The North Country Economic Development Council, which was awarded $103 million last year, hopes to secure funding for a Massena pellet producer, a Canton “food hub” and other projects that could boost economic development in St. Lawrence County.
For the second round of state funding, the council has submitted a total of 21 North Country projects. Four of the proposals would have a direct impact on St. Lawrence County and three regional projects could potentially benefit the county as well.
St. Lawrence County projects include:
• Curran Renewable Resource - Massena Purchase of wood fired combustion chamber to burn green wood in drying process for production of wood pellets, which supports utilization of a regionally sourced renewable resource.
• DANC Value-Added Agriculture Program - Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence Counties Makes capital available to farmers and related businesses for productivity and yield enhancement projects, which supports added value for the region's dairy, maple syrup and other food related industries.
• North Country Regional Food Hub - Canton Establish a 9,000 square foot distribution facility for regionally grown and raised products. This project supports added value for the region's agricultural sector.
• Raquette River Blueway Corridor - St. Lawrence, Franklin and Hamilton Counties A network of projects enhancing the Raquette River Blueway, which will support tourism development through three counties.
Regional projects that could impact the county include:
• Municipal Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Support Fund - A support fund for water and sewer projects in support of economic development. This project supports infrastructure and economic development in the region.
• Community Transformation Tourism Fund - Region wide Creation of a specialized loan fund for tourism-related ventures, which supports the need to foster tourism development across the North Country.
• Adirondack Park Recreational Portal, Adirondacks Creation of a common web portal to inventory and link recreational assets and retail services in the Adirondacks, which supports tourism and the Adirondack Park economy. This involves all three regions, which cover parts of the Adirondack Park and is therefore an example of a multi-regional project, including the North Country, Capital, and Mohawk Valley regions.
"We chose to open the North Country REDC’s progress report with ‘Do what you can, with what you have, where you are,’ a quote from the late President Teddy Roosevelt who was an avid recreation and wildlife enthusiast in the Adirondacks,” said Tony Collins, President of Clarkson University and NCREDC Co-chair.
“The quote captures the energy and collective focus of our region on its implementation of its 2011 Best Plan award-winning strategy. In addition to leveraging the obvious economic development opportunities from the $103.2 million award to the region, the real success of the North Country Strategic Plan emanates from the unprecedented momentum for our counties and communities to tell a regional story that is both unique and remarkable.”
The council is striving for the same level of success it had last year, when $103.2 million was secured for North Country development projects.
"The completion of last year's plan for the North Country, which won Best Plan status and an unprecedented $103 million from the State, was certainly extremely satisfying," said Garry Douglas, President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce and NCREDC Co-chair.
"However, even more satisfying has been the incredibly strong implementation work since then, with regard to both our specific projects and our ambitious strategies. The entire North Country can feel very good about the progress we have just reported across the board and, most of all, about the state of sharing and collaboration that has developed in such a short time across a vast region, which had never worked together like this before."
To view the complete list of 21 projects submitted by the council visit http://regionalcouncils.ny.gov/north-country/091712/2012progressreport