FRANKLYWNOW - Upstate Communities to Compete for $1.5 Billion

Upstate Communities to Compete for $1.5 Billion

Governor Cuomo announced today that seven upstate regions, including the southern tier, will compete for $1.5 billion in economic development funds.

Only three will walk away with $500 million each if the proposal passes the legislature as is. a five-member committee will decide the winners. The competition will begin on April 15th with submissions due on July 1st. The winners will be announced in the fall.

Local leaders say this could be an opportunity to pursue transformative projects. and given the success of the area in the regional economic development council competition, those officials like the southern tier's chances of winning.

"We will have a very competitive proposal here in the Southern Tier, I can tell you that. We are going to be very competitive. We've won three of four competitions of the Regional Economic Development Council. We are organized, we have great ideas," said Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (D-123rd District).

"We have a laundry list of projects that we will be able to come up with. There's not a doubt in my mind that we can come up with transformative, dynamic, catalytic projects that will utilize that full $500 million," said Binghamton Mayor Rich David (R).

Lupardo believes funding for this program is coming from a more than five billion dollar surplus from the state's settlements with banks and financial institutions. The Governor's office says awards will primarily be given as grants but tax credits and loan programs may replace awards where appropriate.
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