The IDA keeps to its vision
By JENNIFER C.S. BRYLINSKI, Executive Director, Sullivan County IDA
Remember the 1960s? New York States economic future was considered bleak at best. A staggering number of manufacturing businesses were being lured out of New York by tax incentives offered by other states. Finally, in 1969, New York legislators decided it needed its own incentive tool to counter this draw, and it created the Industrial Development Agency (IDA).
The specific goal of the IDA was to encourage economic growth and expansion through financial incentives, thus advancing the job opportunities, health, general prosperity and economic welfare of the people of the State of New York. Any municipal taxing jurisdiction in the state was allowed to create an IDA, and at the request of Sullivan County, the County of Sullivan Industrial Development Agency was created by an act of the New York State Legislature in 1970.
The early years of the countys agency were slow. The region was still attempting to adjust to the loss of most of the hotel industry that had sustained it for decades. Even up until 1997, the agency was assisting an average of one new business every three years.
What a difference a few years make. With a great combination of a growing national economy, wonderful location and forward-thinking policymakers, the County of Sullivan IDA has averaged more then five projects a year since 1998. In 2005 alone, it assisted nine new businesses, and this year distributed back to the taxing jurisdictions a whopping $3 million.
The County of Sullivan IDA consistently adheres to its vision of the future as it reviews a new project. It is a vision of diverse job opportunities, a vision of an environmentally healthy land, and a vision of upward economic mobility for those willing to pursue it.
The projects assisted by the IDA show this dedication. These projects include small local businesses such as Wurtsboro Center, Pecks Market in Jeffersonville and Cannie Ds in Neversink, and large corporate businesses such as Crystal Run Healthcare, Kohls and Sullivan Diagnostic Treatment Center/The Center for Discovery. Agricultural interests are helped by the Cochecton Mills and Fosterdale Equipment projects, and local leisure activities are helped with assistance to Holiday Mountain Fun Park and the Monticello Raceway. The Nannas House project in Rock Hill offers childrens daycare, and projects in Bloomingburg and Monticello offer housing for seniors. The Sullivan County Community College constructed its new dormitories through the issuance of bonds through the IDA.
Before approval, every project goes through a vigorous review of its economic and environmental impact. Of course, all projects are available for public review and comment.
The results of the IDAs efforts are increased employment, a greater infusion of capital into the local economy and improvement of the overall quality of life in Sullivan County. Though much work has been done, much work still has to be completed. The IDA is proud of its contribution in helping enhance Sullivan Countys economic future.