Governor Andrew Cuomo turned economic development into a reality show competition this year and Central New York was the survivor.
Central New York’s list of projects to share in $1 billion in state funding won the largest chunk of money, more than $103 million. Oswego County project will get some of that money for six projects:
- $1.75 million for the Port of Oswego to improve truck access to the port, to improve a rail line coming into the port and to build a secure open-storage area;
- $716,000 for Grassman Energy to support the development and manufacturing of wind turbines;
- $400,000 for the village of Phoenix to improve its sanitary sewer system;
- $349,000 for Pulaski’s Fulton Thermal Corp. to expand;
- $300,000 for the city of Oswego to improve its west side sewer system;
- and $152,000 for Fulton’s Huhtamaki plant so it can expand into making a new line of cold cups.
Operation Oswego County Executive Director Mike Treadwell said the improvements to the Port of Oswego are key because the port is one of the larger drivers of the county’s economy. The money for Huhtamaki will allow the company to win a bid for new business, which will add up to 25 jobs, he said.
Treadwell said he was pleased with the outcome of the competition, which saw regions fight to have their plans judged the best against several criteria. Central New York’s five counties got a larger share of the available funds than any other region, including New York City.
The competition represented a shift from the longstanding model of economic development, in which proposed projects are considered on their own merits and scored against criteria to determine whether they’re eligible for funding.
Treadwell said he hopes that the state will keep the old system available because it’s much faster and more predictable than the regional competition.
He said the state allowed his agency to propose a project, soon to be announced, through the old system because the county would have lost the project through the slower competition system.