Public meetings announced for economic development in Seneca Co.

Seneca County is getting an economic development plan.

The Seneca County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) and the Seneca County Chamber of Commerce announced that two planning meetings will take place next month to kick-start the development of a strategic economic development plan for Seneca County.

The two entities announced their intentions to join forces with the county on the initiative last month.

The first joint meeting will take place from 6-8 pm on Thursday, May 11th, in the cafeteria at South Seneca High School, 7263 Main St., in Ovid. The second will take place the following week, from 6-8 pm on Thursday, May 18th, at Seneca County Health and Senior Services Building, 31 Thurber Dr., Waterloo. The public is encouraged to attend both meetings.

Seneca County Manager John Sheppard said the economic development plan needs to be consensus-driven and include community input in order to be effective.

“The upcoming public meetings will provide opportunities to discuss the hopes, needs and desires of residents, business owners, community leaders and other stakeholders from the onset,” Sheppard said. “As a result, we’ll be able to better align our common interests and identify our community goals, development priorities, and synergies.”

The County, IDA and Chamber all agree that the need for a joint strategic plan is more urgent considering del Lago Resort & Casino’s recent success. The Chamber recently reported that in the first quarter of 2017, approximately 23 percent of visitors to Seneca County cited del Lago as the reason for their visit.

“That’s a significant percentage and we expect that figure to increase even further with the opening of del Lago’s hotel later this summer,” said Jeff Shipley, president and CEO of the Chamber, the county’s official tourism promotion agency.

IDA Executive Director Bob Aronson said del Lago is one of the largest economic development projects in the region and is on track to create 1,800 new jobs this year, becoming the county’s largest employer.

“We can’t ignore del Lago’s success, which will likely encourage others to explore potential new projects along routes 414 and 318,” he said. “We need to get ready and know what we want developed there.”

For more information, contact the IDA at 315-539-1725 or [email protected], or the Chamber at 1-800-732-1848 or [email protected].

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