Press-Republican

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October 11, 2012

North Country progress, priorities discussed

(Continued)

It also includes ReEnergy Black River, a $35 million project to convert a former coal plant to a biomass-energy facility that would create hundreds of jobs and provide a boost to local foresters. One goal would be production of Fort Drum’s electricity.

Private investors are more likely to come on board when they see the state has a process in place that is working, Collins said.

He said he firmly believes a next step will be to collaborate with other regions. He said one example is a venture capital fund on which the Central Region is working.

PRIORITY PROJECTS

The North Country Council seeks more than $112 million in state capital investment in this round of funding for 21 priority projects with the potential to create 347 construction jobs, 371 permanent jobs, retain 1,421 existing jobs, leverage $200 million in private and other investment and move the region decisively closer to meeting dozens of specific strategy goals, officials said. 

The Assessment Team, which toured sites in the North Country Wednesday, is slated to visit the other nine regional councils. The presentations will be used to evaluate progress and accomplishments based on strategy updates, plan implementation, leverage of resources, priority project advancement, performance measurements and public engagement and stakeholder involvement.

There is up to $762 million in state resources available in the second round of awards. That includes $150 million in capital and $70 million in tax credits to implement regional strategic plans and advance job-creating priority projects and up to $542 million from state agencies to support regionally significant economic development projects.

TO GROW BUSINESS

Last year’s top four councils, the North Country one among them, will compete for two $25 million capital fund awards. The other six regions will vie for three $25 million capital fund awards.

The other $25 million in capital funds will be divided among the remaining six regions. Each region will also be eligible for up to $10 million in Excelsior tax Credits to help attract and grow business.

The funding awards will be announced later this year.

For a full list of upcoming priority projects and strategies, visit regionalcouncils.ny.gov. 

Email Dan Heath: dheath@pressrepublican.com

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