Officials gather to discuss economic strategies for Otsego County
ONEONTA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Out of the $60.2 million of state funds awarded to the Mohawk Valley for economic development projects in 2011, only a little over $1 million was allotted to Otsego County. On Tuesday, State Senator James Seward publicly presented some of the ideas proposed by residents, business leaders, and local politicians to promote economic development in the community and win more money from the state this year. One of the ideas on the table is connecting with big employers in the area such as Springbrook, Bassett Healthcare, and Chobani. "They are national enterprises and they have a network of people. If they hear about an opportunity for growth in the area, they can spread the message," said Doug Gulotty, Otsego County Development Corporation. "If they hear something of interest, we are asking them to bring it to us." The goal is to only entice new businesses to come to the area, but also support companies that already call Otsego County home. Increased water and sewer access as well as improvements to roads and bridges are also expected to be included in the county's strategic plan. At the top of the priority list is upgrading the area to high speed internet. "Let's face it. In this day and age, to make Otsego County a successful place to live, you need access to broadband," said Senator James Seward. "People doing business, of course, also need it." Otsego County will be submitting their plan for economic development at the end of September in hopes of winning state money to fund local projects. Residents who would like to contribute to the plan should call (607) 432-8871.