PLATTSBURGH - The North Country Regional Economic Development Council last week submitted its progress report to the state of New York to meet the Aug. 15 deadline.
The report includes a description of how the Council advanced its plan, revisions to its vision statement and strategies, and adjustments to its committees to address 2014 priorities.
Additionally, the NCREDC provided the state with its list of the 25 priority projects for the fourth round of the Regional Council competition.
The progress report can be found on the North Country Regional Council's website at www.northcountryopenforbusiness.com.
"This year's Progress Report really confirms how strongly the North Country is performing under the new regional economic development process," said Garry Douglas, president of the North Country Chamber of Commerce and co-chair of the NCREDC. "Every one of the more than 70 priority projects funded in the last three rounds is completed or progressing. Every one of our strategies is advancing. And every one of our targeted sectors is seeing signs of positive transformation."
In 2014, the NCREDC continued to revise its strategies and adjusted its committees/work groups in response to the governor's charge of 2014 priorities:
-Global Marketing, Export and Foreign Direct Investment Strategies
-Regional Workforce Development
-Veterans Participation in the Workforce
The following 25 projects, located across the seven-county region, were endorsed by the Council as regional priorities for the fourth round of the Regional Council competition and submitted to the state for recommended direct funding:
-Carthage- West Carthage Joint Wastewater Treatment Facility Improvement Project
-Adirondack Teleworks Gateway
-Twinstate Technologies Expansion
-North American Tapes Production Expansion Project
-AIME High II Job Training program
-Regional Arts and Interactive Learning (RAIL) Revitalization Project
-TriTown Packing Slaughter Facility Upgrade and Expansion
-Empire State Winter Games Go Global
-Replacement Health Center for Champlain
-Robotic Farming for Local Food Production
-Closing the Skills Gap
-ACAP Workforce Development
-Grand Slam Safety Equipment Acquisition
-NCCC Flanagan Hotel Co-location Project
-Cleaner Greener Communities One Stop Shop
-TAP Industries' Ag Plastic Project
-Hamilton County Tourism Infrastructure Assistance Program
-North Country Regional Revitalization Fund
-Planting Hope Project
-Adirondack Community-Based Trails and Lodging System (ActLs)
-Adirondack Product Branding Phase II
-NY Rising Initiative Ausable Forks Fire Department
The following list of Other Regionally Significant Priorities and Initiatives is also included in the progress report:
-Fort Drum Sustainability and Retention Activities
-Cleaner Greener Communities Sustainability Plan
-Agriculture Program Funding
-Adirondack Club and Resort
-Early learning and affordable day care across the region
-Medical Provider Recruitment
-Industrial Site Redevelopment
-ORDA managed facilities improvements
-Housing and community infrastructure renewal
-Connectivity with Quebec and Ontario
To continue building on the success of the last three rounds, up to $750 million in state resources is available in 2014. Funding for the fourth round includes $220 million in competitive funds from Empire State Development ($150 million in capital and $70 million in tax credits) to implement regional strategic plans and continue to advance priority job-creating projects, and up to $530 million from state agency programs through the CFA to support regionally significant economic development projects.
The competition will be split into two parts: the five regions identified as Top Performers in 2013 will compete for two awards of $25 million each; and the five regions not identified as Top Performers in 2013 will compete for three awards of $25 million each. The balance of the $25 million in capital funds will be divided among the remaining five regions. Each region will also be eligible for up to $10 million in Excelsior Tax Credits to help attract business and create jobs in the region.
The competition this year will focus on:
-Implementation of regional strategic economic development plans;
-Performance in encouraging economic growth through job creation and investment; and
-Identification of global marketing and export strategies.
Funding awards for the fourth round of the CFA process are expected to be announced by the end of the year.
The NCREDC - composed of Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties - is one of 10 regional councils across New York. The NCREDC was named a "Top Performer" in 2013 and 2012, in addition to its Strategic Plan being named a "Best Plan Awardee" in December 2011. There are 222 projects across the region that have been awarded a total of $274.7 million in the statewide competition.