Tools

MV Regional Economic Council sets plans for 2012

By HILARY LANE

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Council met Thursday afternoon to discuss its strategic plan for 2012.

The group discussed its focus and vision for this new year and how it will spend the money they were awarded in 2011.

This time around, the council is focusing on implementing the prize money they won from Governor Cuomo's office last year.

"We have a lot of projects that have been funded and the big plan now is to make sure those projects do what we promised," says Larry Gilroy, Co-chair of the Mohawk Valley Economic Regional Council. "The sense that we have from the state is that, if we can show real progress on the projects, it will be that much easier to get the next round of projects funded."

2011 was the first year Governor Andrew Cuomo launched the initiative to divide the state into ten regional economic councils and have them all face-off for millions of dollars in funding.

Last year, the Mohawk Valley came in ninth place out of ten councils, but didn't come home empty-handed.

"I know there is some trepidation that the Mohawk Valley was not in the top four," said Lt Governor Duffy. "I come from a region that was not in the top four, so I understand the feelings, but there is no winners and losers on this."

The Mohawk Valley walked away with $60 million allocated for 59 different projects in our area, including fiber-optics systems, grants to local colleges and universities, and millions of dollars for nano-tech programs at SUNYIT in Utica, where Thursday's meeting was held.

This year, the economic council is acting as watch-dogs. It is creating sub-committees and oversight groups to make sure the money awarded last year gets spent properly.

"There are a diverse array of projects that we have, so it's going to require not just one type of oversight, but as many oversight mechanisms as we can to make sure we are going to be good stewards of the public dollars," says Dr. Wolf Yeigh, Mohawk Valley Economic Council Co-chair.

The economic council stressed that its goal is to be transparent and accessible to the public.

You can find out more information about the council and how you can get involved at www.nyworks.ny.gov/content/mohawk-valley

What's On