North Country Regional Economic Development Council Holds Public Meeting in Potsdam and Welcomes New Members
The North Country Regional Economic Development Council (NCREDC) today held its first meeting of 2016 in Potsdam, St. Lawrence County. The meeting provided the Council with an opportunity to kick-off strategic planning for Round Vl, report on progress to date and begin discussions on new initiatives including the Downtown Revitalization Initiative and Upstate Airport Revitalization Competition, which are proposed in Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's 2016-2017 Executive Budget.
During today’s meeting, the Council welcomed five new members: Rollin Beattie, Supervisor, Town of Potsdam; Joseph Butler Jr., Mayor, City of Watertown; John Burke, Chairman, St. Lawrence County Legislature; Scott Gray, Chairman, Jefferson County Legislature; and Harry McManus, Chairman, Clinton County Legislature.
Council co-chairs Garry Douglas, President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce, and Tony Collins, President of Clarkson University, invited businesses, organizations, labor and education representatives, as well as members of the public, from Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties to participate in the public meeting.
“This meeting marks the official beginning of our sixth year of regional collaboration on economic development, and everyone is fully ready to build upon the historic progress of the last five years to achieve additional advances in the year ahead,” states Garry Douglas, President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce and Co-Chair of the North Country Regional Economic Development Council. “The heightened strategies established last year are going to serve us very well as we continue to push for advances in advanced manufacturing, tourism development, agriculture and renewable energy. We also look forward to maximizing the benefits of several of the Governor's new initiatives, especially investment in various forms of infrastructure.”
“In 2011, Governor Cuomo empowered and entrusted the North Country to define for both ourselves and the State what our pathway to future prosperity should be. Through broad public participation in the development of our plans and the engagement of our elected officials and economic development organizations, our region leads the economic renaissance of New York State's small cities and rural communities,” said Tony Collins, president of Clarkson University and co-chair of the NCREDC. “Together, we have created strong public-private partnerships across our seven counties that we plan to continue to build, pursue and leverage towards our region's highest priorities and that further elevate the North Country as one of the special places on the planet to visit, live, work and study.”
Presentations were made to the Council by Jeffrey Nordhaus, Executive Vice President of Innovation & Broadband, on the New NY Broadband Program, and Melinda Sanderson, Director of Mentoring for Upstate, on the New York State Mentoring Program.
Co-chair Tony Collins also provided an overview of the St. Lawrence County Economic Development Study. The study was conducted in consultation with over 130 county officials and economic development experts throughout the region. To view the study, click here.
The meeting wrapped up with the Council providing an update on the status of all regional council projects, including a summary of the 2015 Regional Council awards. In December, the North Country Regional Council was awarded $85.1 million for 82 projects.
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. There are now 373 projects across the region that have been awarded a total of $423.2 million in support from the State, through the Regional Economic Development Council initiative.