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May 18, 2013

Economic development councils begin third round

Region vies for share of $760M in state funding

PLATTSBURGH — The third round of the Regional Economic Development Council Program has millions up for grabs, and the North Country will be reaching out with both hands once again. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo hosted council co-chairs and local economic development officials in Albany this week to detail the process and officially launch the 2013 competition.

“Over the past two years, the regional economic development councils have been a tremendous success, transforming our state’s approach to job creating from a traditional Albany top-down model to a community-based, bottom-up process,” Cuomo said in a press release. 

“From Niagara Falls to Plattsburgh to Long Island, the results are clear in communities all across the state as new projects are being launched, creating jobs and supporting local economic growth.”

The North Country Council was awarded $193.4 million in the first two rounds, the second highest amount among the 10 regional councils.

North Country Chamber of Commerce President Garry Douglas, co-chair of the North Country Council, said they are looking forward to the next round.

“The North Country has truly grasped the opportunity given to our region by Governor Cuomo, in terms of identifying our key needs and opportunities and successfully competing for more than $200 million in state investment in our priority economic development projects. 

“Most importantly, we’ve been able to create an entirely new platform for collaboration and shared support across the seven county region for the first time ever,” he said by email. 

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Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy, chair of the regional economic development councils, said the past two rounds have shown what a difference can be made to local economies by listening to regional business and community leaders. 

“Under Governor Cuomo’s vision, we will continue to do this and ensure that New York state is on the path to economic success.”

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