Funding Will Be Used For Infrastructure Upgrades At The 100-Acre Business Complex At Watertown International Airport 

Schumer: Investing in Watertown’s Business Park Will Boost Jobs And North Country Economy 

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer today announced $700,000 in federal funding for the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency (JCIDA) and the Town of Hounsfield. The federal funding was allocated through the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) and will be used to construct public infrastructure to attract businesses to a new 100-acre Business Complex at Watertown International Airport. Specifically, this EDA investment will be used to help Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency (JCIDA) and the Town of Hounsfield to install water, sewer, stormwater management, and fiber-optic cable necessary for business development at the Business Complex. Schumer has long advocated for this vital funding for Jefferson County, and in March of 2017, sent a letter to the United States Department of Commerce in support of the JCIDA’s application.

“This is great news for Jefferson County. This federal investment in the exciting, new Business Complex at Watertown International will help Jefferson County attract good-paying jobs by creating shovel-ready sites needed to push the region’s economy into the future,” said Senator Schumer. “I am proud of the role I played in securing this funding, and will continue to fight tooth and nail to make sure Jefferson County continues to have the resources it needs to leverage the region’s workforce and grow private enterprise.” 

“This funding is key to helping us to provide a portfolio of shovel-ready site options that the county needs in order to compete for new business development in today’s global economy.  The location of the Business Complex adjacent to Watertown International Airport, close to Interstate 81, and near the Canadian border makes it a logistically attractive location.  In turn, business activity at the complex will promote greater utilization and growth of the airport,” said David J. Zembiec, Deputy CEO Jefferson County Economic Development.

The U.S. Economic Development Administration provided this grant through its Local Technical Assistance Program, which assists eligible recipients in developing economic development plans and studies designed to build capacity and guide the economic prosperity and resiliency of an area or region. EDA grants are awarded through a competitive process based upon the application’s merit, the applicant’s eligibility, and the availability of funds.  More information on EDA’s grant process and investment process can be found at www.eda.gov.

A copy of Schumer’s letter to the United States Department of Commerce appears below:

Hon. Wilbur Ross

United States Department of Commerce

Dear Secretary Ross:

I am pleased to write in support of the application submitted by the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) for funding through the Economic Development Agency for construction of public infrastructure necessary to attract business to a new 100-acre Business Complex at Watertown International. This facility is critically important to leveling the playing field for Jefferson County to compete in the global economy As such, I support this project and encourage the EDA to approve the request so this project can move forward.

With funding, the Jefferson County IDA will be able to build the infrastructure, such as water lines, wastewater, and roadway access, needed to promote growth and business activity at both the Watertown International Airport and the new Business Complex.

This project will create a portfolio of shovel-ready sites, something that Jefferson County currently lacks for new business development. The existing Jefferson County Corporate Park has only one remaining developable parcel. As a result, this project and the development it will bring is key to the economic future of rural Jefferson County. All site plan and environmental approvals are already secured so that the project can move forward immediately if EDA funding is received.    

Thank you for your consideration. Please do not hesitate to contact me or my Grants Coordinator in my Washington DC office at 202-224-6542.


Charles E. Schumer

United States Senator


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