BDC’s new contract goes through County Legislature

Cortland County. (Photo via the Cortland County Business Development Corporation).

The Cortland County Business Development Corporation (BDC) and the County Legislature have struck a deal on a new BDC funding agreement.

The legislature approved the new four-year deal via a vote of 13-3. Legislators Kelly Preston (R-LD-10), Republicans Mitchel Eccleston (R-LD-17) and Paul Heider (R-LD-15) and Ronald VanDee (D-LD-4) all opposed the measure.  

The new agreement will start Jan. 1 of next year and would fund the BDC in 2023 to the tune of $492,193, an 8 percent increase from its 2022 budget. In the subsequent years of the agreement  — 2024 through 2026 — the BDC would receive a 5 percent increase from the funding seen the year prior. For example, in 2024, the county would pay the BDC a total of $516,803, an increase of 5 percent from 2023. Below is how the contract will scale up:

  • Funding in 2023: $492,193 (8 percent increase from 2022 funding).
  • Funding in 2024: $516,803 (5 percent increase from 2023 funding).
  • Funding in 2025: $542,643 (5 percent increase from 2024 funding).
  • Funding in 2026: $569,775 (5 percent increase from 2025 funding).

County Administrator Rob Corpora told Legislators the escalating increases in funding are generally normal based on the current inflationary period.

“The increases are not out of line at all,” he said. “As far as expenses we see, our increases in expenses are going to go up more than 8 percent (the initial added cost expected in 2023) between materials, labor, health insurance. (The BDC increases) are lower than we expected.” 

VanDee attempted to amend the contract resolution to change the 5 percent-a-year escalator down to 3 percent after the initial 8 percent increase.

“I haven’t seen a BDC budget,” VanDee said. “I don’t know anything about this.”

The amendment was struck down via a vote of 5-11. 

BDC Executive Director Garry VanGoder spoke on the need for a long-term deal. 

“We need consistency and reliability when we are talking to business prospects,” he said. “It is historically what we have done.”

VanGorder thanked legislators for approving the contract.

“We will continue to work hard for the community, as always,” VanGorder said. “We have a robust plan for this year and years (to come).”