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SECTION 16-S
The upstate agricultural economic development fund and healthy food / healthy communities initiative
Urban Development Corporation Act 174/68 (UDA) CHAPTER INTRO
§ 16-s. 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.