Small Business Startup: River Golf Adventures – Sept. 2014

"We want to keep things interesting and continue incorporating the river. Developing activities for people to enjoy is just awesome." - Jill Bach, co-owner, River Golf Adventures. Photo by Justin Sorensen / NNY Business

“We want to keep things interesting and continue incorporating the river. Developing activities for people to enjoy is just awesome.” – Jill Bach, co-owner, River Golf Adventures. Photo by Justin Sorensen / NNY Business

THE INITIAL IDEA

Natives of the north country and the river, Karl A. and Jill D. Bach are no strangers to small business ownership. Mr. Bach owns and operates Bach & Co. Construction, Clayton, servicing all areas and phases of commercial, residential and environmental construction. Mrs. Bach owned a salon in Clayton for 13 years and still rents a booth 30 hours a week.

“It can get a little hectic,” Mrs. Bach explained. “But we just love it.” [Read more...]

Jefferson County sheriff candidates say department’s armored truck to be used only in “extreme” circumstances

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department’s new MRAP after a paint job last fall. The protests in Ferguson, Mo., have prompted debate on the use of police force. Amanda Morrison / NNY Business

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department’s new MRAP after a paint job last fall. The protests in Ferguson, Mo., have prompted debate on the use of police force. Amanda Morrison / NNY Business

What do Watertown, N.Y.; Watertown, Conn., and Watertown, Wis., have in common?

Law enforcement agencies in or near all three cities have large armored vehicles given to them by the same federal government program receiving renewed attention as an indirect result of protests over the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.

Law enforcement officials in that city, which has a population of roughly 21,000, have been criticized for using military-style equipment and tactics to dispel the protestors, a strategy some observers have said has only exacerbated the situation.

Last September, Jefferson County acquired a $600,000, 21-ton, 2008 International MaxxPro Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle through the 1033 program, which authorizes the transfer of excess Department of Defense property to federal, state and local law enforcement agencies for use in counter-drug and counterterrorism activities.

The vehicle was the subject of some controversy in the weeks following the news that it had been acquired, with some Jefferson County legislators calling it “excessive.” [Read more...]

Plans take shape for corporate park at Watertown airport

Preliminary land studies and blueprints for a business park at Watertown International Airport are expected to be done by this fall, moving the project a step closer to reality.

With planning efforts well underway, land could be ready by next year for the first business to move into the proposed park, said Donald C. Alexander, CEO of the Jefferson County Local Development Corp. [Read more...]

Flying Solo

How three men decided to risk it all and go it alone [Read more...]

End of an era

Lunman’s Furniture to close after store’s 62-year run [Read more...]

North country nonprofits awarded $623,000 for affordable housing projects

Two north country nonprofits will receive a total of $623,000 to rehabilitate about two dozen affordable housing units in Jefferson County.

Neighbors of Watertown will receive $350,000 for its Jefferson County First Time Homebuyer Assistance Program, aiding the acquisition and rehabilitation of approximately 10 affordable homes in Jefferson County. North Country Affordable Housing will receive $273,000 for the rehabilitation of 13 affordable units. [Read more...]

Watertown real estate developer recognized with gold business award in Chicago

Brian Murray’s company Washington Street Properties was recognized as the 2014 Real Estate Company of the Year at the 12th annual American Business Awards. Amanda Morrison / NNY Business

Brian Murray’s company Washington Street Properties was recognized as the 2014 Real Estate Company of the Year at the 12th annual American Business Awards. Amanda Morrison / NNY Business

A real estate company that has renovated several properties in the city in recent years attracted national recognition for its work this weekend.

Washington Street Properties, formed in 2007 by Brian H. Murray, was recognized as the 2014 Real Estate Company of the Year at the 12th annual American Business Awards on Friday in Chicago.

“Three other real estate companies were selected as finalists, so we knew we were in the final four, but it was definitely a big surprise when we won,” Mr. Murray said.

The company has purchased and rehabilitated a number of buildings in and around Watertown, including the lower level of the building that houses Convergys on Arsenal Street, the Lincoln Building on Public Square, the Solar Building, the former Hospice Foundation of Jefferson County Inc. building at 425 Washington St., the Top of the Square plaza and the Palmer Street and College Heights apartments.

Mr. Murray said the company’s approach to real estate development, which often involves renovating neglected properties and leasing them to startups and small businesses, has set it apart from the competition and helped its success. [Read more...]

First tenant slated for outer Washington Street business park

A Washington Street cardiology practice will be the first tenant to move into a business park that Purcell Construction Corp. is developing on 30 acres off outer Washington Street.

Cardiology Associates of NNY, now in leased space in the Samaritan Medical Center, will occupy half of a 7,000-square-foot medical office building once it is finished by Oct. 1, a company spokesman said. [Read more...]

Learning with Legos is niche of Bricks 4 Kidz in Watertown

Stephanie M. Widrick has launched an education-oriented business called Bricks 4 Kidz in Watertown. Photo courtesy Bricks 4 Kidz

Stephanie M. Widrick has launched an education-oriented business called Bricks 4 Kidz in Watertown. Photo courtesy Bricks 4 Kidz

Offering educational activities with Lego bricks for children, former elementary school teacher Stephanie M. Widrick has launched Bricks 4 Kidz.

Weeklong summer camps, after-school classes and birthday parties are hosted by the education-oriented business, Mrs. Widrick said. She completed training offered by the corporate franchise in St. Augustine, Fla., to launch the Watertown franchise this year. The business, which does not have a storefront, will host activities at the Watertown Fairgrounds YMCA, Cici’s Pizza and classrooms at the Watertown and Immaculate Heart school districts. Summer camps at the YMCA, offered for children ages 5 through 12, will kick off in July and run through August. Registration is available online at http://wdt.me/bo2z5v.

Bricks 4 Kidz is permitted by Lego to use its products for educational activities. Geared toward different grade levels, the curriculum enables children to complete a range of Lego projects with different themes and levels of difficulty, Mrs. Widrick said. Activities might range from creating simple animals, for instance, to building more complicated machines with moving parts powered by small motors. [Read more...]

Watertown Farm & Craft Market draws large opening day crowd

People browse Bonnie’s Decorative Painting on the opening day of the Farmer’s Maket on Washington Street Wednesday. Justin Sorensen / NNY Business

People browse Bonnie’s Decorative Painting on the opening day of the Farmer’s Maket on Washington Street Wednesday. Justin Sorensen / NNY Business

Washington Street was filled Wednesday, as the Watertown Farm & Craft Market launched its season in a big way.

Hundreds of people came out for the event, despite lower-than-expected temperatures and steady winds. Linda I. Gibbs, owner of Linda Gibbs Handmade, took the cool in stride, showing off a collection of crocheted scarves, hats and bags in front of City Hall. Her traffic was pretty busy for opening day.

“A lot of people came back,” Ms. Gibbs said. “I love seeing return customers.” [Read more...]