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Wyoming County Industrial Development Agency Celebrates 50th Anniversary

by WyCo IDA

This year (2024) marks a milestone for the Wyoming County Industrial Development Agency (WCIDA) as it celebrates its 50th anniversary as the leader in economic development services and benefits for Wyoming County and its residents.

The WCIDA was established by the Wyoming County Board of Supervisors, and ratified by the New York State Legislature on May 13, 1974. The founding Board of Directors was comprised of five notable Wyoming County residents who contributed to the agencies original mission. Those original board members included Charles Van Arsdale, Lewis Serventi, Hayden Rosier, Thomas Griffin, and Frederick Stevens.

The WCIDA, is a public benefit corporation, chartered with an early mission designed to address a “high unemployment rate” in Wyoming County. The Wyoming Board of Supervisors believed that the creation of an industrial Development Agency, “would attract and encourage new industries to locate in our County for the purpose of creating more jobs… and that existing industries have asked for an Industrial Development Agency which would allow them to obtain low-interest loans for expansion.”

“This is an exciting time for the Wyoming County IDA as we celebrate 50 years of positive work for Wyoming County,” said Mark Dadd, Chairman of the WCIDA Board. “I am honored to have been a part of the original work to create the agency as a vital tool for development, and am pleased to continue serving on the Board with a group of individuals who are dedicated to the best interests of our community.”

Today, the WCIDA is governed by a seven-member volunteer Board of Directors who are appointed by the Wyoming County Board of Supervisors, with Executive Director & CEO, James Pierce, who manages daily operations and a staff of three employees. The agency’s current mission is to encourage and increase private investment that creates new job opportunities, retains and stabilizes the existing employment base, and generates added tax revenues through increased economic activity in Wyoming County.

This new mission has allowed for greater ability and purpose in how the WCIDA serves the greater community. It does this by promoting comprehensive educational programs that will assist budding entrepreneurs in planning, launching, and maintaining new or expanded businesses. The WCIDA identifies and collaborates with appropriate new partners, creating new operating synergies and enhancing economic development within Wyoming County. The agency also designs and conducts research to seek new pathways to grow our local economy, setting priorities and developing action plans based on a combination of high potential for growth and the WCIDA strength as a facilitator for economic development.

The WCIDA regularly works and coordinates with a variety of local, state and federal agencies on corporate financing and incentive programs, and monitors new and existing opportunities that could benefit local companies. In some instances, the WCIDA also acts as the official conduit for the funds. The Wyoming County Industrial Development Agency works alongside other county agencies and affiliates to act as the lead entity in providing economic development services.

The WCIDA is able to provide specialized financing and incentive programs offered by local, regional, state and federal agencies. Some of the key incentives the WCIDA can offer include property tax relief from county, school and municipal taxes that result from an increased assessed value from new construction or an expansion; exemption of sales tax for non-production equipment, furnishing and construction materials; exemption from mortgage recording taxes, when a mortgage is required to finance a project; and industrial revenue bonds.

“We are very fortunate to have an IDA that has strong foundations and a proven track record over its 50-year history,” said James Pierce, Executive Director of the WCIDA. “Our work is based on a team approach to growth and expansion in Wyoming County. The IDA Board and Staff work collaboratively with our partners to develop projects that enhance the quality of life and improve the economic future for our communities. Over the years, we have worked together to carefully and deliberately grow the economy, by investing in quality projects and people.”

In just the past twenty years, WCIDA has leveraged projects that have invested more than $1.4 billion in Wyoming County business growth and development. These projects have included manufacturers, tourism businesses, agriculture projects including the recent Wyoming Transfer Station project in Gainesville; the expansion projects at Creative Food Ingredients in Perry, the growth of Beaver Hollow Conference Center and Resort in North Java, and development of various renewable energy projects throughout Wyoming County.

Each of these success stories has created economic growth and expansion, greater ability for businesses to cut costs and bring products to market, and make our industries more competitive in the national and world economy. The WCIDA has successfully created a robust revolving loan program to assist new and existing businesses, and has also worked to recruit businesses to our rural communities, due to their lower operating costs and attractiveness of location and quality employees, improving the overall economy and creating good jobs for local residents.

“I am pleased to extend my congratulations to the Wyoming County IDA as it celebrates 50 years of growth and advancement for the people of Wyoming County,” said Rebecca Ryan, Chair of the Wyoming County Board of Supervisors. “The diligence and hard work the staff has always and continues to demonstrate has assisted existing businesses grow while adding new quality projects for our county. I also applaud the efforts of all who have served as volunteers on the Board of Directors for the past decades. It is through the collaborative, tireless efforts of the staff, volunteers and businesses that we are able to celebrate this great milestone. Wyoming County is a better place to live, work and grow because of those efforts and those of all who play a role in our business community. We look forward to continued future successes from the IDA as we begin the next 50 years!”