OSWEGO — Local economic development officials say there’s good news to celebrate in a diversity of projects underway around Oswego County.
Executive Director L. Michael Treadwell’s presentation to the Oswego County Legislature’s Economic Development and Planning Committee last week gave lawmakers a look inside Operation Oswego County’s 2019 annual report and spotlighted new mixed-use facilities, expansion of current businesses and the start of new renewable energy projects.
“This report shows the diversity of projects from around the county, from manufacturing projects to mixed use facilities to recreation-related projects to health care projects,” Treadwell said.
“It’s a real cross-section … a real diversified assortment of positive activities that creates jobs,” Treadwell added.
A balance of projects is critical to a healthy economy, he said, otherwise one industry’s downturn could lead to suffering for the entire area.
“That’s one of our missions at Operation Oswego County (OOC) and the County of Oswego IDA,” Treadwell said regarding industry diversity.
The 2019 report recaps more than 20 projects, including two new mixed-use facilities for residential and commercial space on West First Street in the heart of downtown Oswego: the Litatro Building and 22 Crossroads’ Riverwalk,
Both construction efforts are part of Oswego’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) plan, awarded to the Port City in 2016 by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Treadwell hopes Fulton, which last year received its own promise of $10 million in state development aid from Cuomo, can benefit from the initiative as much as their neighbors to the north.
“Ten million dollars turned into about $60 million in the city of Oswego,” Treadwell said. “We hope to see a similar type of reaction to the Fulton DRI.”
Other projects in the 2019 report include LeRoi, Inc. acquiring a new building in the city of Oswego to expand its high-end body-piercing jewelry manufacturing business, boutique lifestyle brand MacKenzie Childs’ new warehouse and fulfillment center in Volney, and green tech provider Source Renewables developing a solar renewable energy project in the town of Richland.
Overall, Treadwell reported a capital investment of more than $127 million, with 44 new, expanded or retained facilities, as well as 960 new or retained jobs.
New annual reported payroll for businesses was nearly $18 million, with an investment per job of more than $132,0000, and an average annual pay for new job at more than $35,000, according to Treadwell.
The long-time official also said he’s seen a shift for companies in 2020 based on the economic impact of COVID-19.
“Some years there’s been a bunch of smaller projects without a big cargo ship that comes to town. That happens,” Treadwell said. “I would think this year because of COVID, the numbers are going to be flatter because you’re not going to have a lot of new companies moving in. … You’re trying to retain your workforce. The motivation for 2020 is survive and save the base. I think we’re doing a pretty good job.”