$45K grant from National Grid will help make 2 sites shovel ready

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 January 2014 at 12:00 am

File photo by Tom Rivers – The Orleans Economic Development Agency is working for certified shovel ready status for the Medina Business Park on Bates Road.

MEDINA – National Grid will pay $45,000 towards advancing two sites in the Medina area, making them “certified shovel ready” for businesses looking to build in Orleans County.

The grant from National Grid is planned to go towards engineering, borings, wetlands identification and other permitting issues for the Medina Business Park and a 120-acre cow pasture on Route 31A.

“We’re going to cut down the time to put the shovel in the ground,” said Gabrielle Barone, vice president of business development for the Orleans Economic Development Agency.

The cow pasture is used by the Keppeler family. The land will give the Orleans EDA perhaps the largest site of certified shovel ready property in Western New York, EDA officials said Friday.

The Medina Business Park has 65 acres on Bates Road. Both sites have water and sewer access, and they fall within the eligibility zone for cheap hydropower electricity through the Niagara Power Project.

National Grid approved a matching grant to clear hurdles that sometimes slow down the permitting and development process.

“We’re taking it to the highest level we can take it,” Barone said about the certified shovel ready status.

Medina and Shelby have both committed $20,000 towards the costs of obtaining shovel ready status. The EDA has agreed to spend $4,367.75 from the Orleans Land Restoration Corporation.

To reach “shovel ready” status, the sites need nearly $90,000 of services, including boundary, topographical and survey work ($26,010); geotechnical information ($16,000); concept plans and traffic study ($15,000); State Historic Preservation Office application ($1,500); environmental impact report ($3,500); meetings and coordination with Empire State Development ($15,000) and an application to Empire State Development for “shovel ready” status for the site ($7,500). The costs also include a 5 percent contingency for $4,225.50.