With the third round of the state's regional economic development council competition under way, the Central New York Regional Economic Development Council is aiming for its third straight victory in the annual contest.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled plans for the competition Wednesday in Albany. The 10 regional councils — Capital Region, Central New York, Finger Lakes, Long Island, Mid-Hudson, Mohawk Valley, New York City, North Country, Southern Tier, and Western New York — will be competing for five top performer awards.
The award winners will receive up to $25 million each to fund projects in their region. The five regions that don't win top performer awards will share $25 million.
In addition to the state funding, each regional council will be eligible to receive up to $10 million in tax credits.
More state funds will be available through the consolidated funding application, or CFA, process. Approximately $540 million from several state agencies will be available to fund projects in every region. CFA application materials will be released in early June. The deadline to submit applications will be Tuesday, Sept. 24.
This is the third year the state has held the competition. The regional councils were formed two years ago by Cuomo and in 2011 and 2012, the state distributed $1.5 billion to the regions to help fund more than 1,400 projects, according to the governor's office.
Central New York was victorious in the first two years of the competition. In 2011, the region won one of four best plan awards for its strategic plan and received $103.7 million in state funding for 74 projects.
Last year, central New York won a top performer award in a competition with other 2011 winners and received $93.8 million for 73 projects.
"Over the past two years, the regional economic development councils have been a tremendous success, transforming our state's approach to job creating from a traditional Albany top-down model to a community-based, bottom-up process," Cuomo said in a statement. "From Niagara Falls to Plattsburgh to Long Island, the results are clear in communities all across the state as new projects are being launched, creating jobs and supporting local economic growth. Today we are building on that success, convening local job creators and community leaders from across the state to officially kick off round three of the regional councils."
The regional councils will have an additional task this year. The councils will draw up plans for regional incubators as part of the state's innovation hot spots challenge. Five plans will be chosen this year, with five more selected next year.
This week on Eye on NY: Interview with Maffei, recap of tourism planning session
Check out the Eye on NY blog for an interview with U.S. Rep. Dan Maffei, D-DeWitt. Maffei discusses the progress of the Harriet Tubman National Historical Parks Act, student loan rates and other issues.
Also, read interviews with two local and regional tourism officials about Friday's strategic planning session in Syracuse. More than 100 people attended the session, which followed the state tourism summit held earlier this month in Albany.