(WNY News Now) – A key development project along the I-90 corridor in Chautauqua County is one step closer to becoming a reality after being awarded a $5.25 million grant from Empire State Development (ESD). On Thursday, Nov. 2, Governor Kathy Hochul announced a grant award for the Interstate 90 site in the town of Ripley as part of phase two of the state’s Focused Attraction of Shovel-Ready Tracts New York grant program. The Ripley site was one of six sites selected to receive a share of the nearly $90 million in funding.
RIPLEY, NY – The grant is being awarded to County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency (CCIDA), which applied for the funding to keep progress on the Ripley Interstate 90 shovel-ready site moving forward. The state funding will allow for infrastructure improvements, including electric, gas, water, and sewer extensions, as well as creation of an access road. The project, which aims to attract light manufacturing and interstate distribution & logistics companies, consists of two phases to purchase multiple parcels and make requisite site improvements to transform 136 acres of underused land into a shovel-ready, infrastructure enabled site directly off of the I-90 interchange at Shortman Road. The total cost of the project is estimated to be $16 million.
“We are overjoyed that the State recognizes not only the need for shovel-ready sites in the region, but also that this is a great location just off Interstate 90,” said Mark Geise, Deputy County Executive for Economic Development and CCIDA Chief Executive Officer. “We have been working on this initiative for several years, and it is great to see it all coming together. The County and CCIDA have pledged their financial support for the project, and other sources of funding are being sought to meet the $16 Million price tag. Without large, shovel-ready sites, the county is missing out on opportunities for larger development projects, which this project addresses.”
“Approval of this shovel-ready site is great news for not just the Town of Ripley, but also Chautauqua County and all of Western New York,” added Chautauqua County Executive PJ Wendel. “Developing a foundation for future projects, this is a continuation of our mission to maintain a strong gateway into our state and county. I’d like to recognize and thank the County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency and Empire State Development for working to make this project possible.”
“This is great news for the town of Ripley,” said Doug Bowen, Ripley Town Supervisor. “By having the state award this funding, it means the necessary infrastructure improvements can move forward to provide a shovel-ready site along the I-90 corridor. It will not only be a huge asset for our local economy here in Ripley, but also for the entire Chautauqua County region.”
“This is great news for Ripley and all of Chautauqua County. Securing this $5.25 million FAST NY grant is a testament to the hard work and planning by the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency and the Town of Ripley. Creating this shovel-ready gateway along 1-90 in Ripley will pave the way for private investment and lead to future projects as we continue to revitalize our community. I want to thank Gov. Hochul and Empire State Development for recognizing the need to support communities in Western New York as they reinvent themselves and build a brighter future for everyone,” said State Senator George Borrello.
In May of this year, the CCIDA Board approved the purchase of land in the first phase of the project, which entails acquiring four parcels of property totaling 64 acres for $2,892,000, based on an appraisal. The second phase will involve purchasing additional properties to bring the overall total land acquired to 136 acres.