continued “It’s an amazing program,” Malaney said of Alfred. “There’s no reason we can’t have a similar program in the North Country.”
“Alfred has a wonderful program; they do a great job,” Tyrell said. “I wanted to the Ticonderoga leaders to see, not just the curriculum, but the way it’s delivered. I wanted them to see how an applied learning program operates successfully.”
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 Major and others 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,” 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 believes the proposed Ticonderoga applied technology center is realistic.
“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.”
Major shares that optimism.
“At this time, no contracts have been signed, but the sense is that with the support of Ti’s business community, the support of the Ti town board and our political representatives, a new education and future employment source for our children is a good possibility,” he said. “Ultimately it will take about two years to pull together during which time I’m looking forward to a ground swell of support. Nothing’s perfect, however this seems to me to be as close to perfect as one could hope for.”