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Municipalities beginning construction upgrades with state aid

By HILARY LANE

At the end of 2011, Governor Andrew Cuomo's office awarded $60.2 million for 59 projects throughout the Mohawk Valley.

However, getting a hold of the millions of dollars to fund the projects is quite a lengthy process. Many municipalities are now receiving contracts from the state promising to reimburse for project costs.

These documents need to be signed and processed before any type of development or construction can begin. Therefore, many of the projects are still in their design phases.

$15 million was awarded to build the Marcy Technology Complex at SUNYIT. The 60,000 square foot building will consist of offices, classrooms, and laboratories to support the growing field of nanotechnology. Construction is expected to begin by the end of 2012.

In Rome, half a million dollars was allotted for a Little Italy colonnade downtown. This project is expected to break ground in the spring and will include bike trails, trees, and a scenic area to replace what is now old, vacant buildings.

Another project which received close to a million dollars in state funding is the Harborway on the Erie Canal. The city will use the money to develop a brownfield area and will create a new seawall and public infrastructure in the area. The project is expected to get underway in June 2012.

With over $60 million being spent on close to 60 projects throughout the region, the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Council is now in the process of discussing ways to oversee the various projects.

"What are ways without interfering? What ways can we better support these entities and these projects and track them," said Dr. Wolf Yeigh,Mohawk Valley Council Co-Chair. "It is not really oversight and top down but we are always asking what ways and what are some of the things can we do to help them instead of hinder them."

The council has created a a project tracking committee and a county liason committee to keep tabs on the status of and support the different projects throughout the region.

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