Business owners – large and small -and reps from the health care, education, and government sectors gathered onThursday to discuss the economy of OtsegoCounty.
Senator James Seward held an economic summit to bring the communitytogether in order to grow the county’s economy.
Senator Seward says he wasdisappointed when he reviewed the state funding Otsego County received throughthe regional economic development councils, set up to spur economic growth.
“$60.2 million came to the MohawkValley Region and Otsego County only received $3.6 million,” he says.
Seward says he’s hoping to up thatnumber when the next round of funding comes around. But that will only happen if the county workstogether and organizes itself, as area economic expert Linda Hartsock tellsEyewitness News.
“This is a shared process, no oneorganization drives it, it’s really a community endeavor. Communities that areorganized, that have well-constructed, well-thought out plans and haveidentified priority projects that will really change the community will be thecommunities that win at this game,” she says.
She spoke with those who attended thesummit about how to go about doing this, working to become relevant in the neweconomy and working with the opportunities the county has.
“It has an enormous amount ofassets to build on from cultural venues, to educational institutions, towonderful historic downtowns and still a rich legacy of manufacturing, so Ithink telling that story is the first step,” says Hartsock.
One of the key parts of today’s summitwas breakout sessions where those in attendance discussed economic developmentfrom different points of view.
Senator Seward says this is just thebeginning of many positive economic development talks to come, and he was veryimpressed with the turnout and energy at the summit today.