North Country Regional Economic Development Council approves water infrastructure application plan
Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - 6:29 am

POTSDAM – The North Country Regional Economic Development Council (NCREDC) this week held its first public meeting of the New Year at SUNY Potsdam to discuss its next steps in, including additional funding opportunities.

The North Country was named a “Top Performer” in December 2012, and was awarded $90.2 million for 82 projects across the seven-county region.

The NCREDC approved the way municipalities in the region can apply for funding through the $2.5 million Municipal Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Support Fund. That fund received approval in the second round, in 2012, of the Regional Economic Development Council Initiative, and will be used in support of water and sewer projects in the North Country that align with the council’s overall plan. The objective of the fund is to leverage additional funds, attract and retain businesses, and serve existing and new residents and visitors. Funding would be limited to 20 percent of a project’s cost up to $500,000.

As part of Governor Cuomo’s Cleaner Greener Communities initiative, the council and a consortium of local experts are developing a regional sustainability plan guide projects that significantly improve the economic development and environmental well-being of the region, and an update was delivered at this meeting.

Public participation has been excellent, said the council’s Kate Fish, and comments and suggestions have been incorporated into the design of the plan.

Following the meeting, The North Country “Path Through History Work Group” held a public meeting to gain input for the development of its $100,000 marketing plan to encourage tourism, local economic development and serve as an educational tool as part of the governor’s Path Through History initiative.

The North Country council, which is composed representatives from St. Lawrence, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis and Clinton counties, is one of 10 regional councils across New York state that serve as a single point of contact for economic activity in the various regions.

The NCREDC was named a “Top Performer” in 2012 in addition to their Strategic Plan being named a “Best Plan Awardee” from 2011.

One hundred fifty-two projects across the region have been awarded a total of $193.4 million in state support through the Regional Economic Development Council initiative and Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) process in the statewide competition. The Plan and priority projects can be found at www.northcountryopenforbusiness.com.