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North Country Regional Economic Development Council Awarded top Performer and Receives $81.3 Million for 70 Projects

North Country Regional Council also named an Innovation Hot Spot Awardee
(December 12, 2013)

North Country Regional Economic Development Council Awarded top Performer and Receives $81.3 Million for 70 Projects

As part of Round 3 of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Regional Council initiative, the North Country Regional Economic Development Council (NCREDC) was named a Top Performer and awarded $81.3 million for 70 projects, including broadband infrastructure improvements to expand high-speed affordable service across the region, the revitalization of two major hotels in the Adirondack Region to spur year-round tourism and one of five Innovation Hot Spots awarded statewide on Wednesday in Albany. In total, $715.9 million was awarded throughout the state through Round 3 of the Regional Economic Development Council initiative.

“The vision outlined in the North Country’s plan and the targeted strategies that are being deployed are based on broad community input and unprecedented collaboration across the region,” said Anthony G. Collins, President of Clarkson University co-chair of the North Country Regional Economic Development Council. “We are well-positioned for private and federal investment in addition to New York State programs to advance economic development opportunities that contribute towards making the North Country a great place to live, work and study.”

“Being the only region to earn top performer status for three years out of three is a great testament to the dedication of dozens of volunteers who work throughout the year on the Council and its committees,” said Garry Douglas, President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce and Co-Chair of the North Country Regional Economic Development Council. “The North Country enthusiastically embraced this new process from the beginning, welcoming the opportunity to identify our own priorities and projects, and the benefits are continuing. This $81.3 million is on top of the nearly $50 million announced two weeks ago for two of our regional priorities, Trudeau Institute and the Whiteface Mountain Veterans’ Memorial Highway. That’s $131 million worth of confidence by the state in our plan, our process and our priorities. We can’t thank Governor Cuomo enough for empowering and supporting our region in such an unprecedented way. Onward and upward!”

As a Best Plan and Top Performer Awardee for the last three years, the North Country Regional Economic Development Council is moving full-speed ahead with transformative projects. In 2013, the Council’s strategies reflected the region’s diversity with priorities including helping farmers and small business owners improve productivity, addressing the need for more hotel rooms in the region to take better advantage of the tourism economy, and growing jobs and investing in high-tech industries.

Additional funded priority CFA projects identified by the NCREDC include:

  • $2,100,000 to Mercy Hospital for the continued redevelopment of the former in downtown Watertown and transform the site into a mixed use development with commercial, business and residential uses.
  • $4,500,000 to Clinton County for the Expansion of the Plattsburgh International Airport terminal and FIS facility.
  • $1,086,750 to the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority for a collaborative, multi-county marketing effort to draw targeted Canadian visitors across the border to take advantage of the North Country’s four-season recreational opportunities.
  • $650,000 to Bionique Testing Laboratories Inc. for its expansion, adding 10,000 square feet to the building for laboratories, storage and conference rooms.
  • $250,000 to support Phase 2 of the Wild Walk at the Wild Center located in Tupper Lake, which includes the construction of activities and permanent outdoor exhibits.
  • $225,000 to the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority for upgrades to rail bridges and purchase and installation of new conveyer equipment to increase the port’s capacity for agricultural products.

In addition, the North Country was one of five Regional Council’s to be awarded an Innovation Hot Spot. Clarkson University’s Shipley Center for Innovation and its Peyton Hall Incubator will administer the $250,000 award to advance technology transfer and support all aspects of start-ups and expansion. Clarkson’s model for the Innovation Hot Spot in the North Country utilizes a unique hub and spoke approach that will leverage SUNY and private colleges throughout the region in addition to economic development partners to maximize its footprint and impact to local entrepreneurs in their own communities. While resources and services are centralized at Clarkson, idea generation and ongoing support networks are decentralized using a consortium of regional entities.

The Regional Council initiative empowers community, business, and academic leaders, as well as members of the public in each region of the state, to develop strategic plans specifically tailored to their region's unique strengths and resources in order create jobs and support economic growth. As part of the Round 3 process, a Strategic Implementation Assessment Team (SIAT) composed of state agency commissioners traveled to every region of the state to view progress on projects that have received state funding, assess the regions’ strategic plan implementation, and review priority projects endorsed by the regions in their 2013 applications.

In the first two rounds of the Regional Council initiative, the North Country was awarded $198 million in state support for 157 projects across the region.

To learn more about the NCREDC, visit www.northcountryopenforbusiness.com

The full list of 2013 Regional Economic Development Council awards can be found at: http://regionalcouncils.ny.gov/assets/documents/2013REDCBooklet.pdf

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