PODCAST: Discussing economic development in Seneca Falls

Economic development is a daunting task. But with the right people in place — it’s not impossible.

The message is a resoundingly positive one from members of the Seneca Falls Development Corporation (SFDC), which is focused on bringing businesses, jobs, and economic prosperity to the historic community.

Joell Murney-Karsten, Chair of the SFDC joined Josh Durso on the Inside the FLX podcast with newly named Director Greg Zellers.

“There’s a lot of great things happening right now, and some exciting growth coming,” Murney-Karsten explained in the moments leading up to the interview.

Zellers, who has a background in digital marketing and creative design explained that his focus was going to be on attracting and facilitating growth — instead of the “pull initiative,” which he noted is commonly executed.

He explained that it meant attracting businesses without seeking tax breaks. “[Seneca Falls] can’t do that, it has to be an ‘attraction’ effort, rather than a ‘pull initiative’.”

As for Seneca Falls in present day — there is plenty of opportunity for development. Part of Zellers mission over his first two months serving as director of the Seneca Falls Development Corporation — has involved pulling together a master list of properties available in Seneca Falls for sale.

“The SFDC was developed as an arm of Town Council, but there needs to be an entity that can help businesses and companies move through the process of coming to Seneca Falls,” Murney-Karsten explained.

“It also comes down to eliminating hurdles, or making them as small as possible,” Zellers added.

5StarMedical recently purchased the old Village Hall in Seneca Falls, which is located on State Street. Upon the Seneca Falls Police Department’s exit from that location — George Tilton, founder and CEO of the company will house corporate and manufacturing headquarters in Seneca Falls.

5StarMedical’s plans include the long-term goal in the coming years to bolster that manufacturing aspect of the business here in Seneca Falls. The plan includes adding 50 or more jobs at those facilities in Seneca Falls.

Another exciting development in Seneca Falls is the sale of the former Hospital and adjoined building near VanCleef Lake. The two buildings, which at one time housed a hospital and former-municipal structure are joined underground by a tunnel.

Longley Jones, who is in the process of purchasing the property — was interested in both buildings. That interest turned into a deal, which will allow the company to develop an array of opportunities.

Their efforts will be centered around the location of the property, which could serve as an impressive attraction for those visiting the area from outside Seneca Falls.

Both Zellers and Murney-Karsten noted that the biggest opportunity for Seneca Falls, and those businesses entering — or considering doing business here — is the prospect of grants. Zellers pointed out that many of the old, historic buildings in Seneca Falls would qualify for development grants to restore them.

“The vision isn’t about building new, giant, steel structures in Seneca Falls. It’s about taking advantage of the great things already here,” Zellers closed.

The Seneca Falls Development Corporation will be providing regular updates to the community as they move through the economic development process.

Their first mission is finalizing an update to the development plan, which was created nearly a decade ago. Zellers noted that taking advantage of resources that weren’t as prominent then, and can have a big impact today will be a major part of the mission in the coming months.

They will also be launching a new website, which will provide the community, as well as prospective businesses, access to helpful resources.

PODCAST: Melina Carnicelli, Betty Bayer discuss Women’s March in Seneca Falls

Everyone involved in organizing the ‘Women March in Seneca Falls’ event scheduled for Saturday knew it had the potential to grow incredibly large.

The event, which is scheduled for Saturday was previewed by two organizers. Former Auburn Mayor Melina Carnicelli and Betty Bayer, joined Josh Durso on the Inside the FLX podcast to talk about how that event blossomed into arguably the largest one featured the historic community over the last few years.

There was a presidential visit a few years ago, the annual events — like the ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ 5K and festival, which draws more than 5,000 to Seneca Falls for one weekend in December — but Saturday’s march in solidarity with women around the U.S. could eclipse all of those.

“We do need to talk about the issues,” Carnicelli said during the 30 minute conversation. She explained that the entire concept for the march in Seneca Falls came one morning, just a day after committing to go to Washington D.C. over this weekend.

Ironically, both Carnicelli and Bayer had planned originally to attend a march in Washington.

Bayer was coaxed into taking part in the event by Carnicelli. Both talked about how those organizers, who have dedicated an enormous amount of time to coordinating this event — have played a crucial role.

For Bayer, who is a longtime professor at Hobart & William Smith Colleges in Geneva, involvement was a no-brainer. “The historical context is important,” she explained citing the role that Seneca Falls has played since 1848.

“We need to elevate the discourse around important issues,” Carnicelli explained. The goal of the event as a whole is to shed light on a historical moment — but also show solidarity with those who are fighting for a variety of issues. “We also must play a role in addressing the misrepresentation of various issues,” she continued.

The rally will feature representatives, speakers and musical guests from around the region. Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner will be the featured speaker during the afternoon. Around 30 people are expected to speak, or perform during the day’s event.

When asked what the call to action is around this event, Carnicelli conceded that it comes down to vigilance. “Be vigilant each-and-every day. It’s about joining nationally and elevating discourse across party lines.”

Speaking to her experience in municipal government, Carnicelli said that she’s leaned on that moving through this process. “I’ve organized a lot of events, but this one is special,” she concluded.

Check out the Women March in Seneca Falls on Facebook and follow them on Twitter @WomenMarchSF.

Listen to the entire podcast by using the media player embedded above, or by clicking here.

PODCAST: Jackie Augustine discusses what’s next for Geneva, FLX

Former Geneva City Councilwoman Jackie Augustine joins Josh Durso in-studio to discuss the issues important to Geneva and the entire Finger Lakes region heading into 2017.

PODCAST: Port 100 organizers discuss future of small business

Chris Cooley, Michael George Gonzalez, and Maureen Ballatori of Port 100 in Geneva are in-studio to talk about the new collaborative work space and how what it has to offer entrepreneurs and creative professionals in the region.

PODCAST: Charlie Evangelista talks Geneva, YMCA and Ontario Co.

Charlie Evangelista, Director of the Geneva Family YMCA and representative on the Ontario County Board of Supervisors, is in-studio to talk about the future of the 54th Senate District, issues facing the Ontario County Board of Supervisors, and what is going on at the YMCA in Geneva.

PODCAST: Ryan Chiropractic & Wellness talk health, practice

Chris Ryan and Jenn Salone of of the Ryan Chiropractic & Wellness team join Josh Durso in-studio to discuss the services offered at their new location at The Learning Tree in Waterloo. The transition process has been a great success and founder Chris Ryan DC, PC talks about the evolution of the practice that he and his brother Paul began working in during the late-80s.

PODCAST: Seneca Co. Manager John Sheppard talks new Finance Dept.

Seneca County Manager John Sheppard was in-studio on Tuesday afternoon to discuss a Local Law on the ballot next Tuesday for Seneca County residents that aims to streamline the financial department.