attractions and a stable national economy. Even amidst these better times, residents and visitors can be certain that Sullivan County government and its partners aren’t taking a break. Success brings challenges, both now and to come, and we are constantly, actively planning for the future. Diversifying our economy Sullivan County has once again risen to the top of visitors’ lists of interesting places to go in New York and beyond. Thanks to the tireless efforts of our Sullivan Catskills Visitors Association, Lonely Planet rated us one of the best destinations in the world. The natural resources we’ve long enjoyed are being sought out by a new generation of young adults attracted to the purity and beauty of nature – the kind we have in the Delaware River, the Catskill Mountains, the Bashakill wetlands, the Beaverkill and our seemingly endless lakes and forests. Many of our farms are benefiting as a result, as these visitors (and locals) are rediscovering the matchless taste and nutrition of farm-grown vegetables, fruits and livestock. And thanks to the new Catskill Food Hub in Liberty, we can spread our good food far beyond our local farms and markets, making it easy and inexpensive to get these popular products to the New York City metro region. We've seen thousands more people head this way for man-made attractions as well, from the new Kartrite Indoor Waterpark to the Resorts World Catskills Casino, from our multiple breweries and distilleries to our even more numerous Airbnbs. In fact, in 2018 alone we collected $210,000 just from Airbnb establishments, as our Treasurer’s Office inked the very first room tax agreement Statewide with this innovative company. Tourism and agriculture have always been the twin staples of Sullivan County’s economy, but as we know, they suffer boom-andbust cycles just like any other industry. That’s why it’s vitally important the County and our economic development agencies collaborate constantly and strategically to open up new areas of trade and commerce. The Sullivan County Partnership for Economic Development is a key partner in this quest, having helped land a variety of new

businesses, like the aerospace-oriented Metcar manufacturing facility in Glen Wild, employing close to a dozen people at competitive wages. The Partnership, the Industrial Development Agency and the County are working together to attract even more such factories and warehouses, particularly to the Old Route 17 corridor paralleling the Quickway between Harris and Ferndale. We’ve completed a study confirming this corridor has

Please see GROWTH, page 3E

INSIDE: To the People: Sullivan Economy not Dampened page 2E Seminary Hill Orchard & Cidery breaks ground on tasting room page 4E Catskill Hudson Bank breaks ground on Monticello office page 9E The Sullivan Catskills 50 doves have landed page 12E Langan helps build Sullivan County's future pages 14E Spotlight on small business page 16E SCVA is breaking records page 20E SUNY Sullivan students on leading edge page 23E Minding Our Businesses page 25E


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BUSINESS EDGE

SULLIVAN COUNTY DEMOCRAT

JUNE, 2019

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Despite the Consistent Rain Sullivan Economy Not Dampened To the People: In this rain-soaked spring of 2019 it can be quite dispiriting, particularly for those working outdoors or businesses dependent on good weather, like our local golf courses. Yet unemployment is already down to 3.4% – lower than last summer’s floor of 3.45%. Despite the weather, construction continues on, with the Eldred Preserve well underway, Monster Golf Course under reconstruction, and construction taking place at virtually every corner of Sullivan County. The Kartrite Resort and Indoor Water Park is now open and hitting stride and there are

many projects on the horizon in hospitality, healthcare and housing scheduled to break ground in the near future. Long overdue public infrastructure investment in roads, CEO/President Marc Baez bridges and schools is taking hold and anticipation for this summer’s (hopefully arriving soon), 50th anniversary of Woodstock themed countywide event schedule driven by the folks at SCVA and their members, promises a significant spike in visitor expenditures in our county. There still remains the pressing issue of getting enough workers to meet the demand, which more often than not goes hand-inhand with a good economy. In fact, now we are seeing employers, offering sign on bonuses to attract employees.

Who would have predicted that several years ago? The 17Forward86 coalition continues to grow and make progress toward a third lane on NYS 17/ I-86 to help sustain continued growth while mitigating any environmental issues vis-à-vis increased traffic. Work continues to help diversify our economy, preparing locations for future development opportunities and, as always, we nurture and support our varied small businesses throughout Sullivan County. The bottom line is our economy is still hot in spite of the cool wet weather with no end in sight in the immediate future. Here is to summer coming in hot and soon, to help accelerate it even more. Sincerely,

Marc Baez President, Sullivan County Partnership

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BUSINESS EDGE

SULLIVAN COUNTY DEMOCRAT

JUNE, 2019

GROWTH: Big time Continued from front page more than 2,000 acres of prime development space in an area already conducive to such uses and with easy access to Route 17. The next challenges, on which we are beginning work, are to acquire the properties and extend existing nearby water and sewer infrastructure, so that they can become the most attractive type of developable land: shovel-ready. We’re undertaking a similar venture with property we already own: 75 acres behind the former Apollo Mall in Monticello, where we’ve begun development of a light-industry park. Once marked for the cancelled expansion of the County Landfill, the land is very suitable for manufacturing facilities situated amidst carefully preserved forests and fields. Growing to meet 21st century demands Growth requires growth. Otherwise, stagnation overtakes. That’s why Sullivan County has embarked on a variety of projects to promote and sustain growth. One of the most exciting and promising initiatives focuses on wireless broadband. Our crew is even now at work on installing the hardware and software necessary to test the delivery of high-speed Internet service over the airwaves to a portion of the Village of Monticello and Town of Thompson, using County-owned radio towers.

If the test proves successful, we plan to gradually roll out wireless broadband access to communities throughout the County – bringing this vital service to people who might never have the opportunity otherwise… and also providing some needed competition to existing wired providers who currently enjoy a monopoly in the places they serve. (We don’t plan to get into the profit-making business, however. The long-range goal is to establish a nonprofit corporation to handle operations.) Speaking of towers, we are in talks with Verizon to site a tower near our social services campus in Liberty, which currently suffers from poor cell reception. Verizon is also interested in hanging transmitters from our array of emergency communications towers – not just shrinking our notorious “dead spots” but also providing revenue to the County. Jail just about ready While it might sound strange to mention our new County Jail amidst this talk of growth and development, it is a project about which we all should be proud – and relieved. It’s taken the better part of the last half-century to finally reach agreement to proceed forward with the construction of a badly-needed new jail. Indeed, our current jail is so old (some portions date back to 1909) that we have to make replacement parts by hand. The fact that the NYS Commission on Corrections did not permanently shutter our current facility is a miracle made possible only by our promises that we were diligent-

‘While it may sound strange to mention our new County Jail amidst this talk of growth and development, it is a project about which we all should be proud.’ ly working on a new facility. The conditions in our old jail have become intolerable, both for staff and inmates, and we will gladly raze that outdated facility after everyone moves to the new location later this year. We have a responsibility to house our prisoners in humane conditions, but it’s also worth noting that our corrections officers will benefit – not just from a better workspace but an anticipated decrease in inmate issues and complaints. Remember, too, that approximately half of this 133,000-square-foot facility will be dedicated to the Civil, Road Patrol and Administrative divisions of the Sheriff’s Office, taking them out of the dilapidated Bushnell Building and into a modern set of offices specifically designed with their needs in mind. That same principle applies to two other

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building projects now in the works: the relocation of our District Attorney’s Office from the basement of the County Courthouse to a former law office on Hamilton Avenue, and the move of our Board of Elections from the Government Center to 518 Broadway. These new spaces will relieve them of their cramped, inefficient quarters and allow far better service to the public. Moving forward Being a fellow County homeowner, I very much understand the worry that burdensome property taxes may increase. We’re working incredibly hard to avoid significant tax increases, even though the County portion of property tax bills is already the smallest. A modest, one-time increase funded the new jail, which should last us another 100 years or longer. Our sales and room tax revenues have climbed to record heights, and they look to continue that upward trend in the foreseeable future. Plus, much of what I previously described – like the industrial parks – promise to attract more businesses to help shoulder the tax load. Indeed, it is this kind of development that will broaden our tax base and keep our future sustainable and attractive. I welcome the current growth in our economy, and the Legislature, County staff and I intend to continue nurturing successful initiatives. It’s about time Sullivan County’s standard of living rose faster than the cost of living.

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4E

BUSINESS EDGE

SULLIVAN COUNTY DEMOCRAT

JUNE, 2019

Standing on the very spot where the Seminary Hill Cidery will be built, Douglas Doetsch envisions visitors enjoying the same view he has enjoyed for so many years.

Seminary Hill Orchard & Cidery breaks ground on tasting room

STORY AND PHOTOS BY FRED STABBERT III

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ouglas Doetsch’s vision for the Seminary Hill Orchard and Cidery is one that dates back nearly half a century. He remembers, as a young boy, going down Wagner Lane on a summer night to enjoy the gorgeous view from atop one of the highest hills in Callicoon, looking down at the former St. Joseph’s Seminary, the mighty Upper Delaware River and nearby Pennsylvania. Now a resident of Evanston, Ill. practicing law in Chicago, Douglas and his family have always kept a special place in their heart for Callicoon, where generations of family hail from and still live. He loved the property so much that 12 years ago he and his wife bought the 60-acre site so they

could build their retirement home there. “That was until I got a better idea,” Douglas says with a smile. That idea was a holistic orchard and cidery. Looking every bit the farmer in his Dickie’s blue overalls, brown flannel shirt and Red Wing workboots, Douglas isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty on the farm. Two weeks ago, he and several members of his team tried a little experiment – bottling 40 cases of hard cider using the new stainless

steel bottling and capping equipment. While the practice session was strictly for personal consumption – they have a federal license but still need their state Farm Winery License – it was a rousing success. It took Douglas, Operations Manager Bill Hess and Chief Cider Maker Chris Negronida most of the morning to bottle the hard cider, paying special attention to the recipe as well as keeping everything sanitized and clean. “My great grandfather, Barnum,

had apple trees at the homestead farm on Kautz Rd.,” Douglas said. “And he was in the apple liquor business back in the day. We were a Prohibition family. “But I’m a lawyer – I want this to be legal,” he laughed. Breaking Ground Baxter Construction of Poughkeepsie will be the general contractor on the 6,800 square foot, two-story cider production facility and tasting room. As Douglas surveyed the multicolored flags posted in the ground, he explained how the downstairs of the building was going to be larger than the upstairs, and would include a deck where visitors could sit and enjoy the long views. “Downstairs will be production and upstairs will be our tasting room and event space,” he said. “Our visitors will have the best views in the county.


JUNE, 2019

SULLIVAN COUNTY DEMOCRAT

The Seminary Hill Orchard team includes, from the left: Chief Cider Maker Chris Negronida, founder Douglas Doetsch and Operations Manager Bill Hess.

“It’s a much different operation [than the one he first had planned],” Douglas said. “ That’s because Seminary Hill Orchard and Cidery applied for – and received – two CFA grants totalling $900,000 from the Regional Economic Development Council and also received assistance from the Sullivan County Industrial Development Agency for tax abatements on building materials and property taxes. With that help, Douglas increased the size and scope of the project, which will take a “substantial investment” to bring to the finish line. “At the end of 2021 we will have 4 full-time employees and by the end of 2024 we will have 12-14 employees,” he said. The Team Currently Bill Hess, who is Douglas’ first cousin, is the operations manager at Seminary Hill. “Without Bill, none of this would be possible. Bill has done a spectacular job here and without his care and attention, this would not be possible.”

BUSINESS EDGE

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Bill and his helpers have built and fenced in two orchards – one on Kautz Rd. and the other on Wagner Lane, just below the future cidery. The Kautz Rd. orchard is in its fifth year while the Seminary Hill orchard has three-year old apple and pear trees. “It takes six years for trees to bear fruit,” Douglas explained. “Mother Nature grows the trees.” In the 10-acre Wagner Lane orchard they planted 1,150 trees. Most of the trees are legacy apple and pear trees, which should live for nearly 100 years. “This is a multi-generational family venture,” Douglas said. “I only wanted to plant once and then let the Lord take care of them.” At the bottom of the hill, visitors will see Black Locust posts connected with wires, where semi-dwarf trees are planted. The advantage of semi-dwarf apple trees is that they produce fruit quicker than legacy trees, but the downside is they only last 20 years. The eight-foot fences which surPlease see CIDERY page 6E

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BUSINESS EDGE

SULLIVAN COUNTY DEMOCRAT

JUNE, 2019

CIDERY: On the way Continued from page 5E

round both orchards are also “all electrified with two bands of electric,” Douglas explained. “Bears like nothing better than ripe apples.” Douglas also worked hard to find apple orchard experts to help him with his new project, including Chief Cider Maker Chris Negronida of Ithaca, who manages Black Diamond Farm in Trumansburg. He has also tapped into the knowledge of cider consultant Ian Merwin, who is a retired Cornell professor, to help him with his orchard as well as the “Godfather of Holistic Orchards,” Michael Phillips, who is Seminary Hill’s chief orchard consultant. The Future Douglas is now looking forward to the day when guests come for a wedding, staying at one of his other nearby properties, and are upstairs in his tasting room, blending 10 or so ciders to make the perfect drink. Clockwise from upper left: The semi-dwarf trees are tied to horizontal wires to facilitate fruit growth. The bottling system is all stainless steel to insure cleaniness. Douglas checks on Russian Comfrey plants, which have 12-foot tap roots that brings up Nitrogen and will help fertilize the soil in the fall when they are plowed under. A Mason Bee House was used for pollenation.

Please see CIDERY, page 8E

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BUSINESS EDGE

SULLIVAN COUNTY DEMOCRAT

JUNE, 2019

CIDERY: On the way Continued from page 6E He also envisions a big applewood fired grill, cooking up Rich Winter’s beef with good local cheese “That would go good with cider,” he said. And as Douglas stopped and looked down the river valley as he had done hundreds of times before, he said, “I’m excited – and nervous. “When I started this project it was a long way off in the future. Now it’s real.” And sure to be a tourist destination beginning next year.

The view from Seminary Hill Cidery is much the same today as it was 100 years ago, when the postcard at left was made, showing a statue erected by the Franciscan Priests to look over the river valley and St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary.

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JUNE, 2019

SULLIVAN COUNTY DEMOCRAT

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Catskill Hudson breaks ground on Monticello office; to build new Malta office on Route 9

STORY AND PHOTOS BY FRED STABBERT III

t’s the best site in Monticello,” Catskill Hudson Bank CEO and Board Chairman Mario L. Martinez said as he watched an excavator dig the foundation of the bank’s new Monticello office last week. “When this site became available we knew we had a home run.” The site is located on Route 42 North just outside the Village of Monticello, at the former home of the Blue Horizon Diner. Not only does Martinez like the fact that the bank’s new branch is close to Route 17 and Catskill Regional Medical Center’s new Emergency Care facility, but “We also have a traffic light right in front of the building.” Nastro Construction is building the 5,000 square foot building on the 3-plus-acre site, leaving plenty of room for expansion and future development, Martinez said. Joseph Gottlieb, P.E., P.C. of Monticello are the consulting engineers on the project. Bank President Kevin S. McLaren also feels the site is an excellent choice and will provide customers with a convenient three-bay drive through as well as state-of-the-art video conferencing. "This will be our biggest branch," McLaren said. "We are stepping up our game." Martinez and McLaren said that video conferencing helps Catskill Hudson connect its vast 13-branch banking network together – a network which stretches from Narrowsburg to Saratoga. “This branch will solidify our Sullivan County presence, and we will be in by the end of the year,” Martinez said. The bank, which was founded 25 years ago in Monticello, is literally moving its offices across Route 42 – “it’s about a 400-foot move,” Martinez said. “We took bids from only local contractors and are using our local customers to build this office. It will be a couple of million dollar investment.” The new location will be half branch and half offices with a basement being utilized for permanent storage. “It will also be our data center, housing our back-up servers and a generator,” Martinez said. “It will offer easier access than our previous branch,” he said. “Our existing Monticello branch was very tight and always a problem finding parking. We have plenty of parking here at the new site.” Catskill Hudson Facilities Manager Dwayne Turner has been put in charge of overseeing the day-to-day progress on the building, working closely with General Contractor

Please see CATSKILL, page 10E

Nastro Construction is the General Contractor on the new Monticello branch of Catskill Hudson Bank, due to be completed by year’s end.

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BUSINESS EDGE

SULLIVAN COUNTY DEMOCRAT

JUNE, 2019

CATSKILL: New branch coming to Monticello The new branch, which will be located on Route 42 North in Monticello, will include many state-of-the-art features, including video-conferencing and data processing back ups.

Continued from page 9E Mike Nastro of Nastro Construction. More growth And as if one project wasn’t enough, Catskill Hudson recently purchased property on Route 9 in Malta and will soon be building an office for loan production on the site. “Our residential loan team as well as our commercial lenders will be there,” Martinez said. “The bank didn’t focus on any one area. We are trying to do business in every area we’re in.

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“It [the bank’s growth] is going nicely,” he said. The bank currently has offices in Callicoon, Ellenville, Grahamsville, Green Island, Halfmoon, Kingston, Latham, Liberty, Malta, Middletown, Monticello, Narrowsburg and Rock Hill. The corporate headquarters are in Kingston and the Operations Center is in Middletown. Catskill Hudson is also committed to keeping its customers connected in the cyber world and “we are cyber safe… and we promote it,” Martinez said.

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Branch personnel were on hand last week to inspect the progress of the building project. They are, from the left: Catskill Hudson Bank Board Chairman and CEO Mario L. Martinez, Bank President Kevin S. McLaren, Bank Facilities Manager Dwayne Turner and GC on the project, Mike Nastro of Nastro Construction.


JUNE, 2019

SULLIVAN COUNTY DEMOCRAT

BUSINESS EDGE

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eace, Love and Doves are the theme for this 2019 summer season. The Sullivan Catskills Visitors Association (SCVA) launched its first art trail to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Original 1969 Woodstock Festival. This permanent trail is a legacy trail that tells our story – our history and present day significance. The different designs create a narrative tapestry that is uniquely the Sullivan Catskills. The 50 Doves are perched throughout the County in hamlets, villages and towns. Several of the Doves are located at local businesses and attractions. The goal for the project is to create a sense of place and pride for locals and a distinctive attraction that encourages visitors to explore our towns and villages to spend money and stay longer. Doves were gifted to each municipality and SCVA member businesses purchased doves at cost. The Sullivan

Renaissance offered grants to dove hosts to help defray the cost of This beautiful dove made artists, paints an appearance at the and installa- SCVA’s Brochure Exchange tion. All dove at the Kartrite Water Park. hosts were responsible to identify the locations for their respective sculptures. The only requirement was that the doves have to be accessible to the public yearround from dawn to dusk. Approximately 40 local artists were hired to work on the

Lander’s River Trips in Narrowsburg has a dove to greet its visitors. The Stray Cat Gallery in Bethel, left, has a peace dove out front.

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doves. Their designs were inspired by Peter Max, community character and the 1960s color pallet. Even though all the doves have not been officially revealed, The SCVA and its partners receive calls and emails daily from folks who want to visit each dove. Due to public demand, a temporary map has been created to satisfy Dove enthusiasts. Please visit https://sullivancatskills. com/sullivan-catskills-dove-trail/ to download the temporary trail map. An official map and website will be available soon. “We are so honored to have worked with communities and business on this project. The community pride and excitement exceeded our expectations. We are enamored by the artists’ designs and the time,


JUNE, 2019

BUSINESS EDGE

SULLIVAN COUNTY DEMOCRAT

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Excitement filled the air as doves were unveiled in Jeffersonville, above, and in Livingston Manor.

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effort and care behind the landscaping for each Dove.” Roberta Byron-Lockwood, CEO/President of the SCVA, said. “This project has inspired us to think even bigger. We will build programs around this trail and also are currently exploring other ideas on how to engage our residents on future art projects,” Byron-Lockwood said. “We couldn’t have done this project without the assistance from our partners at the Sullivan County Government and Sullivan Renaissance.” Businesses who have purchased a Dove are also seeing the excitement around this project. Kevin McElroy, who is a Dove Host and owner of The Local Table & Tap in Kauneonga Lake, said,” It’s been a lot of fun having the The unveiling of the doves has been an exciting time for dove be a part of our daily the SCVA, especially the one at the Woodstock monument.

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business. People are constantly pulling to the side of the road out front and taking pictures. “Others are gathering out front, taking a group photo, and tagging our business on social media platforms, which is helping us spread the good vibes of our restaurant and the overall Woodstock culture. We named her ‘Songbird’ and we are thrilled to have her flying above!” The Grand Reveal Finale for the Dove Trail will be on June 20 at 4 p.m., SUNY Sullivan, 112 College Rd, Loch Sheldrake, NY 12759. This will be a major celebration and everyone is invited to attend this momentous event. For more information on the Dove Trail or the Grand Reveal Finale, contact ljs@scva.net or call 845-747-4449.


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BUSINESS EDGE

SULLIVAN COUNTY DEMOCRAT

JUNE, 2019

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SULLIVAN COUNTY DEMOCRAT

Langan helps build Sullivan County’s future ix years ago, Langan opened its doors in Westchester County to expand its presence in the Hudson Valley. Today, the White Plains office supports projects throughout the State of New York and specifically Sullivan, Orange and the balance of the Hudson Valley. The company is committed to providing Langan’s full-suite of technical disciplines, including entitlement/SEQRA support, site/civil, geotechnical, environmental, and traffic engineering, as well as survey/3D laser scanning, natural resources permitting, and landscape architecture. The office leadership has deep roots to the region. Associate Chuck Utschig has practiced engineering in the Hudson Valley for more than 30 years. Joined by Senior Associate, Mike Finan, and Sullivan County native, Pat Ripa, the team is actively communicating the value-added benefits of Langan to existing and new clients throughout the Hudson Valley. As a result, Langan continues to be very active in the market, providing engineering design services to a broad range of clients, including utility companies, renewable energy companies, institutional clients, and private real estate developers in the industrial, residential and commercial markets. “Being a resident of Rock Hill for the better part of my life, and a graduate of Monticello High School, I look forward to helping the area develop to its

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full potential during the current resurgence of the Catskills,” Pat Ripa said. Locally, Langan has been involved in many high-profile projects and hopes to continue being one of the “go-to” consultants in the Hudson Valley. The firm prepared the design and provided construction services for the conversion of Chalet Road to “Resorts World Drive.” This improved roadway connects the The Kartrite Resort & Indoor Waterpark and Resorts World Catskills. At The Eldred Preserve in the Town of Highland, Langan obtained site plan approval from the town and permits from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for the onsite wastewater treatment plant. Langan is also providing construction support services and working closely with the contractor during construction. Langan has multiple industrial/warehouse, residential, and resort projects in progress. Under the direction of Finan, the firm also has active community solar projects within the Hudson Valley. “We are eager to support grassroots development in Sullivan County,” said Finan. “We see tremendous potential for growth in the region sparked by the casino and waterpark, as well as the potential [third lane] expansion of Route 17. This is an exciting time for Sullivan County and we want to play a key role in that growth.”

Associate Chuck Utschig, left, Senior Associate Mike Finan, center, and Sullivan County native Pat Ripa all work hard on Langan projects in the Hudson Valley.

Top: Langan designed and provided construction services for “Resorts World Drive,” in Monticello. Above: Langan worked on the Matrix Business Park in Newburgh. The firm is a member of the 17Forward-86 Coalition, supporting the expansion of Route 17 aimed at enhancing commuter safety, reducing environmental impacts, and increasing quality of life for residents in the region. Langan looks forward to continuing to grow its presence in the County and supports the ongoing development in the region. To learn more about Langan’s local office and our service please contact: Chuck Utschig, cutschig@langan.com One North Broadway Suite 910 White Plains, NY 10601 914.323.7400 www.langan.com

Langan obtained site plan approval from the Town of Highland and permits from the NYSDEC for the onsite wastewater treatment plant for the Eldred Preserve project Langan worked on the residential housing project Woodside Knolls in Middletown.

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BUSINESS EDGE

SULLIVAN COUNTY DEMOCRAT

JUNE, 2019

Spotlight on small businesses BY JENNIFER FLAD EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR SULLIVAN COUNTY INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY

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he mission of the County of Sullivan Industrial Development Agency (IDA) is to promote the economic well-being of Sullivan County, and in furtherance of this mission we are perhaps best known for providing performance-based tax incentives to businesses seeking to locate and expand here in the County. We work with many large-scale projects including Resorts World Catskills Casino, the Kartrite Resort and Indoor Waterpark, and others. But the IDA also recognizes that smalland medium-sized businesses form the backbone of Sullivan County’s economy and employ more people in total than large businesses. For several decades we have offered lowcost loan and lease financing to assist these small-and medium-sized businesses, whose success is crucial to Sullivan County’s economy and quality of life. To date we have made over eighty loans and leases to benefit businesses of all types. Read on for some highlights of our

The Sullivan County IDA provided loan financing to the Western Catskills Trucking Company LLC to create the Catskill Food Truck. This new Catskill Brewery-based food truck serves up Mexican American fusion offerings in Sullivan County.

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recent loan and lease activity.

Somewhere in Time Farm Through a 2018 IDA loan, Justin Sutherland of Somewhere in Time Farm has been able to develop and expand his vegetable growing operation in Parksville. Justin, a Parksville native, has been farming for eight years and produces healthy and flavorful vegetables using minimal tillage practices without synthetic chemicals or herbicides. Justin’s products are found at his market stand every Saturday at Main Street Farm in Livingston Manor, and at many local and regional restaurants. “We are grateful to the IDA for giving us the opportunity to expand our growing operation,” says Justin. “We now have a beautiful greenhouse to extend our growing season and to protect our crops. Having this structure is crucial in order to make vegetable farming a viable business, and with the IDA’s support we are able to make this possible.”

Roscoe NY Beer Company Back in 2015, the IDA was awarded a grant from the US Department of Agriculture to purchase a brewhouse and related fixtures, to be leased to the Roscoe NY Beer Co. Since that time, Roscoe Beer has continued to expand and diversify, and in 2018 the Company and the IDA

lJustin Sutherland has been able to develop and expand his vegetable growing operation in Parksville named Somewhere in Time Farm thanks to an IDA loan.

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Please see SPOTLIGHT, page 18E


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SPOTLIGHT: IDA helps small businesses

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local businesses. Catskill Food Truck The Roscoe Beer Co. has continued to expand and diversify thanks to Early in 2019, the help of the Sullivan County IDA the SCFC providin securing grants from the USDA. ed loan financing to Western Catskills Truck Company LLC for the development of a new food truck business, and in May, the Catskill Food Truck opened its doors. “The Catskill Food Truck is a new Catskill Brewery-based food truck, serving up Mexican American fusion offerings in Sullivan County, New York,� says Ramsay Adams of Western Catskills Truck Company LLC. “We focus on the wonderful art of crafting and pairing fanContinued from page 17E tastic food truck faire with award winning entered into a second lease agreement beers.� The Catskill Food Truck is open for a canning line. In addition to proFriday, Saturday and Sunday at the Catskill ducing excellent craft beer, Roscoe Beer Brewery and is available for hire for offers regular tours and hosts a variety events, parties, weddings and celebrations. of community and private events. Through the success of these and other The Sullivan County Funding loan and lease recipients, the IDA and Corporation (SCFC) is a not-for-profit SCFC are able to make funds available to local development corporation estabassist other local businesses. You can find lished in 2011. The IDA and SCFC a listing of all current loan and lease recipshare the same Board of Directors, and ients, as well as loan and lease program IDA staff oversees the day-to-day operaguidelines, on the IDA’s and SCFC’s webtions of the SCFC. Like the IDA, the sites: www.sullivanida.com and SCFC seeks to promote Sullivan www.scfundingcorp.com. County’s key industries and overall ecoFor additional information, please give nomic welfare. The SCFC administers us a call at 845-428-7575. its own revolving loan fund to assist

The Roscoe Beer Co. added a canning line in 2018 through an IDA lease agreement.


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Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce announces new website launch S

ullivan County Chamber of Commerce & Industry, announced today the launch of its newly revamped website. This newly redesigned website offers quick and easy access to essential information and features that offer a more comprehensive understanding of the Chamber’s role in its many partnerships within the community. The new website has a clean uncluttered design, improved functionality and enhanced rich content focused on the Chamber's mission to assist, support, promote and advocate on behalf of our member business community. The new website goes live June 3rd and is located at the same address: http://www.catskills.com. “We are excited about our new website launch and the robust information it provides for customers, investors, partners and media to better be a one stop Sullivan business resource to assist, support, promote and advocate

on behalf of our Chamber Members. Catskills.com has an easy to use business directory, digital resource guide, member benefits page, Sullivan County news, information and upcoming events.” said Jaime Schmeiser, President/CEO of the Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce & Industry. "We believe that this new site will allow our visitors to have a very informative experience.” Sullivan County Chamber’s new website will be updated on a regular basis with news of Chamber events, community calendars, ribbon cuttings, critical business information, County milestones, and partner news and information. Visitors are encouraged to explore the website and sign up for direct emails from the Chamber at https://visitor.r20.constantcontact.com/d.jsp?llr=56ac676ab&p=oi& m=1131620139966&sit=94hlhw7mb&f=6 e4f257b-88d6-4303-9806-365fa6ed586c.

The Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce’s new website is easy to navigate and loaded with information about Sullivan County. It includes a home reference guide and other important information about Sullivan County.

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he Sullivan County Visitors Association (SCVA) celebrated National Tourism Week with unprecedented success and tourism growth is at its alltime high in more than 30 years. May 2019 was the 36th year of National Tourism Week – an annual celebration of the contributions and accomplishments of the U.S. travel industry. Industry leaders, tourism organizations and destinations celebrated by holding events that highlighted travel programs that enriches lives and strengthens communities throughout America. This year’s theme was “Tourism Matters,” a recognition of the countless ways in which travel enriches lives and strengthens communities. The SCVA celebrated National Tourism Week with several events that included a Media Night in New York City at Taglialatella Galleries and Hospitality Training and Annual Brochure Exchange at The Kartrite Resort and Indoor Waterpark in Monticello. The return on investment paid off, increasing more visibility and excitement for the Sullivan Catskills brand; and fostering the growth of tourism in the county. On May 7, in New York City, the SCVA organized a Media Night where approximately 50 travel writers, bloggers and social media influencers from Manhattan and the greater metropolitan area attended. The SCVA hosted the event along with its member businesses, showcasing its best-ofthe-best legendary and most exciting

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The Sullivan Catskills Visitors Association is breaking records! Makers, Chefs and Proprietors while highlighting the 50th Anniversary of the Original 1969 Woodstock Festival. Businesses and attractions such as Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, Roscoe Beer Co., Java Love Coffee Roasting Co., Scancarello & Sons, Villa Roma Resort & Conference Center, Resorts World Catskills, Stickett Inn, Forestburgh Playhouse, Foster Supply Hospitality, Prohibition Distillery, Catskill Brewery, Catskill Provisions, Catskill Distilling Company, Bashakill Vineyards, Party Master, Hennings Local, The Heron Restaurant, SUNY Sullivan and The Kartrite Resort & Indoor Waterpark attended and exhibited. The excitement of the Sullivan Catskills resurgence was exhilarating for all who attended. The media was delighted with the abundance of endless and flourishing tourism opportunities in our county. Writers tasted local farm-to-table creations of brews, wines, spirits, coffee and culinary treats – all were impressed with the distinctive flavors and products.

As a result, they posted featured Instagram stories about the new and reemerging Sullivan Catskills. The Door, the SCVA’s Public Relation firm, is currently working with journalists who attended the media showcase such as, Metro Source, OUT, Sherman’s Travel, Blackbook, and The Manual. These sources will publish articles on the Sullivan Catskills set to run throughout the course of the 2019 summer highlighting restaurants, breweries, distilleries, resorts, etc. Media exposure of this event with published stories will reach 6 million people. Later in the week, on May 8, the SCVA experienced record-breaking attendance at its hospitality training and annual brochure exchange. Over 70 front-line staff and managers attended the afternoon hospitality training and 160 businesses showed up at the Brochure Exchange. The Hospitality training was designed to educate staff on how to be tourism ready, using customer service best practices to

JUNE, 2019

entice visitors to stay longer and spend more money while in the Sullivan Catskills. The brochure exchange is where SCVA members shared tourism literature to gear up for the 2019 Summer season. The SCVA is moving into the 2019 Summer Season with substantial tourism growth. “All of our efforts are focused on bringing jobs, development and new and returning visitors to the Sullivan Catskills and it is paying off,” Roberta ByronLockwood, CEO/President of the SCVA, said. “We are experiencing substantial increases in visitor spending, job growth and visitation and the numbers keep escalating every month.” Sullivan Catskills Growth Statistics: • Over $450 million in Visitor Spending • Generated over $34 million in Local Sales Tax. Sales tax increased 18% , Bed tax increased over 15% -- $1.3 million • Over 5,000 jobs created in direct and indirect jobs (March of 2019 shows there was 131% increase in leisure and hospitality jobs from 2016 to over 7,400 direct tourism jobs in 2019) • Were it not for tourism-generated state and local taxes, the average household in the region would have to pay an additional $1,922 to maintain the same level of government revenue. (State average is $1,192). The SCVA team has new marketing strategies to continue the excitement and further the awareness of the Sullivan Catskills. For more information on the SCVA and its plans for the future, contact rbl@scva.net.

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Media Night in New York City was a huge success. Here Taglialatella Galleries owners Sally and Dominic J. Taglialatella chat with SCVA President and CEO Roberta Byron Lockwood, right.

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SUNY Sullivan students at leading edge of new industry BY JAY QUAINTANCE PRESIDENT SUNY SULLIVAN

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ommunity colleges are known for creating partnerships, for working with their communities to create opportunities and improve lives. What community colleges are not typically known for is research. That’s usually the role of four-year colleges and universities. And that’s just one of the things that makes SUNY Sullivan different from other community colleges. In 2017, SUNY Sullivan was just one of four colleges to receive a license from the New York State Department of Agriculture to participate in the state’s Industrial Hemp Agricultural Pilot Program. The other three colleges? Not community colleges but pretty impressive research schools: Morrisville State College, Binghamton University, and Cornell University. We were able to partner with two world-renown organizations, The Center for Discovery and the CW Hemp Company on our project. Using CW Hemp’s world-class genetics and the cuttingedge farming practices of The Center for Discovery, we are studying the cultivation of biodynamic, organic industrial hemp, a plant that has the potential to provide important medicinal benefits. Industrial Hemp is a non-psychoactive cannabis plant that has shown promise in its effectiveness in treating patients with seizure disorders, anxiety, PTSD and other ailments. Farmers from The Center for Discovery study the quality of hemp plants grown according to biodynamic practices, while researchers and students from SUNY Sullivan study the content and quality of cannabidiol (CBD) and other key properties of the plant. CW Hemp, owned and operated by the Stanley Brothers, has been selling hemp extract oil as a health and dietary supplement since 2014. The company name is derived from “Charlotte’s Web”, a variety of hemp bred by the Stanley Brothers in 2011. The plant is named for Charlotte Figi, a young girl who saw her epileptic seizures reduced from 300 plus per week to just a few per month after she started using the Stanley Brothers’ hemp extract. This research project is ongoing. Our

first year’s crop of hemp seedlings planted in Hurleyville did not fare well. Plants around the state were all affected by a mysterious pathogen. This year, as last, we have received several thousand more seedlings from CW Hemp, with a variety of commercially available genetic strains, to measure each type’s success in growing in New York’s more humid climate and lower altitude than their normal growing conditions in Colorado, where CW Hemp is based. Additionally, the project’s researchers will test to determine which strains are more responsive in the treatment of anxiety. The benefits of the research to our community? Allowing SUNY Sullivan students to be part of an inaugural project that will expand each year as part of the Governor’s goal to turn New York into a leading producer of industrial hemp. And, to get hands-on experience in a three-partner, multi-state, potentially lifealtering project that they might not otherwise ever have the opportunity to participate in – experience that puts our students on a similar path as students from larger, some would say more prestigious, schools. SUNY Sullivan is putting our students at the leading edge of this rapidly expanding new industry!

The hemp plants are now almost two feet tall at the Center for Discovery.

Larry Reeger, faculty member and Interim Director of Sustainability, Greg York, Director of Farm Operations at The Center for Discovery, and Kathy Scullion, Instructional Assistant, plant hemp seeds earlier transplants young hemp into the ground at The Center for Discovery. this year. Both work at SUNY Sullivan.


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MINDING OUR BUSINESSES Jeff Bank garners three gold awards from Banking New York J

eff Bank, Sullivan County’s largest community bank, earned three “Gold Awards” from Banking New York, a publication of American Business Media. The prestigious Banking Choice Awards are presented by American Business Media and Customer Experience Solutions, LLC. "Winning these 3 awards serves to independently confirm our place as a premier community bank in the Hudson Valley where competition for banking is robust,” Jeff Bank President and CEO George Kinne said. “We pride ourselves on the customer service we deliver and contribute in many different ways to the communities we serve, both of which were validated with these awards. “Receiving the Gold medal in 3 of 4 categories is an honor and we greatly appre-

ciate being recognized,” he said. Unlike typical “popularity contests,” these awards are given based on interviews with thousands of banking customers in a double-blind format. No financial institution is involved in collecting the data, which is then used to create the highly respected Banking Benchmarks. Customer Experience Solutions is the recognized leader in measuring and tracking customer experience for banking institutions. The Banking Choice Awards were announced in the most recent issue of the magazine and included four categories: Customer Service, Technology, Community Contribution and Overall Quality. Jeff Bank competed in the Hudson Valley Region, which includes Sullivan, Orange, Ulster, Dutchess, Putnam, Rock-

Jeff Bank earned three Gold Awards for Customer Service, Overall Quality and Community Contribution from American Business Media and Customer Experience Solutions, LLC. land and Westchester counties. In the Customer Service category, Jeff Bank won the Gold Award. In the Community Contribution catego-

ry, Jeff Bank garned the Gold Award. And in the Overall Quality category, Jeff Bank was again the gold standard, winning the Gold Award.

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MINDING OUR BUSINESSES

Barton & Loguidice earns national recognition as “Best Firm to Work For” B

arton & Loguidice (B&L), an engineering, planning, environmental and landscape architecture firm with over 270 employees throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, has been named one of the “Best Firms To Work For” nationally in both the Multidiscipline and 200+ Employee categories for the second year in a row, according to the Zweig Group – a leading industry research and benchmarking firm. The 2019 “Best Firm To Work For” award recognizes the top architecture, structural engineering, civil engineering, environmental, geotechnical, landscape architecture/planning and multidiscipline firms in the US and Canada. Locally, Barton & Loguidice has an office in Newburgh and does extensive work in the Hudson Valley, including Sullivan County. Firms were comprehensively evaluated based on their firm culture, workplace practices, employee benefits, employee retention rates, professional development and more – from both the management and staff perspectives. “Given that a record number of firms

applied for this industry distinction, we are keenly aware of the correlation between this award and the continued hard work and dedication of our employees,” said President and CEO of Barton & Loguidice John F. Brusa, Jr. “It’s their efforts that provide a culture of excellence – making B&L one of the best places to work and an employer of choice.” “Being named as a national ‘Best Firm To Work For’ is a powerful statement.” said Zweig Group CEO Chad Clinehens. “With recruiting and retention being the number one challenge for AEC firms, this award provides a great platform to promote culture and employee experience, offering these firms a strong competitive advantage.” Barton & Loguidice, D.P.C., is an engineering, planning, environmental, and landscape architecture firm with 270 employees working from offices in Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, Newburgh, New Paltz, Plattsburgh, Rochester, Somers, Syracuse and Watertown New York as well as Camp Hill, Pennsylvania and Annapolis and Baltimore, Maryland.

Partnership to continue business breakfast series

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ROCK HILL – Gus Sacco, Chief Investment Officer and CEO of Hudson Valley Investment Advisors, Inc., will be the keynote speaker of the next Sullivan County Partnership breakfast on Thursday, June 27. The event, part of the Partnership’s Business Breakfast Series is entitled, “A Discussion about the Regional, State and National Economy.”

The breakfast will be held at Bernie’s Holiday Restaurant in Rock Hill from 8 to 10 a.m. RSVP to jenn@scpartnership.com or call 845-794-1110. Cost is $20 for Sullivan County Partnership members and $25 for non-members. Orange County Bank & Trust Company is the proud sponsor of this breakfast.


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Business Edge Summer 2019  

For the latest business news across Sullivan County check out our Summer 2019 Business Edge.

Business Edge Summer 2019  

For the latest business news across Sullivan County check out our Summer 2019 Business Edge.

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