Written by Michael Goot for The Post Star on August 21, 2020
FORT EDWARD — The Warren-Washington Industrial Development Agency is set to receive a $600,000 grant to help build a permanent bridge on the access road leading to the former dewatering plant.
U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, announced the funding from the Northern Border Regional Commission for the project.
The funding will used to replace the temporary bridge leading to the site with a permanent one. It will also be used for engineering services to expand the municipal wastewater system to the park to improve the marketability of the land.
The goal is to attract business to about 80 acres of developable land.
Stefanik wrote a letter of support of this specific project.
Michael Bittel, president and CEO of the Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce and secretary and treasurer for the IDA, thanked the congresswoman for the funding. He said it would help upgrade the park’s ability to attract more jobs and a higher tax base for the region.
Hampton Supervisor Dave O’Brien, who is chairman of the IDA board, said the park has untapped potential.
“The assets left by GE at the conclusion of the sediment processing project make this a unique property with multiple rail spurs, canal access, two large buildings as well as its own electrical substation.” Those assets, he said in a news release, provide opportunity for a variety of businesses.
One issue that the IDA has been grappling with is access to the site. The roads have been owned by multiple different parties.
An access road leading from Route 196 to the site was recently transferred from the EPA to the Warren-Washington IDA. With this funding to replace the bridge, O’Brien said the county will have a viable asset to attract economic development.
Last month, the Texas-based WL Plastics Corp. backed out of a project to build a polyethylene pipe manufacturing facility on the grounds of the property, which was used by General Electric Co. during the project to dredge the Hudson River of PCBs.
WL Plastics cited the disruptions to their business because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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