CANTON — Sixteen St. Lawrence County businesses and organizations are lined up to get $218,000 in American Rescue Plan funds.
The St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency approved the grants Thursday afternoon.
IDA board member James E. Reagen, who is also a county legislator who chairs that board’s ARPA committee, said the county reps are looking to see that money go “out into many communities.”
“That’s what my colleagues are going to be looking to see if that’s happening, and it is,” he said.
The IDA board passed the awards after an executive session that lasted about 35 minutes. They went into the closed-door session discuss the financial, credit and employment history of particular corporations. That’s one of eight discussion topics outlined in the state Open Meetings Law that allows them to have a closed-door talk before taking a vote.
Empire State Mines, based in Gouverneur, was approved to receive $50,500. Of that, $35,000 will go toward ventilation upgrades. They will also get $8,000 to train a new worker and $7,500 to train an existing worker in mine safety. Structural Wood in Waddington got the nod for $40,845 — $33,345 for an air purification system and $7,500 to train an existing worker’s commercial operator training. Small Town Supply in Gouverneur is lined up to get $30,000 for ventilation upgrades.
In Canton, Cornell Cooperative Extension got an approval for $18,000 toward an Ag Studies Academy classroom expansion. Canton Day Care Center was approved for $13,700 toward installing a laundry and a disability-accessible restroom.
The River Course at Louisville and the Black Lake Chamber of Commerce will get money toward creating and implementing marketing plans, $10,000 and $8,000, respectively. North Country This Week in Potsdam was approved for $7,500 toward training an existing worker in creative media and software.
Gouverneur Community Center got a nod for $7,425 toward entrance improvements. Another $7,400 was approved for a dust collection system and air filtration at Yesteryear’s Vintage Doors in Hammond. In Ogdensburg, Canexys was okayed for $4,000 for new worker training and another $2,700 to train an existing worker in plastic injection moulding.
Other ARPA grants the IDA voted for include: Frederic Remington Art Museum, Ogdensburg, $5,944 for a tour bus marketing promotion; Big Shotz Golf, Potsdam, $5,288 for marketing and promotion in the local area; LeBerge and Curtis, Canton, $5,000 toward a new worker; Atlantic Testing, Canton, $1,500 toward leadership and development training for a new worker; and the Hammond Scottish Festival, $1,039 to advertise their Scottish heritage event.
In other news related to ARPA monies, IDA CEO Patrick J. Kelly told that board that a heavy equipment operator training started Tuesday at BOCES Southwest Tech. The adult class with 12 participants takes place there at night for 16 weeks. He said it costs $7,900 per pupil, with one-third of that paid with ARPA money and the rest covered with other grants.
Mr. Kelly said the IDA got involved after talking to employers and workers and “identified an area of need.” Those completing the course will obtain a national certification in heavy equipment operation.
“Having a fully put together class already underway is a significant accomplishment,” Mr. Kelly said, adding that the IDA is planning to offer it again.
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