North Country Regional Economic Development Council hoping for third straight year of development aid success
Thursday, May 16, 2013 - 6:36 am

 The co-chairs of the North Country Regional Economic Development Council were in Albany yesterday for the start of the third annual round of vying for economic development funding.

Having done well in the first two rounds of competition for development aid, with nearly $200 million awarded to the region, the leaders of the North Country council have hope of a third straight year of success.

The NCREDC’s co-chairs, North Country Chamber of Commerce President Garry Douglas and Clarkson University President Anthony Collins, are leading the combined efforts of St. Lawrence, Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson and Lewis counties.

Representatives of each regional council and local economic development officials were there to hear details of the 2013 funding competition.

“Over the past two years, the Regional Economic Development Councils have been a tremendous success, transforming our state’s approach to job creating from a traditional Albany top-down model to a community-based, bottom-up process,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “Today we are building on that success, convening local job creators and community leaders from across the state to officially kick off round three of the Regional Councils.”

Lieutenant Governor Robert J. Duffy, Chair of the Regional Economic Development Councils said, “The past two rounds of the Regional Economic Development Councils have shown what a difference we can make to local economies by listening to regional business and community leaders.”

Statewide, the first two rounds included $1.5 billion in investments to support more than 1,400 projects, and creating or helping retain an estimated 75,000 jobs.

Again this year, all 10 regions will compete against each other. Five regions identified as “top performers” will receive $25 million each and the remaining will compete for the balance of $25 million. Each region is also eligible for up to $10 million in tax credits.

The North Country REDC has had success in the first two years of competitive face-offs for millions of dollars in state aid.

The North Country council has been recognized as having done very well in its presentations and development work with the $193.4 million so far for 152 projects in the seven-county region.

The North Country application for 2011 earned the NCREDC a “Best Plan” award and a higher level of funding than other regional competitors.

The North Country Council was also given a “Top Performer Award” for its progress in implementing the $103 million 2011 plan, earning another enhanced award of $90.2 million in 2012.