1. The Laws of New York
  2. Unconsolidated Laws
  3. Urban Development Corporation Act 174/68


Section 16-S The upstate agricultural economic development fund and healthy food / healthy communities initiative

Urban Development Corporation Act 174/68 (UDA)

The upstate agricultural economic development fund and healthy food / healthy communities initiative. 1. The upstate agricultural economic development fund and healthy food / healthy communities initiative is hereby created. The corporation is authorized, within available appropriations, to provide financial assistance in the form of loans, grants or contracts for services, to eligible entities as set forth in this subdivision to support the upstate revitalization fund to reduce the cost of financing the construction, expansion or renovation of agricultural economic development projects, to reduce the cost of agricultural inputs or to support activities related to the retention of existing farmers or the recruitment of new farmers and to increase the number of food markets providing affordable and nutritious foods in underserved areas.

  2. Not-for-profit corporations, agricultural cooperative corporations, public benefit corporations, municipalities and educational institutions serving rural areas shall be eligible to apply for support under this subdivision for the following activities:

  (a) Support for local efforts to identify new agricultural economic development opportunities, and to organize industry-wide collaborative efforts designed to develop growth strategies for the agricultural industry.

  (b) Support for local or regional activities designed to provide business development and financial packaging assistance to new and expanding agricultural economic development projects.

  (c) Development and delivery of programs to promote the retention of existing farmers and to attract new farmers.

  (d) Feasibility studies to determine the projected local, national and/or international demand for the proposed crop or product to be financed pursuant to this section and the suitability of the land and climate for such production.

  (e) Support for land acquisition and/or the construction, acquisition or expansion of buildings, machinery and equipment associated with a project.

  (f) Loans can be provided by the corporation to agricultural cooperative corporations, not-for-profit corporations and public benefit corporations for the purpose of providing low cost financing from such entities to projects for purposes described in this subdivision.

  (g) Such projects shall be consistent with the environmental protection goals of the state.

  3. Community development financial institutions, as defined by paragraph (a) of subdivision 2 of section sixteen-o of this act, shall be eligible to apply for designation under this subdivision to perform the duties of a program administrator for the healthy food / healthy communities initiative.

  (a) Program administrators will be required to enter into a contract with the corporation for the following responsibilities:

  (i) raise matching capital to leverage state funds within three years of signing a contract with the corporation;

  (ii) report, at least annually, on the sources and amounts of funds raised;

  (iii) develop underwriting criteria; and

  (iv) process loans and grants for food markets.

  (b) Administrative costs of program administrators will be reimbursable as set forth in either rules and regulations issued in accordance with paragraph (d) of subdivision 5 of this section or in a request for proposal.

  (c) Eligible food markets are any entities in subparagraph (i) of this paragraph. Eligible food markets must demonstrate that their proposed project will benefit an underserved area, as defined in subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph.

  (i) An eligible food market applicant may be a for-profit business enterprise (including a corporation, limited liability company, sole proprietor, cooperative or partnership), not-for-profit corporation, agricultural cooperative corporation, public benefit corporation, municipal corporation, regional market facility, or a food cooperative.

  (ii) An underserved area is defined as a low- or moderate-income census tract, an area of below average supermarket density or an area having a supermarket customer base with more than 50 percent living in a low-income census tract.

  (iii) Eligible uses for funds from state grants and loans to food markets include:

  (A) pre-development costs for project feasibility, including professional fees, market studies and appraisals;

  (B) land assembly, including demolition and environmental remediation;

  (C) site development;

  (D) infrastructure improvements, including renovation, new construction or adaptive reuse; and

  (E) equipment purchases.

  (d) The program administrator shall review, and if appropriate approve, applications by food markets. The program administrator shall review applications every other month for as long as funds remain available in the loan pool. The program administrator shall review each application to determine whether the proposed project is financially viable and demonstrates all of the following:

  (i) makes a positive impact on the local economy;

  (ii) increases revenues to the state, the host municipality, or the market region or creates a new agricultural economic development opportunity;

  (iii) adherence to sound land use principles;

  (iv) promotes community development by working in conjunction with other programs;

  (v) incorporates energy efficiency and green building principles; and

  (vi) to the maximum extent practicable, provides healthy, nutritious food grown by sustainable agricultural practices.

  4. Applications for assistance pursuant to this section, except for the healthy foods / healthy communities initiative, shall be reviewed and evaluated pursuant to eligibility requirements and criteria set forth in rules and regulations promulgated by the upstate chairman, in consultation with the commissioner of the department of agriculture and markets, and subject to approval by the board of directors of the upstate empire state development corporation. Approval of project applications shall be made by the upstate chairman, in consultation with the commissioner of the department of agriculture and markets, subject to approval by the board of directors of the upstate empire state development corporation.

  5. Applications to be the program administrator for the healthy food / healthy communities initiative shall be reviewed and evaluated pursuant to eligibility requirements and criteria which may be set forth in either rules and regulations, a request for proposal or an application.

  (a) Applications shall identify at least one food access, health or community development organization who will work with the program administrator applicant to:

  (i) analyze market opportunities in underserved areas;

  (ii) recruit food market operators and developers;

  (iii) pre-qualify food market applications on non-financial criteria; and

  (iv) provide technical assistance with regard to operating grocery stores in low-income communities.

  (b) Administrative costs of the food access, health or community development organization will be reimbursable as set forth in rules and regulations issued in accordance with paragraph (d) of this subdivision or in a request for proposal.

  (c) Approval of at least one program administrator shall be made by the upstate chairman, in consultation with the commissioner of the department of agriculture and markets, subject to approval by the board of directors of the upstate empire state development corporation.

  (d) At his or her discretion, the upstate chairman of the corporation may promulgate rules and regulations, in consultation with the commissioner of the department of agriculture and markets, and subject to approval by the board of directors of the upstate empire state development corporation for the implementation of this section.

  6. The corporation, in consultation with the commissioner of the department of agriculture and markets, shall submit a report to the director of the budget, the temporary president of the senate, the speaker of the assembly, the minority leader of the senate and the minority leader of the assembly on the investments and accomplishments of the upstate agricultural economic development fund. Such report shall include, but not be limited to, information on the number of jobs created and retained, levels of private sector investment, economic benefit to the state and local economies and types of industries invested in. Such report shall be submitted by July 1, 2009 and July first every year thereafter.

  7. The corporation, in consultation with the commissioner of the department of agriculture and markets, shall submit a report to the director of the budget, the temporary president of the senate, the speaker of the assembly, the minority leader of the senate and the minority leader of the assembly evaluating the economic and social benefits of the upstate agricultural economic development fund. Such evaluation shall be prepared by an entity or entities independent of the corporation which shall be selected through a request for proposal process. Such evaluation shall be submitted by October 1, 2009 and October first every year thereafter.

  8. The corporation is hereby authorized to promulgate rules and regulations in accordance with the state administrative procedure act as are necessary to fulfill the purposes of this section.

  9. The provisions of section ten and subdivision 2 of section sixteen of this act shall not apply to assistance provided under this section.