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Twin Counties receive $3.2M for economic development

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    Sen. George Amedore Jr., R-46, at the 2017 Regional Economic Development Awards at the seventh annual ceremony in Albany on Wednesday. The Capital Region was awarded $85 million as a Top Performer for 110 economic development projects.
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    Capital Region officials and representatives at the 2017 Regional Economic Development Awards at the seventh annual ceremony in Albany on Wednesday. The Capital Region was awarded $85 million as a Top Performer for 110 economic development projects.
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    Gov. Andrew Cuomo announces the 2017 Regional Economic Development Awards at the Albany Capital Center on Wednesday.
December 13, 2017 06:57 pm

The Twin Counties received a combined $3.2 million award Wednesday at the seventh annual Regional Economic Development Council Awards ceremony to drive regional economic growth.

The Capital Region received a total $85 million as a Top Performer at the ceremony, which was led by Gov. Andrew Cuomo at the Albany Capitol Center on Eagle Street.

The award will support 110 projects.


Several projects in Columbia County were awarded over $2.6 million Wednesday.

“The Columbia Economic Development Corporation is elated by the governor’s most recent REDC awards,” said F. Michael Tucker, president of the CEDC. “The county did exceptionally well.”

The county’s awards include:

n Basilica Arts Inc. was awarded $120,000 to hire a new development manager to help expand and implement a multifaceted fundraising program with individual donors, corporate sponsors and institutional funders.

n 723 Warren St. LLC, Hudson, received $120,000 to restore and renovate the historic former Park Theater, to create open commercial space.

n COARC Columbia County Chapter of NYSARC Inc. received $230,000 to purchase machinery and equipment to expand electronics recycling opportunities.

n Columbia-Greene Community College was awarded $50,330 to provide eligible participants with training for a Class A or B Commercial Drivers License.

n Columbia Land Conservancy was given $51,776 to improve a nearly 1-mile section of the Green Trail at Hand Hollow Conservation Area in New Lebanon.

n Digital Fabrication Workshop Inc. received $500,000 to purchase equipment to expand into two new markets focusing on cross-laminated timber and automated laser-cutting of tube and sheet metal parts.

n Hudson Hall was awarded $45,000 for a workforce readiness program to build a trained workforce to run expanded programming. It will to build opportunities for teaching artists and for impoverished residents.

n Hudson Mohawk Resource Conservation Development Council was given $500,000 to assist Capital Region producers offset capital costs associated with meeting Good Agricultural Practices certification and participation in the state Grown & Certified program.

n PGS Millwork Inc. received $300,000 to purchase adjacent land for expansion of the facility, renovation and purchase of machinery and equipment

n River House Project LLC was given $225,000 to renovate a historic schoolhouse building in Hudson to create workspace for creative professionals and enterprises focusing on multimedia and film production.

n Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon was awarded $49,400 to expand its director of advancement position from part-time to full-time.

n The Olana Partnership Inc. was given $420,000 to restore Frederic Church’s ornamental and working farm at the Olana State Historic Site including removal of a parking lot on the site of the Kitchen Garden, construction of a new parking lot, landscape restoration and creation of an accessible pedestrian connection to the restored Kitchen Garden.

n Together with Greene County, the Thomas Cole Historic House was awarded $225,000 for the Skywalk marketing campaign to introduce the Skywalk Region as an internationally-significant destination, using an

advertising campaign, special exhibitions at the Thomas Cole Historic House and Olana State Historic Site, coordinated visitor research and new-to-the-state special events including a Skywalk Arts Festival.

“I think it is important that awards were given to broad base of projects including public, private and non-profit projects,” Tucker said. “When you look at Columbia County we have manufacturers as well as infrastructure projects and nonprofits as well.”

Assemblywoman Didi Barrett, D-106, refused to speak directly Wednesday about particular projects within her district that won awards, but congratulated the region.

“Great news for Capital Region REDC team. Congrats!” the assemblywoman tweeted Wednesday. “Congrats to Mid-Hudson REDC team. Great work!”


Greene County was awarded $662,000 for projects to drive local economic development.

n Catskill Mountain Housing Development Corp. was awarded $300,000 to assist in the renovation of mixed-use buildings on Main Street in the village.

n Village of Catskill received $85,000 to develop a Local Waterfront Revitalization Program for the village’s Hudson River waterfront that incorporates strategies and proposed projects that address resiliency. The program will identify a vision to revitalize the waterfront and downtown area that considers sea level rise and future flooding.

n Thomas Cole Historic House received $52,000 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Thomas Cole’s arrival from England with an exhibition and arts festival that will take place in the Hudson Valley landscape. The project is a partnership with Yale, Olana, and the state Bridge Authority, to coincide with a major Cole show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Catskill Village President Vincent Seeley and the board were pleased to receive the grant money, which he said could not have come at a better time as the village of Catskill has seen plenty of recent development.

“We are a hot spot in the Hudson Valley and we need to continue to step up our game for the needs of the tourists, residents and new residents,” Seeley said.

All businesses will benefit from this grant money, especially those that have been in the village for a long time such as La Conca D’oro, an Italian restaurant on Main Street.

“We’re rewarding the people who have stuck it out,” Seeley said. “The award will help so many people make so many needed repairs.”

The village Board of Trustees will remain involved in the process and Seeley said planning the projects will start immediately. Improvements and construction will likely occur in late spring 2018.

“We will make sure we stay part of the process,” Seeley said.

Catskill Planning Board Secretary Nancy Richards said the local waterfront revitalization money will help to update the village’s planning and zoning. The money will also help the village put guidelines into place about which businesses will open on the waterfront.

“It will put us in a better place for development in Catskill,” Richards said. “We are so thrilled to get that.”

Richards hopes to see more money for renovations on Main Street as the village experiences development.

“We’ve had three of those grants already,” Richards said. “It has helped us so much with the upgrade on the west side and here on Main Street. This will hopefully be the final touch.”

Since 2011, the Regional Economic Development Council has awarded funds for economic and community development throughout the state. Wednesday’s awards were presented through Round VII of the initiative, with more than $755 million given statewide.

In 2011, Cuomo established 10 regional councils to develop long-term strategic plans for economic growth in their regions. Over $5.4 billion has been awarded to more than 6,300 projects since the project’s inception.

The awarded projects are expected to create and retain more than 220,000 jobs in the state.

“Over the past seven years, the Regional Economic Development Councils have successfully brought together the most innovative minds in economic development, fostering collaboration between state and local leaders to invest in New York’s regional resources from the ground up,” Cuomo said in a statement. “These awards are critical to building the foundations for New York’s future and ensuring that our economic momentum continues. I congratulate each of the Councils on their awards and look forward to continuing to partner to keep our communities vibrant and thriving for years to come.”

I'm a one-issue advocate only noticing that "Greene County was awarded $662,000" is almost exactly the same as the $622,978.95 paid by Mr. Groden for "plans" for a new jail. Sorry, all of that was wasted. They were as defective as the false statistics from Ricci Greene, who was appropriately fired.

As for the economic development money for Greene County... what business, what tech or industry is supported? None. Columbia took 10 million and made a tech waterfront... now self-sustaining. Communities have to create NEW money to become self-sustaining. Let's see, but there's no genuine plan here. Yes, Thomas Cole, Yes, Lumberyard, Yes Bridge Street Theater... but where is the tech or industry?