Saratoga County Officials To Vote On Economic Development Plan

March 18, 2014

Via: The Saratogian
The Saratoga County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to consider a resolution adopting the first-ever countywide Economic Development Strategic Plan at 4 p.m. Tuesday.
The plan was prepared by TIP Strategies, Inc. of Austin, Texas, in consultation with every elected supervisor, dozens of stakeholders representing key segments of the local economy, and members of the general public who submitted their suggestions on a project website, a news release said.
“Tomorrow’s vote marks the culmination of five months of collaborative work focused on reinvigorating economic development efforts in Saratoga County,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Paul Sausville. “The forward-thinking recommendations contained in the Strategic Plan will guide those efforts for the next five to ten years.”
Waterford Supervisor John E. Lawler, chairman of the board’s economic development committee, called the adoption of a plan “the first milestone” in positioning the county to “compete and grow for the next decade and beyond.”
Last year, the economic development committee began developing the plan, sending out request for proposals in June and reviewing the bids in July. TIP was hired Sept. 17, 2013.
The firm made three visits to Saratoga County over the course of five months, hosted meetings and conference calls, and received input from every major stakeholder in the local economy. The first visit in October featured meetings with key stakeholders identified by the county and tours of major sites including the Luther Forest Technology Park.
The second visit in November featured three days of focus group meetings with individuals representing the various sectors of the local economy, including agriculture, tourism, education/work force development and the county’s major employers. Those meetings also included the two chambers of commerce in the county, the county Industrial Development Agency, the Center for Economic Growth and the county Economic Development Corp.
TIP issued a preliminary report at the November board of supervisors meeting and launched a website featuring a community questionnaire designed to encourage additional public input.
TIP’s most recent visit to the county, in January, included individual meetings with every elected supervisor, an “opportunity workshop” presenting a progress report and soliciting additional feedback from dozens of prior focus group attendees, and meetings with additional regional stakeholders including TEC-SMART, National Grid, and Empire State Development.
Before the vote, TIP Managing Director and Principal Jon Roberts will make a public presentation on the Strategic Plan and solicit additional feedback from the board. Draft versions of the plan were previously approved, with suggested improvements, by the Law & Finance Committee on March 12 and the Economic Development Committee on March 5. Like those committees, the full Board will also have the opportunity to suggest improvements to the draft plan right up until the time it is adopted.