Cuomo examines meager economic development progress in mid-Hudson
KINGSTON — Gov. Andrew Cuomo toured the first of the “losers” Thursday in the statewide competition for economic development dollars.
The seven-county mid-Hudson region, though, brought in just $67 million in 2011.
“We lost the first year,” said Leonard Schleifer, regional economic development council co-chair. He said the defeat was both annoying and motivating for 31-person council.
The formation of winners and losers is exactly what Cuomo said was intended by creating a region-versus-region competition for pots of state cash.
Cuomo told the 70 people gathered at the new winter home for the sloop Clearwater that the mid-Hudson hasn't historically worked well together.
“The economy doesn't recognize these false (city and county) boundaries,” he said.
Cuomo heard presentations on the few success stories from the first round of funding.
Ceres in the Town of Ulster will use their $764,000 in state funds to build solar process disposition equipment. The $22.8 million project will be complete in 2016 and create 73 jobs.
And the Walkway Over the Hudson received $400,000 to install a glass elevator connecting the Poughkeepsie waterfront to the Walkway. The 21-story elevator will be finished in fall 2013 and coincide with the opening of a waterfront park in Poughkeepsie.
Schleifer and other mid-Hudson leaders said they're gotten their act together in 2012.
The 2011 model contained 15 distinct strategies, leading to redundancies and little focus.
This time around, 20 of the 22 priority projects in 2012 are connected to either technology or natural resources.
Local projects on the docket this time around include: $11 million in grants and tax credits for the Crystal Run outpatient building in Monroe; $8.9 million for the proposed EPT Concord Resort in Kiamesha Lake; and $7 million for a 500,000-square-foot Matrix Distribution Park in the Town of Newburgh.