Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Awarded Best Plan and Receives $96.2 Million for 76 Projects
As part of Round II of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Regional Council initiative, the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council (FLREDC) was awarded $96.2 million for 76 projects, including projects at the Eastman Business Park and the Finger Lakes Small Business Expansion Fund, on Wednesday in Albany. All 16 priority capital projects advanced for consideration by the FLREDC and included in the Council’s Progress Report in September were funded. Eighteen of 23 additional CFA priority projects advanced by the Council received funding. These were projects that were not eligible for the $25 million capital competition, but did compete for funds made available by more than a dozen state agencies. In total, $738 million was awarded throughout the state through Round Two of the Regional Economic Development Council initiative.
“With this new state support, we will now be able to move forward with projects that will accelerate the development and commercialization of new technologies, help small businesses grow and prosper, train our workforce for the jobs of the future, revitalize key industrial development sites, and strengthen our communities and quality of life,” said Joel Seligman and Danny Wegman, Co-Chairs of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council. “We are deeply grateful to the Governor and Lt. Governor for their support and recognition. We also understand that our work has only just begun and look forward to continuing to work with the state to build a new economic future for our region.”
Last year, Governor Cuomo created Regional Councils and the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) to transform New York’s operating model for economic development from a top-down approach to a community-based model which empowers individual regions to develop and advance regionally-targeted strategic plans and job-creating projects. This year, the primary focus of the Regional Council initiative was to successfully implement and operationalize their strategic plans to make each region’s vision for economic growth a reality.
The Eastman Business Park (EBP) has consistently been considered the top priority for the FLREDC. Although no CFA was submitted specifically for EBP, , two projects that will be housed in the Park received $2.4 million in funding, which will create 154 jobs in the park. Those projects include:
- NOMS Technologies, Inc: awarded $2 million to expand a manufacturing line for lithium battery technology at EBP. The company will invest $4.3 million and create 104 jobs.
- Graphene Devices Ltd: awarded $400,000 to construct a facility at EBP for the production of high technology materials that will be used in the manufacturing of energy storage devices. The company will invest $1.9 million and create 50 jobs.
New York State also awarded all projects that were advanced as part of the Finger Lakes Small Business Expansion Fund. This was an innovative approach taken by the council to target seven companies located throughout the nine-county region with significant growth potential. The $1.15 million awarded will facilitate the investment of more than $9 million in the region and create or retain 306 jobs. These include:
- Once Again Nut Butter (Livingston County), $300,000
- CNG One Source (Genesee County), $300,000
- Val Tech Holdings (Monroe County), $100,000
- Toptica Photonics (Ontario County), $125,000
- OptiPro Systems (Wayne County), $50,000
- Drasgow, Inc. (Wyoming County), $125,000
- Quorum Group LLC (Orleans County), $150,000
Additional funded priority CFA projects identified by the FLREDC include:
- An initiative called Growing the New York Dairy Industry, which will receive $500,000 to Farm Credit East, ACA to address the capital needs of dairy farmers who are interested in expansion but still face significant financial challenges in doing so. This funding comes from the NYS Department of Agriculture & Markets.
- Mr. Bults, Inc. in Seneca Falls will benefit from $500,000 provided to the Town of Seneca Falls. This funding will assist in the expansion of the company, which is one of the largest haulers of solid waste. This funding comes from the NYS Department of Homes and Community Renewal.
- American Heritage Homes will receive $1.1 million to construct a new modular home manufacturing plant in Wyoming County, which will create 200 new jobs. Funding is being provided by the NYS Energy Research and Development Authority.
- Geva Theatre in Rochester was awarded $300,000 to commence planning for renovations to all floors, complete the first phase of the HVAC system replacement and to continue its nationally recognizes public engagement program, “The Hornet’s Nest.”
- The Little Theater in Rochester was awarded $180,000 to purchase digitalization equipment upgrades for the theater.
The STAMP high-tech megasite project in Genesee County received $500,000 during the CFA awards. In addition to this grant, ESD and FLREDC have offered a $1.1 million capital loan for a total of $1.6 million to help STAMP finance expiring land options and continue plans to develop the site.
“The regional council has worked hard to identify opportunities for economic growth and renewed prosperity, and I'm proud to have been a part this critical effort. We are a region rich with potential, and the funding awarded this week will move us closer to realizing that potential,” said Assemblyman Joseph Morelle. “I am especially grateful to the Governor, Joel Seligman and Danny Wegman for their leadership, partnership and vision.”
“First and foremost, I was delighted that the quality and strength of our projects and our region led to the highest award. This will further our public-private collaboration which has led to growing our economy and creating jobs,” said Senator Joseph Robach. “I applaud Governor Cuomo and I was privileged to join him in his efforts as a member of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council. This open, transparent process has served the people of the Finger Lakes region well.”
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 second round of the Regional Council process, Governor Cuomo, Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy and a Strategic Implementation Assessment Team (SIAT) composed of state agency commissioners with Brookings Institution and senior staff, traveled to every region of the state to view progress on Round I projects that received state funding, as well as assess projects included in the region's 2012 application. The Finger Lakes progress tour and presentation to the SIAT on its achievements and endorsed priority projects for the second round of the Regional Council competition was held on November 27, 2012.
In the first round of the Regional Council initiative, the Finger Lakes region was awarded $68.8 million in state resources through the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) process to support 93 projects. Currently, 94 percent of these projects have executed contracts with State funding agencies and are now underway as a result of funding they received.
To learn more about the FLREDC, visit http://regionalcouncils.ny.gov/content/finger-lakes.
The full list of 2012 Regional Economic Development Council awards can be found at: http://regionalcouncils.ny.gov/assets/documents/2012REDCbooklet.pdf.