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Kelsey Jones on his departure
Editor's Note on Dec. 10, 2013: Kelsey Jones, executive director of the Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development, is leaving that post after 14 years at the helm, effective at the end of the month. He comments on his situation, and SCOPED's, in the following email sent to The Odessa File.
Tis true! After 14 years of economic development in Schuyler and several
years before that in Tioga County, I am off to new ventures after 12/31.
One of the first things I am going to do is go see people that I haven't
seen in several years. One of them is 88 (still drives) and is in Chenango
County. With the death of my mother in October I realize life has various
meanings for all of us, and I think many of us realize that more and more
as we age or lose a close loved one.
One of the more recent projects that I am proud of is developing upper floors in several buildings that have been vacant for many years. We have exactly 50 units we have assisted and 72 more in process (52 will be at the Middle School). People living downtown help support downtown businesses, and it is nice to drive by and see lights on in upper floors. It helps the tax base, and it gives our residents more living options. I remember in former days, when a position was being recruited, often people could not find housing who were moving here to take a new job. More housing stock and options helps the entire community.
And I feel at long last we have an excellent (prospect for) the business park and another one in the wings. The weight limit on the hill has hindered us with some projects and the "No Retail" restriction at the business park is another factor, along with the general lackluster economy over the last several years. The Montour House development spurred residential development, and the first project at the business park will spur more development there. It oftentimes only takes one.
The economy is ever so slowly starting to percolate again and that always
helps to bring new projects to fruition. There are many more projects
on the horizon, and so much yet to accomplish. Our annual report is ready
to be mailed and if you look at the statistics, Schuyler County is in
good shape but can always do better and should continually strive to do
Fourteen years is quite a track record, and if my count is correct there
have been seven Chamber presidents that have come and gone, many mayors,
and other elected officials. In fact, I think the only elected official
still in place since I began is Ben Dickens in Hector.
P.O. Box 365
Odessa, New York 14869