Monday, August 17, 2015

WEEK AHEAD: Events for the week of Monday, August 17

Posted By on Mon, Aug 17, 2015 at 10:49 AM

The Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council will meet from 10 a.m. to noon Wednesday at Monroe Community College’s Monroe A and B room.

The council hasn’t released an agenda for the session (it rarely does before the day of it its meetings), but discussion will likely center on a few items:
  • The council’s Upstate Revitalization Initiative application. The Finger Lakes region is competing with six other regions for one of three $500 million economic development awards. The regional councils have to prepare an extremely detailed plan that explains their strategy and vision for investing the awards. The Finger Lakes council will likely say it would use the resources to bolster the region’s photonics industry, its food and agriculture industries, and the research and development work happening at local universities. The plan must be submitted to the state by 5 p.m. October 5.
  • The newly announced photonics manufacturing institute, a Department of Defense-led consortium that’ll be headquartered in Rochester. Local leaders say that, in the long run, the institute will bring thousands of high-tech jobs and new companies to Rochester. But last week, different groups of business and communities leaders engaged in a bit of public posturing over the ideal location for the headquarters. One group wants the Sibley Building to house the headquarters; the other says the operations should go in Legacy Tower. Either way, say top local leaders, the HQ will be located downtown.
  • The council’s annual process for reviewing and scoring applications for various pots of state funding. This is one of the council’s fundamental duties, and it can have an impact on, say, whether the state kicks in money toward rehabbing Frontier Field or whether a local manufacturing business gets state aid for buying a piece of equipment. The application deadline was July 31, and the council has to deliver its list of priority projects to the state by September 21.
  • The announcement that Columbia Care received one of the state’s medical marijuana licenses. The company will establish its growing and dispensing operations at Eastman Business Park. BY JEREMY MOULE
The Rochester Zoning Board will review variance request from Aldi Food Market at its regular meeting on Thursday, August 20. The grocery chain wants to build a new store on North Winton Road near Blossom Road where the former Jim’s Restaurant is located. Last month’s Zoning Board meeting adjourned without a decision on the store design, which didn’t meet setback and citywide design requirements.

Many residents in the North Winton Village and Browncroft neighborhoods object to the proposal, arguing that another grocery store isn’t needed because there are already three large grocery stores nearby. And they say that a big-box discount retail store will conflict with the urban-village environment the neighborhoods are trying to encourage. Thursday’s meeting will be in Council Chambers 302A in City Hall, 30 Church Street, starting at 9:30 a.m. BY TIM LOUIS MACALUSO

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