July 17, 2013

Economic Development Council has new initiatives




Another new initiative is the Opportunity Agenda program. It was established to allow the councils to identify ways to overcome issues that prevent poorer communities, families and individuals from full participation in economic revitalization.

The North Country Council is looking for projects to help economically distressed populations affected by issues such as significant job losses, market loss due to foreign competition, above-average unemployment, population loss and numerous other criteria, which can be found on the Regional Council’s website. 

“We are striving to reach communities that really need help,” Collins said.


The North Country Council has established a pipeline process to seek information on existing projects in the region and identify new ones for potential development.

Douglas said those with projects that might not be ready to move forward should still provide information so the council has a better idea of proposals that could be viable in the future.

Submitting information to the project pipeline is not the same as seeking funding. Any project that wants to be considered for funding needs to complete a Consolidated Funding Application.


Leigh Mundy provided a presentation at the session on one of the projects that has received funding in the first two rounds. The Strand Theatre was awarded $397,000 in 2011 and $305,000 in 2012 and was required to spend $530,000 and $497,000, respectively, to receive those awards.

It also received $250,000 from Empire State Development, with a requirement to spend $1.1 million and create three jobs.

Mundy said the Consolidated Funding Application process has been a tremendous boost for the North Country Cultural Center for the Arts, as it cuts down on having to research and submit numerous applications.

“The Regional Economic Development Councils and what they’re doing for upstate are great,” she said. 

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The deadline for submission of a Consolidated Funding Application for this round is 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 11.

The council needs to deliver its final recommendations to Empire State Development by Tuesday, Sept. 24.

For application materials and other information, visit

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