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North Country Regional Economic Development Council Approves 2013 Progress Report and Priority Projects

Progress report and priority projects maximize region’s growth potential and strategic goals
(September 20, 2013)

North Country Regional Economic Development Council Approves 2013 Progress Report and Priority Projects

The North Country Regional Economic Development Council (NCREDC) today held a meeting at St. Lawrence University and approved its 2013 Progress Report and priority project list for Round III of the state Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) process. The Council titled its progress report ‘Velocity’ to capture the spirit of acceleration and momentum towards the region’s success and achievement of the strategic plan. The report includes the list of priority projects for the seven-county region that will now be finalized and submitted to New York State ahead of the September 24 deadline. As part of the third round of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council initiative to stimulate job creation and economic growth, up to $760 million in economic development resources are available to applicants through the CFA in 2013.

“The Governor's new regional economic development process has been exceptionally good for the North Country, not only in terms of funding and progress but the new spirit of collaboration and shared support that has come about across the seven counties,” said Garry Douglas, President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce and Co-Chair of the North Country Regional Economic Development Council. “We have very strong progress to report from years one and two, and an excellent set of projects and strategies identified for the year ahead. This is all thanks to the incredible level of commitment from our Regional Council members and a number of other volunteers on our key committees. Onward and upward in 2014!” “We have been steadfast in our adherence to an objective process of assessment, planning and decision making that remains free of influence or any consideration other than the shared intent of creating economic prosperity and a high quality of life for everyone who calls the North Country home,” said Anthony G. Collins, President of Clarkson University and Co-Chair of the North Country Regional Economic Development Council. “The Governor and the State Legislature are to be commended for establishing an economic development investment model that is suited to the unique circumstances, characteristics and opportunities that each region needs to transform its own economy.” Progress reports will include an update on the implementation of strategic plans submitted in 2011, and details on proposed priority projects and economic development plans for the coming year, inclusive of extensive public outreach through seven dedicated forums across the region as well as numerous council-related presentations at public events and conferences across the region. The NCREDC co-chairs acknowledged the tremendous coordination among hundreds of volunteers supporting the Council’s work groups. The Council also identified new priority projects for Round III of 2013 CFA process to help maximize its growth potential and successfully implement its strategic plan for the region. The Council’s priority projects were chosen, in part, because they leverage significant private investment and address critical community and economic development needs throughout the seven-county region. In selecting priority projects, Council members used a set of criteria that includes ability to create jobs, capacity to leverage private and non-state investment, and alignment with additional goals set forth in the NCREDC’s Strategic Plan.

The Council also responded to a request to consider a bypass around the Canton and Potsdam areas in St. Lawrence County in order to ease transportation issues and heighten access to economic activities in the region. Members passed a resolution to encourage the New York State Department of Transportation to consider and investigate these opportunities and to establish a process that is inclusive of the communities involved as well as the regional interests.

In support of addressing ongoing wastewater issues, increasing access to recreational areas and a land exchange with NYO Minerals, Inc., the Council also passed a resolution supporting the adoption of three statewide ballot proposals #3, #4, and #5 and encouraged other REDCs to bring attention to the same proposals.

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 was named a “Top Performer” in 2012 in addition to their Strategic Plan being named a “Best Plan Awardee” in December 2011. One hundred fifty-two projects across the region have been awarded a total of $193.4 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.

The Regional Economic Development Council initiative (REDC) is a key component of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s transformative approach to State investment and economic development. In 2011, Governor Cuomo established 10 Regional Councils to develop long-term strategic plans for economic growth for their regions. The Councils are public-private partnerships made up of local experts and stakeholders from business, academia, local government, and non-governmental organizations. The Regional Councils have redefined the way New York invests in jobs and economic growth by putting in place a community-based, bottom up approach and establishing a competitive process for State resources. After two rounds of competitive awards, nearly 1,500 projects are receiving support to put people back to work, get the economy back on track, and restore New York State as the Empire State. For more information on the Regional Councils, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov.

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