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Catskill exploring possible tech economy

Jul 03, 2019 1:45 pm
Sarah Trafton is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media Catskill village officials are saying a technology-based economy is on the horizon. Officials are drafting plans to open a technology center in collaboration with a group called Innovate 518, which connects entrepreneurs with funding opportunities, potential facilities and other resources. The project's business plan is expected to be completed in 30 days, Catskill Village President Vincent Seeley said. “We need to have a diverse local economy with good-paying jobs in the technology sector. Relying on an economy based on tourism and fluctuating consumer confidence is a recipe for disaster,” Seeley said. The village intends to have a site chosen for the center within 60 days, he said. Start-up costs will be $125,000, not including equipment. Richard Wagoner, a Catskill resident, and organizer of the inaugural Rip Van Winkle festival questioned the idea. “...[A]lthough I understand the need for area investment and jobs, I have doubts about the feasibility of Catskill becoming a tech hub,” he said. Wagoner said his friends in the technology industry believe the area’s lack of reliable high-speed internet, faltering infrastructure, rising taxes and educational standards would inhibit the success of the project. Longtime resident and author and illustrator Hudson Talbott said he believes the new direction will be beneficial to Catskill. “...We want to grow and develop a local economy here and this is a good way to do it that corresponds with what is going on everywhere.” Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.