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Southern Tier gets millions for economic development

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Southern Tier gets millions for economic development
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The Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council brought home some good money to revitalize the economies from Steuben County to Delaware County. Our Katie Husband has more on the big projects in the region and how leaders changed their game plan to make sure they came away with a bigger share of the pot this time around.

SOUTHERN TIER, N.Y. -- Southern Tier leaders feel relieved after making out well at the New York State Regional Economic Development Council Awards Ceremony.

"Great news for the Southern Tier. It's such a relief everybody worked very hard on the Southern Tier Regional Council to get almost twice as much money as we did last year," said George Miner, President of Southern Tier Economic Growth.

In fact, $91.1 million was awarded for 62 projects from Corning to Binghamton to bring economic life back to the area.

"Bringing back some excitement to those downtown areas with our community revitalization program, as well as adding to the very strong agricultural industry that's in the Southern Tier and then on top of that, adding some advanced manufacturing and some high technology to the mix," said Harvey Stenger, Binghamton University president.

Seven million dollars, the biggest chunk of money, will go toward the Southern Tier High Technology Incubator, which is a partnership between Binghamton University and the regional economic development community.

Corning Incorporated will get $3 million for the expansion of its manufacturing facility in the Town of Erwin.

"That's a big part of the governor's initiative is the high-tech transfer from our university centers to manufacturing," said Miner.

The council brought in just $49.4 million last year. Members used that as a wake-up call for this second round.

"We really learned from last year what the governor was looking for instead of your traditional build a factory, build a distribution center, it wasn't just jobs, jobs, jobs. He was looking for more investment in technology-driven type projects and obviously a lot more investment in community revitalization," said Miner.

But one project remains in limbo. The Elmira Regional City Center didn't make the list because of some ongoing legal issues.

"I've been told by the governor's staff that they love the project, what we need to do is get the fraud charges dropped and removed against the developer of that project because it's just not responsible way to use public tax dollars, local or state for that matter," said Miner.

Elmira City officials should hear by mid-January if the charges against Elzufon have been removed or not. If they don't get the state funding for the project, it's back to the drawing board.

To see who got what funding, visit regionalcouncils.ny.gov.

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