Parrott House, Jefferson mill share in state $ jackpot


By Patsy Nicosia

The Parrott House, a re-envisioned Jefferson grist mill, and a study to streamline growth in the Route 7 corridor are among the local winners in economic development grants unveiled Thursday in Albany.
Across the state, some $761 million is being awarded through Regional Economic Development Council awards.
And of the $82.7 million for 81 projects awarded to the Mohawk Valley, $1.8 million will be coming back to Schoharie County.
Winners include:
• The Village of Schoharie, $500,000 to restore and renovate the Parrott House.
• Jefferson Main Street LLC, $900,000 to turn an 1860 farmhouse into a grist mill and working kitchen.
• The Town of Cobleskill, $25,000 for its Route 7 East Corridor Economic Development Study.
• Schoharie County’s Microenterprise Program, $150,000.
That last in particular was a pleasant surprise, said County Administrator Steve Wilson and is on top of the kind of microenterprise funding the IDA has been using to help places like Taco Shack, Beef and Brew, and Brickhouse Bakery get off the ground.
“The state likes our track record,” Mr. Wilson said.
“It shows we’re doing a pretty good job of supporting small businesses.”
Just as exciting is the $500,000 for the Parrott House; Mayor Larry Caza said new owners with experience in restaurants and construction could close on the 1870s landmark and longtime hub as soon as January.
“It’s great news,” Mayor Caza said. Better news? The soon-to-be owners were interested even if the REDC grant hadn’t come in.
The Parrott House has previously been awarded more than $1.3 million in other grants and tax credits.
“I’m really looking forward to 2020,” Mayor Caza said.
“It will give the project a real boost,” agreed Peter Johnson, deputy mayor and Secretary for SEEC, which has also been helping with the project.
“I think this could move forward very quickly.”
Probably no one was more thrilled with their grant than Jefferson Main Street LLC; partner and spokesman Carol Bodnar spent Thursday on pins and needles waiting for word.
“We’re excited to bring a new business to Jefferson and to be able to capitalize on the town’s agricultural heritage and the historic character of our hamlet,” Ms. Bodnar said.
Their project received the entire $90,000 it asked for.
Plans call for restoring the 1860 farmhouse at the entrance to Jefferson, installing a stone grist mill and commercial kitchen—Middle Brook Mill at 170 Main.
Ms. Bodnar said they’ll work with local farmers on adding, growing, and milling heritage grains into flours, breads, pastas and more.
The building will also house a small café and store.
The Richmondville-Cobleskill-Schoharie Route 7 corridor study grant will require a $25,000 match fron the Town of Cobleskill, said Supervisor Leo McAllister, but it couldn’t come at a better time.
“With everything we’ve been working on to promote growth and streamline development, this is critical,” he said.
Other Schoharie County winners include the Village of Cobleskill, $1 million for sewer plant upgrades; and the Village of Richmondville, $45,000 for a water supply study.