AVON – New businesses at Tec Drive are still awaiting installation of gas, electric and internet utilities.
The 1/4 mile road was supposed to be completed by the Livingston County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) in June 2014. Jody Wolfanger, founder and owner of Evening Star Coffee Roasters, says that the delays have been unfortunate and pushed the construction of an expanded new location, critical to his growth as one of the east coast’s most promising up and coming coffee roasters, from the spring of 2016 to the fall of 2016.
“The progress we are able to make within the next month with gas and electric services will determine if our build is possible this year or will need to push to 2017,” said Wolfanger. “We started the build process in August 2015 and we’re ready, we’ve been ready, but it’s been a list of unfortunate delays we have had no control over since the spring. Our most current challenge is getting RGE and Electric to power our building. This requires the utility lines to be run along the entire industrial park which is in process with the IDA.”
According to Bill Bacon, Economic Developer and Director of the IDA, the road was just dedicated to the Town of Avon on Aug. 19.
Bacon said that the current delays are due to the utility companies. He was just appointed Developer in April 2016 after the resignation of Julie Marshall.
“Tec Drive is in great shape, and the next step is to get the utilities in,” said Bacon. “National Grid, RG&E and Frontier tell us when they’re going to install utilities, so we’re on their schedule. We opted to put utilities in for the whole ‘inner ring’ so that not only Evening Star can start digging the next day, if they wanted to, but five other businesses as well.”
Five other property parcels are for sale as ‘shovel ready.’ Any business can apply to the Avon Planning Board to build on one of them.
Wolfanger said that his expansion project would be impossible without the help of the IDA. It was the IDA who secured a $65,000 to $70,000 manufacturing grant for Evening Star Coffee Roasters’ construction costs.
If the utilities are not installed by November of this year, Wolfanger will have to review his options.
“The utility companies thought that the late November time frame is achievable,” said Bacon.
“We’re hopeful the build can get on track but everything is riding on assurances that utilities will be completed by November for our build to be possible this year,” said Wolfanger. “We firmly believe that Bill and his group are doing everything possible to make this happen. Our goal is to push forward as we don’t wish to scrap the project and move elsewhere. I really can’t envision Evening Star Coffee Roasters moving away from my home town. Avon is where I started, there’s a lot of pride in it for myself and the community.”