WATERLOO, NY, Sept. 12, 2019 –A formal draft of Seneca County’s economic development strategic plan is now officially available for public review and comment. The public comment period starts today and will continue for through Nov. 1.
Seneca County’s draft plan is available for public review and comments at www.seneca-economy.com.
The Seneca County IDA started the strategic planning process last year by identifying the community’s economic development assets and priorities. Stakeholder interviews and public meetings were then held to help kick-start the process, which was undertaken in conjunction with a steering committee of representatives from key industries and government sectors including manufacturing, agribusiness, tourism, banking and services, health care, education, workforce development, the IDA, the Board of Supervisors and the Chamber of Commerce.
Thirty-three individuals from businesses and organizations throughout the County were interviewed during this process, and more than 60 attendees participated in two public sessions on the plan late last year.
IDA Chairman Steven Brusso said this is the first time in recent memory that the community has undertaken a formal process to develop a strategic economic development plan focused on private-sector economic growth for Seneca County, so the public’s input is critically important.
“This is the best opportunity for the public to weigh in on the plan with their thoughts, questions and comments,” Brusso said. “We encourage the public to provide comments and feedback to ensure that we are all aligned in growing Seneca County’s economic future.”
The major theme of the draft plan is “Fostering the Next Generation of Growth.” The idea is to build on the foundation that the County already has, including enterprises in advanced manufacturing and services; agriculture and food production; and tourism, including agritourism, destination tourism, and cultural and heritage tourism.
With all of these industries, the County is home to strong niche players that are in the midst of building a competitive advantage, based on advanced technology and talent, and who depend upon, and will continue to depend upon, coordinated community development to maintain their potential for expansion.
“Ultimately, these industries will drive the next generation of growth for the mid-21st century for the County,” said IDA Executive Director Bob Aronson.
The draft plan also identified several economic development assets including Cayuga Lake, Seneca Lake and other waterways; the region’s scenic beauty and quality of life; the former Seneca Army Depot, the largest developable property in the Northeast United States; Finger Lakes National Forest; and the Route 318/Route 414 corridor, with its proximity to the New York State Thruway.
The public comment period truly is the last, best chance for residents to provide feedback on the plan, Aronson added.
“We need to hear from residents, and we want to hear from the public, as well as community and government leaders, to ensure the plan’s future success,” he said.