Reviving Downtown Buildings & Laundromat
Story by John Thomas
Randolph Commercial Project
Six Smith Properties, LLC. has submitted an application to the County of Cattaraugus Industrial Development Agency for NYS sales tax abatement, a PILOT 10-year Adaptive Reuse/Commercial and NYS Mortgage Recording Tax Abatement for a redevelopment project on Main Street in the Village of Randolph. Mr. Reid Smith of Six Smith said the buildings at 135 and 141 Main Street had been abandoned and condemned for some time. He has acquired the buildings and plans to fix the facades, and issues within the buildings, renovate the old laundromat and create a mixed-use commercial space. Executive Director of the CCIDA, Corey Wiktor said the laundry is the only one in that area and bringing it back to operation would be critical. Mr. Smith said he and his wife would run the laundromat. He also said there are a total of four apartments in the two buildings that he will fix up and rent out. Mr. Wiktor pointed out the city government of Randolph has been trying to redevelop the downtown for some time. He added, “Someone has to get the ball rolling. It’s a substantial project, and the Village certainly needs it.” Mr. Smith said when he inspected them, he found the buildings and laundry were in better shape than he thought. Motions were passed to start the Preliminary SEQR and to hold a public hearing for the proposal.
Mr. Richard Zink from Southern Tier West gave an update on the state’s push to bring broadband internet to under and unserved portions of the Southern Tier. The state government’s ambitious plans call for establishing 100-megabit Internet access in even the most rural areas of the state. The state has released several rounds of funding since 2015, and the third round of money will be released in June. The state will be seeking bids from access providers for cable, point to point and satellite, access depending on the most efficient way to connect homes in a given area. The providers include Spectrum, Armstrong cable, Fairpoint Communications, Frontier Telephone, and DTF Communications. Communities currently being served by Spectrum cable may see an increase in download speeds up to 100-megabits. Mr. Zink added the new 4K resolution TV’s need 100-megabit speed. He added schools now are issuing students iPads for homework, but in underserved areas, students can be seen sitting outside the school building to get online. Teachers will be able to communicate directly with a sick student. (That means students won’t be able to say they didn’t get the assignment.) It can cost up to $25,000 to lay a mile of fiber optic cable. By the end of 2018 100% of Southern Tier communities should be wired for access, and by 2021 all those lines should be connected to the World Wide Web.
Dream it Do it WNY
The board heard a report from Evelyn Sabina from the Dream it Do it organization. It introduces students to the world of manufacturing. With many of the county’s skilled manufacturing work force facing retirement, the county needs to find ways to replace them. The DIDI organization held a manufacturing fair at St. Bonaventure University. Over 200 students from various high schools in the county participated on 52 teams. Twenty-four engineers and technicians from Dresser-Rand, Napoleon Engineering Services, CUTCO, Eaton, and SolEpoxy were consultants for the students in various projects. Ms. Sabina said before the fair 62% of the teachers would encourage a manufacturing career path. But after the fair, 100% of teachers would suggest a career in manufacturing.
Mr. Wiktor announced a special board meeting on June 15th at 9am at the CCIDA office on East Washington. The meeting was adjourned.