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North Country Regional Economic Development Council Holds Public Forums Across the Region, Calls for Priority Projects

Council urges public participation to provide input on Strategic Plan and to identify priority projects
(June 22, 2012)

North Country Regional Economic Development Council Holds Public Forums Across the Region, Calls for Priority Projects

The North Country Regional Economic Development Council (NCREDC) is encouraging all individuals, businesses, organizations, labor, and university representatives from the North Country to attend one of the next five scheduled public forums in the region to provide suggestions and share ideas for job growth opportunities. The public forums will allow for all participants, including the general public, to learn about this year's planning process and to provide input to the Council as it refines and updates its Strategic Plan and identifies potential priority projects for the next few years. The schedule for the public forums, which all start at 6 p.m., is as follows:

• Monday, June 25: Elizabethtown
Elizabethtown-Lewis Central High School, 7530 Court Street
• Tuesday, June 26: Plattsburgh
Hawkins Hall, SUNY Plattsburgh, 47 Beekman Street
• Wednesday, June 27:   Tupper Lake
The Wild Center, 45 Museum Drive
• Thursday, June 28: Massena
Frank S. McCullough, Jr. Hawkins Point Visitors Center, 21 Hawkins Point Road
• Monday, July 23 Indian Lake
Indian Lake Theater, Main Street

"The questions, projects and initiatives brought forward in the public forums are important for the Council's work in identifying strategic priorities as well as providing a venue for residents to network with agencies and other community representatives interested in creating new job opportunities," said Anthony Collins, NCREDC Co-chair and president of Clarkson University. "Participants in the forums held earlier this month in Watertown and Lowville shared ideas for numerous job growth opportunities including solar energy development, renewable energy alternatives, community water infrastructure needs, transportation projects, tourism and recreational initiatives, and healthcare services."

"Public participation was key to our success last year, including the identification of important projects, and it is critical to our efforts again this year," said Garry Douglas, Co-Chair of the Regional Council and President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce. "Every single one of the seven counties will have had a forum, plus public comment sessions after every council meeting and input via our website and other means. We feel certain that the result will once again be the strongest possible submission we can make come September."

The North Country Regional Economic Development Council is also seeking proposals for projects to be identified and recommended by the Council as Priority Projects for the second round of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's Regional Council initiative. Priority projects are chosen based on their ability to stimulate job creation, private sector investment and transformational economic growth in accordance with the goals identified by the Council's Strategic Plan. All priority projects must be submitted to the Council by 4 p.m. on Friday, July 27.

Priority project applicants must also complete the Consolidated Funding Application by the deadline, 4 p.m. on Monday, July 16, 2012. Application materials are available online at https://apps.cio.ny.gov/apps/cfa/index.cfm. Once the CFA is submitted by the applicant, it goes to the local Regional Council to be reviewed and ranked as part of its strategic planning process.

The NCREDC, which is composed of Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties, is one of 10 regional councils across New York state that serve as a single point of contact for economic activity in the various regions. The NCREDC continues to work toward:

  • Developing priority projects that align with its vision for a strong economic future for the North Country:
  • Developing an agenda to operationalize its strategic plan and incorporating new information to update and amend its plan; and
  • Developing measurements to track success and capitalize on new opportunities and emerging projects.

The NCREDC's Strategic Plan was named a "Best Plan Awardee" in December 2011. Seventy projects across the region were awarded $103.2 million in state support through the Regional Economic Development Council initiative and Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) process in the statewide competition. The Plan and priority projects can be found at www.northcountryopenforbusiness.com.

Last year, Governor Cuomo announced the creation of ten Regional Economic Development Councils to transform New York's approach to economic development. The Regional Councils exceeded all expectations and redefined the way New York invests in job creation. To build on that success and keep the momentum going, Governor Cuomo has launched a second round of up to $750 million in economic development funding, including $220 million to implement regional strategic plans and support priority projects – $150 million in capital and $70 million in tax credits from the Excelsior Jobs Program – and over $530 million from state agency programs through the CFA to support regionally significant economic development projects.

As part of the Regional Council initiative, the NYS Consolidated Funding Application was created to serve as the single application economic development projects must complete to be eligible to access the state resources that have been made available to support the Regional Councils. The CFA allows an applicant to access multiple funding sources from dozens of existing programs through one comprehensive, web-based application.

For the second round, the CFA will provide access to economic development resources from 21 programs across a dozen state agencies. Improvements to the CFA in 2012 have made it an even more business-friendly and productive tool for economic development. It will remain the primary portal for businesses to apply for state agency resources, including resources for community development, direct assistance to business, waterfront revitalization, energy and environmental improvements, sustainability, workforce development, agricultural economic development and low-cost financing.

State agencies and authorities making resources available in the 2012 CFA include: Empire State Development; NYS Canal Corporation; NYS Energy Research and Development Authority; Environmental Facilities Corporation; Homes and Community Renewal; Department of Labor; Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; Department of State; New York Power Authority; Agriculture and Markets; Department of Environment Conservation; and the Council on the Arts.

In addition, the New York Power Authority and Economic Development Power Allocation Board (EDPAB) will be using the CFA to implement "Recharge New York," a new, low-cost power program for New York businesses and not-for-profits. NYSERDA will continue to accept applications to its open enrollment energy efficiency programs until all funds have been exhausted.

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