Preston: 'New businesses mean new jobs'

By Erika Mahoney

February 20, 2014 Updated Feb 21, 2014 at 11:21 AM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Broome County Executive Debbie Preston on Thursday built on the ideas she laid out three years ago in her inaugural State of the County Address.

Among the biggest themes again this year: Economic development.

Preston said the county will spend the year implementing suggestions outlined in Broome County's Comprehensive Plan.

The plan was released in December 2013 and, in part, recommends ways the county can build on its strengths to better its economy.

Preston said Broome County has to do a better job showing off its assets.

"One of the things is, we do not have an inventory of shovel-ready sites," Preston said.

In addition to building an inventory, the county will also build a new website, which will serve as a "one-stop shop for information," Preston said. As of now, there are several websites dedicated to economic development in the county, which can make gathering information difficult.

Preston noted the expansion of broadband internet access throughout the Southern Tier Network will also serve as an incentive to open business in the county.

The county needs to develop more shovel-ready sites, because good marketing relies on good products, she said.

Preston discussed her plan to open more than 1,000 acres for development in the airport and landfill corridor along Airport Road.

"It will pave the way for the creation of a new mini corporate park, by providing more than 1,000 acres of shovel-ready sites for businesses to come to our area. New businesses mean new jobs."

Broome County Legislator Dan D. Reynolds, a democrat, said he supports this move.

"I think that's a positive project, that we have the sewer coming from the airport. That's prime land and there's been many county executives who have been working on that for years, so that's a good project."

Preston also said the county will also focus on redeveloping Brownfields and other former industrial sites.

Looking forward, she said partnerships with the Industrial Development Agency and local business owners will be key to growing business and gaining jobs. She said she has a positive outlook for what's ahead with the county's economic development.

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