Guilford buyers to add up jobs Friday


By Jim Poole

Representatives of companies planning to bring hundreds of jobs here will meet with Schoharie County leaders this Friday.
It's the next step in Green Recycling Solutions International's plans to purchase the long-vacant Guilford Mills plant in Cobleskill.
The meeting is also the first time reps from GRSI will meet with county supervisors since the company agreed to buy the county-owned plant.
GRSI and its sister companies will meet with the Board of Supervisors at 10am in the county office building. The session is open to the public.
For months, GRSI has been negotiating almost exclusively with county Treasurer Bill Cherry, whom supervisors authorized to market Guilford.
"What supervisors have heard has come from me," Mr. Cherry said. "This will be a chance for one-on-one contact and putting faces to names.
"This is very important. This is really gaining incredible traction."
Barbara Acuff, GRSI vice president????, agreed that the Schoharie County visit was key.
"We're all anxious to become familiar with the folks from Schoharie County and would like to learn more about their expectations and to address and questions or concerns," Ms. Acuff wrote in an email.
The meeting is taking place even though GRSI hasn't formally bought the plant. But both sides agree the closing will occur.
"This is an effort by them to reach out to us," Mr. Cherry said. "None of us see any reason why the closing won't happen."
GRSI has four subsidiaries that will be housed in Guilford Mills. GRSI itself developed and will showcase a machine that freezes tires to produce crumb rubber for other purposes.
The four subsidiaries are:
•Aeon, an agricultural research and development center.
•Echelon, which manufactures bullet-proof cloth.
•USA Intimates Manufacturers produces lingerie.
•Sakat, a software development and call-center company.
Together, those companies estimate to have more than 900 jobs at Guilford within five years.
At Friday's meeting, a representative from each company will explain his business, and they'll have copies of their business missions to distribute.
"Of course, job creation will be a major focus," Ms. Acuff wrote.
The essential piece of the deal was having a portion of Guilford included in Empire State Development's START-UP New York program that grants tax-free status.
Although there's been no closing date scheduled, Empire State Development last week gave its final approval to the applications from GRSI and its companies, Mr. Cherry said.
"The approval came right from the top. It's a big step forward, and a necessary one," Mr. Cherry said.
County Attorney Mike West and GRSI attorney Frank Catania are working out the closing details.
Mr. West said GRSI's grants must be in place before the closing.
"There's a process they have to go through," he said.
Mr. West planned to meet with GRSI representatives when they arrive in Cobleskill Thursday.