Governor Tours Sites to See Progress of North Country Priority Projects
Albany, NY (October 10, 2012)
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today continued the statewide Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) Progress Tour in the North Country, where he toured priority projects to see, firsthand, their progress and their economic impact in the region.
This is the third visit in the Governor’s REDC Progress Tour that is part of a review of last year’s strategic economic development plans and job-creating projects.
Following these tours, the North Country REDC provided a formal presentation outlining the progress they have made in advancing last year's strategic plans and projects, as well as their endorsed projects for the coming year to the Strategic Implementation Assessment Team (SIAT) at the West Side Ballroom in Plattsburgh.
“New York has transformed the way the state approaches economic development by empowering local communities to build plans specifically tailored for their regions,” Governor Cuomo said. “The North Country Regional Council is successfully putting its regional plan to work, and it is creating jobs in their communities and growing the local economy.”
“Last year, the North Country Regional Council developed a strategy designed to help transform the future economy of the North Country by supporting and attracting business growth and job creation,” said Regional Council Co-Chair and North Country Chamber of Commerce President Garry Douglas and Regional Council Co-Chair and Clarkson University President Tony Collins. “Thanks to the leadership of Governor Cuomo, Lieutenant Governor Duffy, and the work of our Council members, we have fully embraced this extraordinary opportunity to turn that plan into action and demonstrate that our region can work together to achieve economic growth. Last year, we had a great story to tell about what we were going to do, and this year, we have an even better story to tell about the great work that we are doing.”
The Governor visited the following sites:
The North Country Cultural Center for the Arts was awarded $397,000 to support the restoration of the 1924 Strand theatre into the new Strand Performing Arts Center. As part of the economic activity generated by the overall revitalization of downtown Plattsburgh, this project has the potential to create almost 80 jobs.
Bombardier Transportation was awarded $2.5 million for the expansion of its primary production facility in Plattsburgh. The 80,000 square foot expansion of its main plant will create 100 new jobs and retain 288 existing jobs at the plant, and leverage approximately $22 million in private investment. As a national leader in transportation manufacturing, this project will further enhance Bombardier’s capacity for new contracts, as evidenced by its recent contract with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to manufacture 300 subway cars in Plattsburgh.
Additionally, the Governor reviewed presentations on the progress being made by the following priority projects:
North Country Pastured: Mobile Poultry Processing Unit
North Country Pastured was awarded a grant of $130,000 to purchase, construct, and operate a mobile poultry processing facility. This project will help to expand the diversity and value-added production of agriculture in the North Country.
Hamilton County Broadband
Hamilton County/Frontier was awarded a grant of $472,000 for the Hamilton County Broadband Phase I project, which will open high speed internet access to residential and business customers in Hamilton County communities. This project will also support the growth of telecommuters and new business in the region.
Lyons Falls Mill Site Redevelopment
The Lewis County Development Corporation was awarded $330,000 to transform the Lyons Falls Mill site, a long-time vacant, former paper mill, into a mixed-use, shovel-ready business park, creating construction jobs throughout the duration of the project. The project will also support the expansion of an existing hydro-facility and accommodate other sustainable energy facilities.
DANC was awarded $4 million to construct 690 multi-family rental housing units to meet the housing needs of Fort Drum. This project will create hundreds of construction jobs in the Watertown area, leveraging more than $88 million in private investment.
Enhancing Biosciences in New York – Trudeau
Trudeau Institute was awarded $1.2 million to support Trudeau’s biomedical research and laboratory operations, and develop a scientist recruitment program. The project advances a biomedical organization as an anchor institution that will support an emerging bioscience industry cluster in the North Country. This project will help leverage $6 million in additional private sector investment.
“Governor Cuomo created Regional Councils to serve as the new approach our state needs to create new jobs and economic opportunities,” said Lieutenant Governor Duffy. “Today is an exciting opportunity for an open discussion of the incredible progress Regional Councils are making in the North Country and across the state, as well as the steps we are taking to build on that success for the coming year.”
“Governor Cuomo’s Regional Council initiative is taking New York from a state known as a frustrater of business growth to a facilitator of new business and private sector job development,” said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams. “Through its first year, we have seen job-creating projects in the North Country and across the state start to take shape and pay dividends in new jobs and economic activity to boost our local economies.”
In the first round of the Regional Council initiative, the North Country was awarded $103.2 million in state support through the Regional Economic Development Council initiative and CFA process for 70 projects across the region. Throughout its first year of implementation activity, the Council has reported substantial progress in advancing the creation of a biotech cluster at new downtown locations in the Village of Saranac Lake, and successful collaborations among education and workforce development leaders such as the creation of the new North Country Higher Education and Research and Development Consortium and the North Country STEM Hub at Clarkson.
Once completed, the priority projects endorsed by the North Country REDC and awarded funding through the 2011 CFA will significantly boost the local economy by creating and retaining over 2,000 permanent, non-construction jobs and leveraging over $170 million in additional private sector investment.
The Council’s progress report and full list of endorsed priority projects for 2012 can be found at www.northcountryopenforbusiness.com or http://regionalcouncils.ny.gov/content/north-country.
To learn more about each Regional Council and their economic development plans, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov.