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Ticonderoga NCCC expansion study approved

State to fund analysis of proposed tech center in Lowe’s building

A proposed North Country Community College technical center in Ticonderoga has cleared its first hurdle toward becoming reality. The state has agreed to fund a feasibility study on the plan to expand the college’s Ti campus to the former Lowe’s building on Wicker Street. That building would become an applied technology center.

A proposed North Country Community College technical center in Ticonderoga has cleared its first hurdle toward becoming reality. The state has agreed to fund a feasibility study on the plan to expand the college’s Ti campus to the former Lowe’s building on Wicker Street. That building would become an applied technology center.

— Tyrell said the proposed applied technology center could serve up to 450 students and could open in the fall of 2016. It will have no impact on the existing Ticonderoga campus or its programs, Tyrell said.

Major said the additional students could generate $1.5 million in business for Ticonderoga.

“Besides its offering hands-on education and the potential of good paying jobs to our youth, it will also offer millions of dollars of food and retail purchases to the benefit of Ti’s business owners,” he said.

That’s good, but officials believe the greatest economic impact could be from spin-off industry.

Tyrell said the START-UP NY program could lead to businesses locating in Ticonderoga. That state program gives tax breaks to businesses aligned with the academic mission of a college campus, college or university.

Participating companies in START-UP NY will not pay any taxes for 10 years. Employees in participating companies will pay no income taxes for the first five years.

“Biomass energy is a critical resource,” Ticonderoga Supervisor Deb Malaney said. “The whole country is seeking to become less dependent on fossil fuels. Europe and other countries are much further along than we are.

“We hope this will allow us to attract additional businesses in the biomass energy industry,” she added. “We believe those companies will locate near an applied technology center specializing in biomass energy.”

Malaney said there have already been preliminary discussions with such a company about locating in Ticonderoga. She declined to name the firm.

The supervisor said the biomass energy facility could also help existing Ti businesses, like International Paper Co.

Tyrell said he will meet with local officials after the holidays to discuss the project.

“I’m optimistic this will come to fruition in Ticonderoga,” he said. “After we have the feasibility study we’ll look at the financials. Then the question is, is Ticonderoga the right place? I believe it is.”

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