With Medina being considered by companies, EDA official asks for improved gateways

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 September 2022 at 3:42 pm

Village should also push property maintenance as part of community appeal

Gabrielle Barone, vice president of business development for the Orleans Economic Development Agency,  urged Medina village officials to boost the looks of the community’s gateway entrances and also properties that appear neglected.

MEDINA – The Village of Medina has experienced success in recent years with its downtown business district and several companies building in the Medina Business Park. The village could soon be seeing even more companies and investment coming to the community, said Gabrielle Barone, vice  president of business development for the Orleans Economic Development Agency.

Medina is a finalist for two big projects, and another developer is looking at a housing development, Barone told the Village Board on Monday.

She praised the foresight of village officials in the past who built a big sewer plant for Medina. That capacity is now a big factor for Medina being a finalist for companies.

However, Barone said the community falls behind others in some ways. She said the gateways – the main entrances into the village – need to be improved. And many properties appear neglected in the village and need paint or siding as well as other repairs.

“Medina gets on the short list for many projects,” she said. “There is a lot going on but we just need more attention to how things look.”

She also suggested the village modernize its website and list all of its committees, their meeting locations, agendas and past minutes of meetings.

The village also needs to have a modern meeting room that is handicapped accessible and includes up-to-date technology for presentations. That would be a big help for the EDA as it works with village officials to make the sales pitch to prospective companies, Barone said.

The Medina Business Park encompasses over 300 acres. It spans both sides of Route 31A in Medina. Barone said it is now the largest NYS-Certified “Shovel-Ready” business park in Western New York and the Finger Lakes.

The park has seen recent investments, including the opening of a new hotel. Barone said more companies will come to the site, partly because of the village’s ability to provide them with water and sewer.

“You’ve accomplished a lot, but we have more to do,” Barone told the Village Board. “I know I can be very demanding but there is a reason for it. People may not like it, but it works.”

Village Trustee Marguerite Sherman thanked Barone for her work and for applying some pressure on the board.

“We need high expectations,” Sherman said.