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The Best Gifts from Schoharie County

Showing posts with label economy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label economy. Show all posts

County Unemployment Rate Ticks Up, but Below State Average

Written By Editor on 12/19/14 | 12/19/14

In an astonishing turnaround, the County unemployment rate has increased slightly, near its lowest level since 2008. The rate has risen to 5.8%, right near the state average of 5.9%. Unemployment in the area normally increases during the winter, including the recent high of 12.2% in January 2012.

Opinion: The Power of a Job

Written By Editor on 12/16/14 | 12/16/14

It has been said that a job is the most effective anti-poverty program there is.

Schoharie County's finding that out after a long, slow learning process. The deal to bring in up to 900 jobs to the Guilford Mills site is a Christmas miracle. Even any significant fraction of such employment would be a boost to the local economy not seen in well over a decade. For the first time since Interknitting started closing down in 2001 will the private sector make up for its loss of 700+ jobs.

Many jobs are dependent on local tax dollars-- local schools and governments are vital part of local society. However, private sector jobs also have the ability to branch out and bring in addition investment, new jobs, and pay in more to the local tax base. Altogether, one person with a new $40,000 job and the means to pay for a house, car, and local products is a massive boon to our local economy.

Just imagine 900 of them. Imagine the extra demand this will put on our local restaurants, contractors, shops, and other parts of local commerce.

The process is being started across the County. Middleburgh has created dozens of local jobs over the last several years, and Cobleskill is preparing a large growth spurt. Schoharie is opening new businesses and repairing old buildings. Just add 900 jobs and the long reaching effects on top of all of this.

Let's try to keep young and working age families here in the County. We can build enough of a tax base that the rates don't have to jump every single year for many school districts and municipalities. We have a golden opportunity: let's use it to our full advantage.

Poll: Stagnant to Negative Economic Growth in County

Written By Editor on 11/10/14 | 11/10/14

Schoharie County residents are not positive when it comes to the state of the local economy, with many arguing that it has shrunk over the last year. 33% of residents believe that there hasn't been a significant change while 46% believe that there has been some kind of decline, including 27% that believe that the local economy has declined greatly.

How Has Schoharie County's Economy Changed Over the Last Year?
Improved greatly 1% - 2
Improved slightly 16% - 29
No significant change 33% - 61
Declined slightly 19% - 35
Declined greatly 27% - 50
Don't know/undecided 5% - 9
186 Total

This poll could also be seen as:

Improved: 17%
No significant change: 33%
Declined: 46%
Don't know/undecided: 5%

Green Wolf Brewery Opening December 12th in Middleburgh

Written By Editor on 11/5/14 | 11/5/14

Middleburgh, as its name implies, is in the middle of everything: it is within an hour's drive of The Catskills, The Capital District, the Mid-Hudson Valley, the Adirondacks, and Cooperstown. We have a classic American main street with shops, restaurants, historic buildings, a great museum, and an amazing library. Hiking trails and bountiful farm stands are only minutes away. It is the perfect location for a brewery and tap room. We fill a niche for locals (who no longer need to drive thirty minutes or more for great local craft beer) and for tourists (who see our tap room on Main Street and decide to stop).

All this success doesn't happen in a vacuum. Middleburgh has an active and helpful business association and local government. It is a village on the rise - in the middle of everything that has to do with eastern half of New York State. Green Wolf is proud to be part of such a great community.

We have been brewing beer for five months in our brew house at 315 Main Street and we are excited to say that our tap room is nearly finished. On December 12, 2014, we will have our grand opening celebration during the festivities of Miracle on Main Street. From December 12th onward, the tap room at Green Wolf will be open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday - 4 pm to 9 pm.

We have seven beers in our rotation: Ravens Black India Pale Ale, Pindar's Imperial India Pale Ale, Abbey Gargoyle Belgian-style Dubbel, Hal's Old Singular Belgian-style Strong Ale, Wit's End Wiezenbock, Dire Wolf Whiskey Porter, and Schoharie Pale Ale. We also have specialty ales that come and go throughout the year.

Please stop by, enjoy one of our brews, and (as we like to say) drink - howl - repeat!

Schoharie County Unemployment Falls to Lowest Level in Six Years

Written By Editor on 9/23/14 | 9/23/14

The unemployment rate in Schoharie County has fallen sharply, according to new statistics. The figures from the New York State Department of Labor see August 2014 being the best labor market in the County since October 2008.

According to the figures that can be found on the NYS DOL website, the rate has fallen to 6.3%.

Year January February March April May June July August September October November December Annual
2014 9.2% 9.8% 8.8% 7.1% 6.8% 6.4% 6.9% 6.3%

2013 11.4% 11% 10.1% 8.9% 8% 7.9% 7.8% 7.1% 6.7% 6.4% 7% 7.4% 8.3%
2012 12.2% 12.1% 11.5% 9.2% 8.6% 9.6% 9.8% 8% 7.7% 7.7% 7.8% 9.6% 9.5%
2011 11.4% 11.6% 10.7% 9% 8.2% 8.8% 8.8% 8.5% 9.6% 8.7% 8.7% 9.5% 9.5%
2010 11.5% 11.8% 10.9% 9.1% 8.6% 8.8% 8.7% 8.5% 8% 7.9% 8.5% 9.6% 9.3%
2009 10.9% 11% 10.9% 8.9% 8% 8.6% 8.6% 7.9% 7.8% 7.6% 8.1% 9.5% 9%
2008 9% 8.9% 8.2% 6.6% 5.6% 5.9% 6% 5.8% 5.9% 5.6% 6.5% 8.4% 6.9%
With new businesses poised to open, the rate could fall further. Most years see a sharp increase in unemployment during the winter as contracting jobs subside.

The unemployment rate dipped as low as 4.1% in October 2006 and as high as 12.2% in January 2012.

Vote in Our Poll: Which Community is the Fastest Growing Economically?

Written By Editor on 5/14/14 | 5/14/14

With the communities of the County all recovering from recession or flooding, which one do you think is currently the fastest growing?

Poll: Most Say No to Casino

Written By Editor on 3/10/14 | 3/10/14

Schoharie County residents remain deeply divided about the means to stimulate the sluggish growth the area faces. One proposal recently rejected by the County Board of Supervisors was a provision to allow a casino. The proposal had the support of some Supervisors from the County, but majority support was not behind it.

A similar situation played out in our most recent Schoharie News poll.

Should a Casino be Built in Schoharie County?

Yes: 86 - 45%

No: 100 - 53%
Undecided: 5 - 2%
Total: 191

The issue is likely not dead, and public support is still almost even. Still, with land available for development, the potential use of it remains a matter for discussion.

Tourism Magazine Showing County's Appeal

Written By Editor on 3/5/14 | 3/5/14

For almost a year now, Cathleen Berry has been working on a project to highlight the positive growth of Schoharie County. In her project, the Seasons of Schoharie County, she aims to distribute valuable information to potential visitors across the state and let them know about the undiscovered jewel of the area.

Her magazine lists helpful stories, anecdotes, and advertisements from local businesses. She hopes to publish a paper copy of a magazine for distribution. On her Facebook page, she lists the different businesses that are working with her on the project and how the process is developing.

The stories provide perspective on the area that was once known as the Breadbasket of the Revolution and will serve as a primer for those looking to get acquainted with the area.

Sample story from the Facebook page.

For more information, Ms. Berry can be contacted at

Poll: No Thanks to Constitution Pipeline

Written By Editor on 12/8/13 | 12/8/13

Schoharie News readers say thanks but no thanks to the idea of bringing the Constitution Pipeline through Schoharie County. The natural gas pipe would traverse several towns in the County. With concerns about the Blenheim explosion still fresh in the County's collective memory, a significant majority is against the project.

What Is Your Opinion on the Constitution Pipeline?

For- 34: 26%
Against- 76: 58%
Undecided: 20: 15%
Total: 130

The results are over two-to-one against-- mounting a major challenge to the idea that the pipeline may be coming through the County sometime soon.

No Butternuts: Guilford Mills Back on Market

Written By Editor on 10/18/13 | 10/18/13

In a move that will most likely preclude Butternuts Brewery from coming to Schoharie County, the County Board of Supervisors just minutes ago voted to place the building back on the market. The Brewery will not be receiving a second loan offer.

If the Brewery would still like to purchase the building they will need to bid on the open market. Investors had asked for more time. County Treasurer Bill Cherry will be administering the process.

Town of Richmondville Moves to Limit Fracking

Written By Editor on 9/25/13 | 9/25/13

The Town of Richmondville took two major steps to limit the introduction of fracking into the community. On September 12th the Board considered a proposed law to inhibit the practice of hydraulic fracturing.

First was the adoption of law number 2 of 2013 which further extends a moratorium on fracking in the community. In the resolution to pass the law, the Board stated that it is not simply acting due to public opinion against the practice, but to prevent a "crisis condition" by giving the Board time to review relevant information on how to proceed. 

Middleburgh, Schoharie See Home Values Over Pre-Flood Values, But Sales Drop

Written By Editor on 9/18/13 | 9/18/13

It has been a long slough for the people of the Schoharie Valley to rebuild after 2011's devastating flooding. Fears of new flooding, taxation, and property damage have all played roles in damaging the local economy. Unfortunately, much of the damage continues to haunt sectors of the County, especially for real estate.

With the real estate markets re-emerging in the surrounding Counties, Schoharie has seen much of the worst behind it, but still faces an uphill climb.

One of the issues includes home values that are rebounding, slowing sales. The average list price of a home in Cobleskill today is about $155,000, while Middleburgh clocks in at $159,000 and Schoharie a much higher $193,000. Of course in negotiation these prices will recede, but for many prospective buyers it is just too much.

Both flood damaged communities have seem collective home values re-emerge even above the summer 2011 levels.

All of these figures come from the real estate site Trulia.

Middleburgh saw prices bottom out at just $55,000 in late 2011 as a wave of foreclosures and flood-damaged properties saturated the market. As the market corrected itself and some of these parcels were sold, the price rebounded strongly. Sellers responded by placing more, largely undamaged, properties on the market-- bringing the asking price well above 2011 values.

The surge in median prices also caused a decline in sales, followed by another dip in the values. As of the last figures, the sales prices have rebounded again just as sales have slumped.
Schoharie paints a very similar picture. Supervisor Gene Milone's tax credit plan may mitigate some of this effect, although prices are still significantly below early 2011 levels.

Still, we see a decline in the sheer number of sales. Schoharie had far more individual sales than Middleburgh, especially after their median sales price dipped near $42,000.

These numbers show the sheer scale of the recovery left to go. Still, many of the houses that have changed hands have been fixed and some are back to their pre-flood condition.

Schoharie County Unemployment Highest in Region

Written By Editor on 6/29/13 | 6/29/13

New York State's Labor Department seemed to show some good news as the state's total unemployment rate fell to 7.4%, the lowest in years. Locally, much of the news is positive as the Albany area is one of the strongest regions in Upstate regarding job growth. However, as the local numbers are examined more closely, the numbers do not look as good.

Schoharie County, once the second-poorest County in New York State, is not fairing well during the recent recession. According to the latest figures, 8.0% of Schoharie County workers are unemployed, as compared to just 6.4% of those in the entire Capital Region.

The Best of the Summer

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