It’s Regional Economic Development Council time again!

The North Country Regional Economic Development Council celebrates the region's $81.3 million award in 2013. This year, the North Country REDC will be competing for $25 million from the state. Photo: Gov. Cuomo's office via Flickr

The North Country Regional Economic Development Council celebrates the region’s $81.3 million award in 2013. This year, the North Country REDC will be competing for $25 million from the state. Photo: Gov. Cuomo’s office via Flickr

It’s time again for New York’s regions to start getting their proposals ready in order to compete for a pot of economic development money from the state through the Regional Economic Development Council program. As you may know, the North Country has fared well in the competitive process since 2011, when Gov. Andrew Cuomo started the REDCs.

But this year, the Watertown Daily Times is reporting, our region’s success may make things tougher: Because the North Country was named a “Top Performer” in last year’s competition (it’s actually been a “Top Performer” for the last three years), it will be competing with last year’s four other top performers for one of two $25 million funding packages. The top two regions will each get that, and the other three will split $25 million.

A group of the five less successful regions from last year will compete for three packages of $25 million in economic development aid. North Country REDC co-chair and Clarkson University president Tony Collins told the paper that “they’re trying to help those who didn’t do well last year.”

The total pot is $150 million plus $70 million in tax credits. In evaluating regions’ applications for aid, the state says it will consider successful implementation of past plans, job creation and global exports. Collins told the paper he thinks the North Country’s in a good position because of its strong relationship with Canada.

Applications for REDC funding are due August 15, with awards likely to be announced near the end of the year.


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4 Comments on “It’s Regional Economic Development Council time again!”

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  1. The Original Larry says:

    Here we go again, with the annual “New York’s Got Talent” approach to government. “Compete” and “award” are not words that should be applied to government spending. Tax dollars ought to be spent on projects that benefit the people and State of NY, not as the result of a “competition” that is really meant to buy votes. Let’s not forget that this is tax money that belongs to the people of New York and it is not the government’s to “award” after a “competition”. And what of towns and counties that are not so skilled at “competition” or that don’t have votes to sell? They lose out.

  2. Pete Klein says:

    Yes, here we go again with all the people who complain about taxes fighting over who gets use the tax dollars they hate to pay.
    Larry is correct. We could just as well call the NY version of The Hunger Games.

  3. The Original Larry says:

    No complaint about taxes right now, though god knows there’s enough there for its own thread. My objection is to representing government spending of OUR tax dollars as a lottery won by clever people. It’s vote buying of the lowest kind because it aims to trick people into thinking they’ve won something.

  4. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    I’m with OL on this. I believe there have been some good projects to come out of this whole scheme, and maybe there has been some increase in the number of people involved in decision making when done in this fashion which is good, but it really seems more a scheme for the governor to take credit for pork that used to be the pork legislators got to bring home and take credit for.

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