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Printer Friendly - Delaware Engineering

Economic Development

December 7, 2023

About Us

Delaware Engineering, D.P.C. is different from other professional engineering firms. Our deep respect for our clients, community, and colleagues sets us apart.

Our clients are predominantly municipal entities with selected industry in our portfolio as well. We understand that municipal leaders come to government from all walks of life and bring unique perspectives, knowledge and experience that are to be respected and engaged in the process of governing. The functions of government are complex and it is our role to provide facts and guidance to municipal decision-makers to ensure that the best interests of the public are achieved. With respect to industry, we are keenly aware that infrastructure and regulatory compliance are non-core functions that in some cases distract from operating a successful, profitable business. Our role is to handle non-core infrastructure and regulatory functions so that business leaders can focus on core functions.

Our community is as broad as the locations in which we work. From our offices in Albany and Oneonta, our geography spans from New York’s Capital District throughout the upper and lower Hudson River Valley through the Adirondack and North County Region to the Metropolitan Suburban Region north of New York City through the Catskill Region to the State’s Southern Tier. Wherever we are engaged with municipalities or industry, we are engaged with community. We respect the unique character and nature of each community in developing customized solutions to water, wastewater, stormwater, municipal buildings, special projects and economic development challenges. Because we take the time to get to know each community personally, we treat each person and each project with a commitment and passion as though it is our own home town.

Our colleagues are the engine that drives our business. Our professional and technical staff of more than 60 engineers, scientists, planners and technicians are each responsible for the well-being of our clients, our communities, and each other. By encouraging personal connection and responsibility between our staff and their project work, clients benefit from the sincere dedication of our staff to a project’s success. Since the founding of the company in New York’s Delaware River Watershed in 1987, our colleagues continue to be driven by an intense desire to improve the world through everyday successes.

Delaware Engineering, D.P.C. is different from other professional engineering firms in our achievements in supporting communities and industry through access to grants and low cost financing and our community service contributions which we see as a small way to pay our accomplishments forward.

We welcome opportunities to explore new relationships with clients, communities, and colleagues.

Services: Economic Development

The relationship between economic development and infrastructure is a true conundrum.  To attract and maintain economic development, robust infrastructure is required.  To fund robust infrastructure, economic activity is required.  Creating Shovel Ready sites is a challenge.  Delaware Engineering, D.P.C. specializes in assisting communities and economic development entities including Industrial Development Agencies (IDAs) in crafting infrastructure and economic development plans that work concurrently to ensure that infrastructure is available to support economic development when and where it’s needed without financial overburden.  Identifying sites for economic development using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and other data, developing site master plans and creative plans of finance, environmental impact assessment, public communications, permitting, design, bid assistance, construction supervision and start up services are employed by Delaware Engineering in the successful implementation of economic development strategies.

Sullivan Partnership

This project involved identifying opportunities and constraints to economic development along the Old Route 17 Corridor in Sullivan County.  The study area was comprised of nearly 200 individual parcels encompassing roughly 2,500 acres along a three and one-half mile stretch of Old Route 17 between the hamlets of Ferndale (Town of Liberty) and Harris (Town of Thompson). 

The methodology for conducting the study involved the creation of numerous detailed GIS-based maps of parcel assemblages along Old Route 17 with environmental and ownership characteristics delineated.   These maps were used during field survey work (conducted by an experienced economic development professional) to determine which parcels and groups of parcels offered the best development potential.  From the field work, more detailed GIS-based analysis was conducted and additional field surveys were advanced to further refine the site selection process. 

The study identified six potential locations for business parks and described in conceptual terms the environmental, regulatory and market backdrop for each site.  Funding is currently being sought for the next phase of work, which would involve development of a Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS).  Completion of a GEIS would result in sites that can be marketed with confidence, and removes the risk and uncertainty that may cause site selectors and developers to overlook or bypass these sites.

The project was spearheaded by the Sullivan County Partnership for Economic Development, and co-funded by the Sullivan County Industrial Development Agency, Town of Liberty and Town of Thompson.

City of Oneonta

The City of Oneonta was among the first winners of Governor Cuomo’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI), which provides $10 million in funding to assist small cities transform their downtowns into  pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use neighbor-hoods.  The Strategic Implementation Plan that followed identified an opportunity to catalyze private investment and streetscape improvements through the formation of a of a flexible Downtown Improvement Fund to support property owners and small businesses.

The City chose Delaware Engineering to manage and administer the $2.66 million fund, designed as a regrant program to upgrade downtown signage and facades, and to convert the upper floors of vacant buildings into market-rate apartments.

Delaware created the application and marketing materials, conducted outreach & managed publicity, drafted design guidelines and scoring rubrics, and provided support to the Project Selection Committee during its review more than 80 applications.

More than 40 applications were ultimately chosen to receive a total of $2.3 million in funding.  For each of the funded projects, Delaware created scopes of work, performed environmental review, obtained SHPO approval, drafted grant agreements, and coordinated the bidding process.   Delaware is now in the process of monitoring construction, performing final inspections, and working with City staff to arrange for short-term loans for several businesses, and managing the final grant disbursement process.

 In all, the City expects approximately 35 new units of market-rate housing to be created as a result of this Fund, and dozens of facades to be renovated throughout the Downtown.

Grant monies from this important economic development project are expected to be fully expended by the end of 2021.

Montgomery IDA

Delaware Engineering was hired by the Town of Montgomery Industrial Development Agency to prepare a corridor study for a portion of NYS Route 17K from the Town of Newburgh boundary to the Montgomery Village line.

The study identified the opportunities and constraints for economic investment in a transparent manner, with the goal of defining the potential location, scope and scale of development, together with design standards and community enhancements appropriate for the corridor.

The study was prepared on a parallel track with an update to the Town’s Comprehensive Plan and a detailed analysis of municipal infrastructure capacity and needs. It contains an objective analysis of site development potential, environmental constraints, sectors attracted to the corridor, build-out scenarios and demand for likely investment value and employment opportunities, design guidelines, and an action plan.

The corridor study will act as a springboard for grant applications and a tool to proactively guide focused, sustainable economic investment in the Route 17K corridor.  This future investment would allow the Town to reap the benefits of an improved tax base and new employment, while still preserving and enhancing the quality of life of current residents and small businesses.

Town of Hyde Park

The Town of Hyde Park is an historic community located along the banks of the Hudson River. During the 20th century, the Town developed into an automobile-based suburb with residential neighborhoods surrounding the heavily travelled US Route 9 commercial corridor.  This automobile-centric stretch of Route 9 actively discourages pedestrian and bicycle usage, and the commercial node is safely accessible only by car.  Further, the commercial area to the east of Route 9 has failed to reach its full potential, in large part because the area lacks public sewer infrastructure.

With a NYSERDA Cleaner, Greener Communities grant, the Town hired Delaware Engineering to create a Planning & Engineering Report for the Redevelopment of the Town Center.  The goal was to provide the Town with the initial planning and engineering to begin revitalizing the declining central business district, transforming it into a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly Town Center that will encourage new mixed-use development and serve as a lively “village” where residents can live, work, dine, and do errands without the need of a car. The Report provides the initial road map to retrofit this key commercial node and to identify the multiple strategies to make the Town Center area “development ready:” both more marketable to investors, and more walkable for, and attractive to, residents. 

The Report identifies several initiatives to incent private investment:  updating zoning, improving Route 9, and most importantly, constructing a public sewer system. These advanced preparations will ultimately make the Town Center area more marketable to private investors and will establish a foundation consistent with the community’s desire to have a pedestrian-friendly downtown and, ultimately, a cleaner, greener community.

Delaware Engineering, as project manager and wastewater infrastructure specialists, together with Elan Planning, Mathes Public Affairs, and Studio A, worked with stakeholders and an active steering committee to develop the Report.  Extensive public engagement, through public meetings, workshops and online surveys, were critical, The final Report includes:

Market analysis

Conceptual redevelopment plan

Wastewater treatment feasibility study and preliminary engineering

Transportation improvement design

Zoning code analysis and recommendations

Hunter Corridor Study

Delaware Engineering worked with The Town of Hunter, the Villages of Hunter and Tannersville, and Greene County, to prepare the Hunter Corridor Regional Planning Study – a comprehensive land use and development analysis for the State Route 23A region.

The Study assessed the potential impacts from future development on the Hunter Communities’ environmental, community and infrastructure resources.  Throughout the process, stakeholders engaged in inter-municipal discussions to characterize and focus the nature of development and growth.  The Study also analyzed the environmental conditions and infrastructure that would constrain or support desired land uses, and the federal, state, regional and local regulations that shape land use.  The Study concluded by offering planning tools and recommendations to the Hunter Communities to bring the shared vision to fruition, while protecting and conserving the intrinsic resources that give the Hunter Communities their sense of place.

Funding for the Study was provided by the Catskill Watershed Corporation’s Local Technical Assistance Program Schoharie Watershed Impact Studies Grant.

Oneonta Rail Yards

Delaware Engineering is the primary consultant to the County of Otsego Industrial Development Agency (COIDA) for the preparation of a master plan and economic development strategy for the Oneonta Rail Yards, located within the City of Oneonta, New York.

The redevelopment of the Oneonta Rail Yards site, centered on Roundhouse Road and in the vicinity of Chestnut Street, involves construction of access to the site, which may include a bridge, as well as the extension of utility infrastructure and site roadways.  The total potential project area consists of approximately 17 individual parcels and approximately 200 acres with access to public water and sewer systems, as well as natural gas.

This project is intended to create a new industrial/commercial business park, utilizing locational advantages by being in close proximity to the railroad and I-88. Establishing a new industrial/commercial business park will provide additional markets for Otsego County, create new jobs, and add to the local tax base.

Delaware Engineering will craft a conceptual redevelopment master plan for project area.  The plan will examine potential uses of the land and the concomitant potential environmental impacts of redevelopment. As a first step towards creating a shovel-ready site, Delaware is crafting a Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement and providing public information session support to the City, which is acting as Lead Agency in the SEQR process.

Greene County IDA

Delaware Engineering provided engineering services to the GCIDA for the extension of infrastructure in the Greene Business and Technology Park to support construction of a ~33,000 SF facility expansion. The project involved construction of a new full-depth asphalt roadway, design of a stormwater drainage system, preparation of lighting and landscaping plans, and plans for extension of existing buried utilities include water and sewer lines and conduits for power and communications. Delaware prepared construction plans, specifications, and bid documents, and provided construction management and inspection services. The project was funded by a $750,000 Community Development Block Grant and was completed in 2009.

Greene County IDA

Delaware Engineering assisted the GCIDA in preparing a Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS) for Fountain Flats Park, a proposed distribution center/light industrial park in the Town of Coxsackie. The GEIS examines the impacts of developing the 100-acre site for a phased business park hosting up to 1 million square feet of warehouse/ distribution space. Delaware coordinated the work of the specialized consultant team including environmental scientists, traffic engineers, and economic analysts and was responsible for ensuring that the complex SEQR process was followed.

Delaware was the primary author of all SEQR documents including the Draft and Final GEIS and Findings Statement. The major issues identified in the SEQR process were wetland and habitat mitigation, traffic impacts, archeological and cultural resources, visual impacts and mitigation, and neighborhood character. Adoption of the GEIS was a major step in the creation of a shovel-ready business park to encourage future development. Ferguson Enterprises Inc., the largest distributor of wholesale plumbing supplies in the nation, has recently announced that they will build a 460,000 SF distribution center on the site.