September 22, 2012

Regional economic council eyes more of the prize


“We have really grasped the opportunity given to us by Governor Cuomo to chart our own course. The results are becoming evident, and the best is yet to come.”


C Speed, which wanted to build a manufacturing center for its radar technology in St. Lawrence County, was one of the two projects that did not move forward. Douglas said by email Friday that the company was not able to secure the defense-related contract it had anticipated.

“The good news regarding the new regional process is that the Regional Council was allowed to reallocate those funds, and we ended up assisting two job-creating companies. Both are set but cannot yet be announced,” he said.

“The important thing here is that, unlike in the past when such funds would have returned to Albany and likely have been used somewhere else, we had the opportunity to keep them in the North Country.”

The second proposal that received funds but didn’t come to fruition was a housing project. Developers determined it wasn’t yet ready to proceed and voluntarily withdrew so it could return at a later date, Douglas said.


Continuing priorities the council seeks funding for are the Trudeau Institute, Bombardier and Nova Bus. Bumped up to priority status this week has been restoration and repairs to the Whiteface Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway and facilities.

Others that may require advocacy for federal or other resources or approvals include the Adirondack Club and Resort, Alcoa modernization, Homeward Bound Adirondacks, the Plattsburgh International Airport expansion, North Country movie theaters digital conversion, Rivermede Farm solar thermal greenhouses, the North Country STEM hub and the North Country Higher Education, Research and Development Consortium.

Funding for the second round allows $220 million in competitive grant funding, including $150 million in capital and $70 million in tax credits. Up to $542 million in funds from state agencies is also available.

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