Capital Region wins $50.3-million in economic development funds

Posted at: 12/19/2012 5:51 PM
Updated at: 12/19/2012 6:09 PM
By: Beth Wurtmann

ALBANY - "HONK! The next stop? The Capital Region's Economic Development Council. Welcoming Governor Cuomo..."

That's a clip of just one of the videos promoting the second round of economic development awards and the ten regions of New York including the Capital Region, all competing for the funding to spark business and job growth.

"If we are creating jobs if we're bringing businesses here, if we're attracting people, then that is the locomotive that pulls the train," Governor Andrew Cuomo told the packed crowd at The Egg.

738-million-dollars in tax breaks and incentives were up for grabs. Five Regions to our north and west, receiving over 90-million-dollars.

But the Capital Region was granted the lowest award, 50.3-million. 13-million less than last year.

"Nothing to sneeze at. You know if anyone were to say, 'here Capital Region, here's 50 million for economic development.' We're going not going to say, no we don't want it? Of course we're not," said James Barba, CEO of Albany Medical Center and Co-Chair of the council that guided the Capital Region's proposal.

Barba said the region's current strengths in Nanotech and biomedical research may have played into the decision, since other regions need a bigger economic boost.

"I'm still excited about it and we think we have a great plan, you know, competition's a competition. But I think we're in good shape," said Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, RPI President and Co-Chair of the local Regional Economic Development Council.

"We're not going to bring New York back to where it was. We're going to bring New York to a level it's never been. That's what we're going to do together. Thank you and god bless you," said Cuomo in his final remarks.

Some of the local projects getting funding include $850,000 for rebuilding efforts in Prattsville.

$950,000 to redevelop Albany's waterfront. and four-million to preserve Kiernan Plaza in downtown Albany.