Greater Binghamton Fund bringing green to Johnson City

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(WBNG) — A meeting in the Johnson City courtroom on Thursday night reviewed the $5 million worth of improvements that Johnson City will see from the Great Binghamton Fund.

“This is a great time to do this for Johnson City,” said Johnson City Mayor, Greg Deemie (R). “We’re in a state of transition, transformation, rebuilding, so this is a great amount of money to help us rebuild the village.”

The Greater Binghamton Fund (GBF) is part of the Regional Economic Development Council, which announced awards on Wednesday.

RELATED: Which Southern Tier projects will be funded through REDC in 2019?

The GBF annually helps the Endicott, Binghamton and Johnson City areas revitalize. This year the areas will see a shared $20 million, which you can see outlined here.

“We’ll enhance some of the facades down there, some of the streetscapes, the roadways, some of the small parks,” explained Deemie.

Of the improvements include the expansion of AgZeit, a local startup company that uses vertical indoor farming methods to grow and sell organic greens and herbs. The company sells to local restaurants and communities.

“A lot of indoor farming they use hydroponics, we use organic soil and that organic soil is the taste and the nutrients,” said AgZeit Chief Marketing Officer, Michael Maione.

The company was started in 2017, and currently operates out of Endicott’s Linnaeus West Elementary School. AgZeit is part of Tiger Ventures, which provides business opportunity to local students.

After applying, AgZeit was given almost $2 million from the GBF to expand operations to a location in Johnson City and Endicott.

“It just tells us that the state of New York believes in us.”

Mainoe explained to 12 News that the Endicott facility will be a high volme production facility, while the technology and research and development facility will be in Johnson City. The equipment used to make the plants comfortable will be made and procured in Johnson City. The facilities will create 10-20 jobs, according to Maione.

Maione said AgZeit’s Johnson City location has yet to be determined, but will be open by March. The company looks to grow more vegetables and even fruits.

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Michael Schwartz

Michael Schwartz

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