Wyoming County moves to buy Ag Center

Daily News file photoThe Wyoming County Agriculture and Business Center of Excellence in Warsaw has provided a convenient “one stop shop” for the county and public. The county is now moving to buy the building outright.

WARSAW — A measure to purchase the Wyoming County Agriculture And Business Center of Excellence is expected to save at least $56,000 annually.

The county’s Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a resolution to secure bonding of up to $3,982,775 to buy the 32,000 square-foot building from businessman James Rutowski.

The county is currently leasing the building from Rutowski, but had expected to take ownership in about five or 10 years when the leae expired, said Chairwoman Rebecca Ryan of the Board of Supervisors.

“Eventually, the way the lease is set up, it would be ours anyway,” she said. “When we looked at the numbers and what we’re paying now ... by bonding it, we would probably be saving in interest rate alone.”

A very conservative estimate showed savings of about $56,000 to $100,000 annually, depending on the bonding.

“It really looked like a no-brainer as far as saving us money,” Ryan said.

The $3.98 million is the maximum that the county might pay. The purchase deal is still being determined and county officials said the actual price was expected to be less.

The Agriculture and Business Center of Excellence is located at 36 Center St. It opened formally in February 2016.

The location was designed to provide a “one-stop shop” for 12 county departments and related agencies.

Departments and organizations using the building include Planning & Development; the Wyoming County Industrial Development Agency; the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Wyoming County; the Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism; and the Business Education Council.

The centralized location is more convenient for both the county and the public. It has also saved maintenance costs, since the county no longer needed to maintain several different buildings.

Supervisor Douglas Berwanger of Attica was the Board of Supervisors chairman during the center’s development and when it opened.

He noted at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting that it has proven a popular meeting location locally and for agencies statewide, given its state-of-the-art information technology resources.

“Up until COVID hit, this building became known as a center for meetings for all kinds of different agencies through this part of our state,” he said.

Part of the idea behind the building was also to bring business to Warsaw, he said. People using the location would visit nearby stories and eateries along the way.

“There’s a great deal of reasons we do have it and as time goes on I think it will fulfill all the expectations we had when we first moved forward,” he said.

Ryan said the center has spurred more business for area restaurants and helped the county’s water operations. She said it has also proved a valuable place for county training sessions.

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