Hope for more money and jobs in the Southern Tier as Governor Andrew Cuomo paid a visit to Broome County Wednesday. The Governor was getting a progress report on the Southern Tier Regional Council's proposals. The battle for a second round of funding has begun. Our Melissa Kakareka shows us what kinds of projects might get a big boost.
BROOME COUNTY, N.Y. -- Governor Andrew Cuomo was greeted with applause at the Greater Binghamton Airport Wednesday. Cuomo was in Broome County to find out how the Southern Tier benefited from round one of the state's regional economic development funding.
"What we are trying to do is revolutionary in a lot of ways. We are trying to get the whole region together and forge partnerships with business and academia that have never been done before, partnerships with government," said Governor Andrew Cuomo.
The Southern Tier was awarded about $49 million last year for 58 projects such as improvements at BGM. The funding also went towards a Rural Initiative Fund Program, a Shovel Ready Program and a Community Revitalization Program. Officials say they are hoping to grow those loan and grant funds even more in round two of competition.
"We really want to grow those funds because they've been so successful. Our waiting list is much more than the funding we have," said Empire State Development Regional Director Kevin Mclaughlin.
Round two of competition will also have more focus on technology and innovation.
Cuomo toured BAE Systems in Endicott, which is proposing to integrate its HybriDrive product lines with the engineering curriculum at BU. In addition to the BAE proposal, Cuomo also heard more about Binghamton University's proposal for a high-tech incubator as well as a plan to expand the CAMM line at Endicott Interconnect.
"Those three projects around innovation and technology I think are going to be a theme for the next year of the CFA process," said Southern Tier Regional Economic Council Co-Chair Harvey Stenger.
The Governor says he is encouraged by the Southern Tier's proposals.
"You have high tech innovation, the marriage between high tech and academia but also rural and agriculture initiatives. The diversity, it’s very striking," said Cuomo.
Round two funding will be awarded around the end of this year.