Late last month, I had the privilege of joining New York U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Delhi College President Candace Vancko, Chairman James Thomson of Delaware County and Saputo Dairy Foods USA Manager Liz Van Buren to discuss the Center of Excellence in Watershed Applications and Technology Based Economic Revitalization (COE in WATER) Initiative.
The COE in WATER is an innovative partnership with the State University of New York (SUNY), the local business community as well as federal, state and local governments who are committed to stimulating economic development and creating jobs in rural upstate NY.
While I was there, I was able to share the good news that USDA Rural Development received authorization to assist in administering a nearly $2 million Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) grant through the Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) program. This project will transfer post process municipal wastewater from the Village of Delhi Wastewater Treatment Plant into retention ponds for storage on the SUNY Dehli. The water will then be utilized to irrigate college green space. Utilizing the waste water in this manner allows the treatment plant to accept other sources of waste. A local dairy processing plant and two other manufacturers in the village will now pursue expansion plans with the knowledge their increased waste streams can be handled by the village’s wastewater treatment plant. It is estimated the expanded businesses will create new jobs in the area.
Delhi is located in the sensitive watershed that provides drinking water to 12 million people of New York City and the metro area. This partnership between the college and local community and economic interests not only protects such a valuable resource, but allows for business growth and opportunity in this rural part of upstate New York.
To learn more about this and other projects, please visit http://www.delhi.edu/community/coe/. To learn more about USDA Rural Development programs in NY please log on to: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/NYHome.html.