Dan Hust | Democrat
In front of the Sullivan County Funding Corporation in Monticello, Sullivan County Partnership for Economic Development President Marc Baez on Tuesday details a baseball bat manufacturer interested in creating a factory on the SUNY Sullivan campus in Loch Sheldrake.
Baseball bat maker eyed
Story by Dan Hust
LOCH SHELDRAKE September 13, 2013 A baseball bat/hockey stick manufacturer is interested in building a factory on the Loch Sheldrake campus of SUNY Sullivan, according to Sullivan County Partnership for Economic Development President Marc Baez.
“From my perspective, it’s a good site,” Baez told the board of the Sullivan County Funding Corporation (SCFC) on Tuesday.
The SCFC, created in 2011 to handle the Apollo Mall redevelopment and other initiatives, is basically a mirror of the county’s Industrial Development Agency (IDA). They share boards and personnel, but the SCFC can work with a variety of projects that the IDA is prohibited from aiding by law.
Since the county owns the land on which the college sits, the SCFC is conducting a needed survey of the 20-30-acre parcel, which Baez said is a meadow off the Route 52 (Liberty) entrance to the college.
The SCFC Board unanimously agreed to spend up to $5,000 to accomplish that survey.
The college and the county are eager to grab an initial tenant for the state’s brand new Start-Up NY program, an initiative by Governor Andrew Cuomo to attract more businesses to the Empire State.
Offered only to new companies, out-of-state companies, or in-state companies expanding (and excluding retail/wholesale businesses and restaurants), the program promises to literally create a “tax-free zone” for the company.
In other words, the business will pay no corporate, sales or property taxes for the first decade of existence. All of its employees will be exempt from paying income taxes in the first five years and for an additional five years (for a total of 10) if they earn less than $200,000 a year.
That tempting carrot has galvanized the college and Partnership into action, indicated Baez, and has already led to interest from this bat company.
Baez did not divulge the business’ name but said it’s a U.S.-based manufacturer (with Indian management partners) which has perfected a natural process to strengthen baseball bats and hockey sticks, in order to keep them from breaking.
He added that the company would likely interface with the college’s computer-aided design offerings.
“The college has been moving very quickly, so kudos to them,” Baez told the SCFC Board.
The county will likely undertake the survey quickly, as well, since it will identify the buildable portions and boundaries of the acreage.
The company would then lease the land from the SCFC, and Baez hopes having such a tenant will encourage other businesses to locate at SUNY Sullivan.
“We have a bird in hand. We just need to get that birdhouse built,” he told the SCFC. “We have to be ready.”