“Well, this particular meeting is an opportunity for us as a region to demonstrate to the state the things that are happening in our region. Individual localities but also how we’re working together to make the whole region, all six counties move forward into the future,” Dustin Swanger, Co-chair of the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council said.
But ultimately regional councils will compete for up to $150 million in capital grants and $75 million in Excelsior tax credits for projects identified by the regional councils as regional priorities in their communities.
“We have over $200 million invested in our downtown because of our regional council. We talk about our harbor that will be a transformation of our great region and what we’re looking for at this point is attracting people in the Mohawk Valley,” Rob Palmieri, Utica Mayor said.
With 39 priority projects in round VII of the Regional Economic Development Council Competition, a priority was to keep young people in the area as more and more leave the area to go and find jobs and better places to live.
“It takes having cool places to be it takes having diverse living opportunities whether it’s apartments or condos or reclaimed space in old warehouses those kinds of things that are attractive to younger folks and older folks to some extent are important,” Swanger said.
Following the panel discussion, the strategic implementation assessment team comprised of New York state agency commissioners and outside experts toured the area as part of its review and recommendation process.
“That helps them judge them which regions should be top priority winners, and which ones are not top priority winners but everybody is gonna get something from the state which is awesome and great for all of us,” Swanger said.