Region Receives Over $80M For Economic Development

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The north country will receive $81.3 million in state economic development aid.

The region was one of 10 in New York state competing for a share of $750 million through the state's Economic Development Council.

The award was announced in Albany Wednesday morning.
 
The north country was named a "top performer," which means it receives a larger share of the money.
 
"Our vision and the targeted strategies that are being deployed are based on broad community input and collaboration across the region," said Clarkson University President Tony Collins, who co-chairs the North Country Regional Economic Development Council. 
 
"We are now well-positioned for private investment and federal outreach in addition to New York state programs to advance economic development opportunities that make the north country a great place to live, work and study,” Collins said.
 
The money will go toward projects from Watertown to Plattsburgh, focusing on hotels, tourism, airports and housing. 
 
"These 'firecracker' projects, as the regional leaders call them, will enhance Northern New York's status as a premier tourism destination and make the area more attractive to forward-thinking businesses, especially those in the biotechnology field," said state Senator Joe Griffo (R. - 47th District).
 
"I've seen firsthand the incredible effort put forth by the council to develop proposals that will create private sector jobs, train our workers in advanced manufacturing, promote the beautiful natural resources of the North Country and develop Clarkson University as an Innovation Hot Spot," said Assemblywoman Addie Russell (D. - 116th District).
 
"Investing and planning for economic resurgence in upstate New York is paying off for the people of my district," said  Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush (R. - 117th District).
 
"Throughout the past two years, the investments made through the Regional Economic Development Council Program have been a catalyst for new jobs and economic growth throughout Central and Northern New York, and today's announcement proves that there's even more potential and enthusiasm for the future," said Senator Patty Ritchie (R. - 48th District).
 
Some of the funds are earmarked for new research partnerships like the one between Clarkson University in Potsdam and the Trudeau Institute in Saranac Lake.
 
Here are some highlights:
 
- $6 million for improving and expanding high-speed internet service
 
- $5 million to revitalize Hotel Saranac, creating a full-service hotel to spur year-round tourism
 
- $2.1 million to continue redevelopment of the former Mercy Hospital in downtown Watertown into commercial, business and residential space
 
- $2 million to construct a new resort and waterfront restaurant at the former Lake Flower Hotel, and leverage private investment to diversify the region’s tourism- and recreation-based communities.
 
- $250,000 to support phase 2 of the Wild Walk at the Wild Center in Tupper Lake, which includes the construction of activities and permanent outdoor exhibits.
Saturday, October 25, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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