Senator Nozzolio Delivers! 21st Century Geneva Project Enacted in Budget

Michael F. Nozzolio

March 30, 2009

Albany--State Senator Michael F. Nozzolio today announced that the 2008-2009 State budget includes state funding for several major construction projects in Geneva totaling $43 million. Senator Nozzolio aggressively worked to secure the funding as part of his plan to continue the revitalization of Geneva, called the 21st Century Geneva Project.

“In the earliest stages of budget negotiations this year, I was committed to securing significant state funding for projects that will transform Geneva,” said Senator Nozzolio. “In the closing days of budget negotiations, I did not let up and fought hard to secure this funding for the residents of Geneva. The funding contained in the State budget will go towards building a 21st century Geneva where new innovations and technological advancements will create hundreds of jobs in our region for years to come.”

The projects to receive funding under Nozzolio’s 21st Century Geneva Plan include:

*  $12 million for construction of a new state-of-the-art campus for the Finger Lakes Community College in Geneva;

*  $20 million for the Grape Genomics Research Facility;

*  $5 million for a new Finger Lakes Visitors Center in Geneva;

*  $4 million for a Commercial Development Center at the Cornell Ag and Food Tech Park; and,

*  $1.75 million for the construction of the Geneva Community Center/Boys and Girls Center.

State Assemblyman Brian Kolb said, “These investments will not only transform the economic landscape in Geneva but will also have a positive lasting impact on the entire Finger Lakes Region’s economy.”

Steve Isaacs, Executive Director of the Cornell Agriculture and Food Technology Park, said, “The USDA Grape Genomics project is an important addition to the Tech Farm and will bring new levels of jobs and investment to the region. The Commercial Development Center will provide wineries with the means to research and move their product. Thanks to Senator Nozzolio’s support and this critical state funding, we can move forward with our plans to build these two important facilities.”

Tom Burr, Director of the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station said, “The Grape Genetics Center will be a critical component of Cornell and is on the very long list of projects that would never have happened without the hard work and vision of Senator Nozzolio. Today’s announced funding that the Senator worked so hard to secure will lead to the creation of over 40 scientific research jobs in the Geneva region and will greatly impact the grape industry in New York and bring more visibility and partnership to the great work being done at the Experiment Station.”

“The research at the facility will have far reaching impacts on agriculture and food industries in our region and throughout the world. It will affect not only the grape and wine industry, as the research on grapes will also significantly benefit development of all food crops with regard to food production, quality, and safety,” continued Burr.

“The Grape Genomic Center will be a key component to the groundbreaking work being done at the Cornell Agriculture and Food Technology Park in Geneva. In addition to bringing research jobs to the region, the Grape Genetics Center will be invaluable in assisting our local wineries which are so important to our regional economy in the Finger Lakes area,” continued Nozzolio.

“By promoting high-tech and research based industries we are positioning New York State to be an international leader in innovative and emerging technologies and creating jobs right here. I look forward to the possibilities the Ag-Tech Park is creating for all residents in our area,” Senator Nozzolio added.


$12 million – Finger Lakes Community College Campus in Geneva

The construction of a new campus for the Finger Lakes Community College will bring hundreds of students into Geneva. The 2008-2009 State budget contains $6 million for the project and Ontario County has agreed to match the State funding for the construction of the state-of-the-art facility, bringing the total cost of the project to $12 million.

As part of their efforts to expand into the Geneva area, officials at the Finger Lakes Community College have also committed to start a viticology program for their students at the Cornell Agriculture and Food Technology Park. The curriculum will allow students to study all aspects of the wine industry, including growing grapes and processing, marketing and selling wines. The program will allow students to become experts in an important industry for the economy of the Finger Lakes region.

The Finger Lakes Community College opened in 1967 and enrolls over 5,150 full and part-time students from across New York State and around the country. FLCC offers more than 40 academic degree and certificate programs, as well as honors studies, travel and expedition courses, internships, high school dual-credit programs, non-credit and workforce training offerings, and Adult Basic Education/GED programs.

$20 million - Grape Genomics Research Facility

The 2008-2009 State budget contains $10 million for the completion of the construction of the Federal Grape Genomic Research Center at the Cornell Agriculture and Food Technology Park. The federal government has already committed $10 million in funding for the center and the State funding will be used to complete the project. Once completed, the Grape Genomics Research Center will bring 30-50 new scientific research jobs to Geneva.

Grape research in New York's Finger Lakes region has a long history dating back to the 1850's. Scientists at the Grape Genetics Research Unit study the full gamut of grapes grown in the United States, including northeastern states that experience cold winters.

The mission of the Grape Genetics Research Unit is the advancement of grape production through research and breeding. The goals of the program are to reduce losses to crop yield and quality that result from diseases and pests and improve grape and grape product quality.

The Cornell Agriculture and Food Technology Park fosters the expansion of agriculture, food sciences and biotechnology research while promoting regional economic growth. Senator Nozzolio has been a strong supporter of the Ag-Tech Park and has worked to help secure millions of dollars in State funding for infrastructure improvements at the facility.

$5 million – New Finger Lakes Visitor Center in Geneva

A new Finger Lakes Visitor Center located in Geneva will be a signature building for the Finger Lakes region that will serve as a destination for tourists and the Finger Lakes region. The Center will be interactive for visitors and will place an emphasis on the natural beauty of our area as well as the wineries in the region. The Geneva Chamber of Commerce will relocate to the new facility and will continue their work to promote tourism in the region. The Visitor Center will be state-of-the-art and will serve as a destination for all those seeking information on the many attractions of the Finger Lakes region.

The Finger Lakes Visitor Center will be modeled after the very successful New York Wine and Culinary Center in Canandaigua, which highlights the food and wines produced in New York State.

$4 million - Commercial Development Center

The State budget provides $4 million for the construction of a new Commercial Development Center at the Cornell Agriculture and Food Technology Park.  The new commercial building will complement the Park, with a needed concentration on agricultural processing technologies.

$1.75 million - New Geneva Community Center

The 2008-2009 State budget contains $1.75 million for the construction of a new Community Center in Geneva. The 20,000 square foot facility will have a full-size gymnasium, classrooms, technology room, a performing arts center, as well as rooms dedicated to art, music, and fitness. The intergenerational facility will also have outdoor trails and provide recreational programs for youths, adults and senior citizens.