economic development

Matt Ryan / WMHT

Recommendations on how to go forward with some of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s economic development contracts tainted by scandal are expected to be out soon, according to the governor’s economic development chairman.

Buffalo businessman and Empire State Development Chairman Howard Zemsky is trying to pick up the pieces after nine criminal complaints were issued against two former Cuomo associates, including a top former aide, along with the former head of SUNY Polytechnic Institute, who oversaw the contracts for the Buffalo Billion and other projects.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The central New York economy is the focus of a new report by the state comptroller’s office. An analysis of how the region has recovered since the recession shows some improvements but also many challenges.

All five counties in the central New York region are below the state’s median household income. The regional unemployment rate is higher the state average. And the child poverty rate in Syracuse and Fulton are significantly higher than the state average. The region includes Onondaga, Oswego, Cayuga, Cortland and Madison Counties.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

An experiment in government consolidation has failed in central New York -- a victim of a difference of opinion over how to create jobs and promote economic growth in Syracuse and Onondaga County and the continued deterioration of the relationship between the mayor and county executive.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

The scandal over Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s economic development programs has led to more scrutiny of whether the projects are the best way to improve the state’s economy, and some watchdog groups are asking questions.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo had harsh words for the state’s comptroller, a fellow Democrat, over questions about the value of the state’s economic development programs.

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has conducted audits raising questions about the value of some of the programs, saying there’s not enough documentation in some cases that New Yorkers are getting their money’s worth.

Cuomo, speaking Tuesday in Buffalo, struck back when asked about DiNapoli and others who suggest the programs should be redesigned.

Wallyg / Flickr

A routine oversight hearing by the state Assembly turned testy when the state’s economic development czar endured over two hours of questions about Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s economic development programs, which are currently under federal investigation.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

With the discussion surrounding a federal probe of contracts connected to the Buffalo Billion, there are concerns about possible effects on any related economic development projects throughout the upstate New York area.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced in March that two companies would be coming to Rochester, creating hundreds of jobs as a result of the recent push into photonics, which involves the use of light in robotics, medical imaging and other fields.

File Photo
SUNY Polytechnic

Until recently, Alain Kaloyeros, leader of the SUNY Polytechnic Institute, has been the darling of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration. But now, he’s one of the figures at the center of federal and state investigations into alleged pay-to-play schemes for economic development projects and is increasingly on the outs with the administration. 

Julia Botero / WRVO news

The Hounsfield Town Planning Board voted unanimously last night to allow Dollar General to build a store on Route 3, near the village of Sackets Harbor. Residents who both oppose and support the development came to the meeting to voice their opinions Tuesday evening. After a heated exchange of viewpoints, many residents walked out. Others stayed and interrupted the board’s review of the Dollar General's site plans.

Julia Botero / WRVO News

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is introducing a new Hunger Games-style competition, this time aimed at downtown revitalization. Struggling communities in regions across the state will compete for their share of $100 million. Watertown’s mayor thinks his city has what it takes to compete.

A shrinking population? Check. A struggling economy? Check.

But Watertown’s' downtown development hasn't been all doom and gloom. Quite the opposite. The old Woolworth building was renovated into apartments. Mercy Hospital was torn down and a mixed-use building is going up in its place.

Tug Hill Commission

Last week, the Tug Hill Commission hired its first female executive director.

The Tug Hill is full of tiny isolated towns and villages spread out across the plateau. Supervisors of these towns are dealing with populations so small, they’re sometimes the only person on the job.  To handle anything from grant writing to balancing their town's budget, they sometimes reach out  to the Tug Hill Commission for advice. 

Syracuse University

Central New York’s upstate revitalization proposal calls for $12.5 million to be invested to create Syracuse University’s National Veteran’s Resources Complex. The university recently asked 30 architectural design firms to submit proposals on the look and layout of the new facility.

The plan is to select three or four finalists in late January and a winner in April. Mike Haynie, the vice chancellor for veteran and military programs at Syracuse University, said currently, the military and veteran programs at the university are scattered across campus.  

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Three of seven regions in upstate New York were awarded $500 million dollars each in economic development money, in a contest by Gov. Andrew Cuomo that critics have called the “hunger games.”

The annual awards ceremony took on a game show atmosphere, with lots of slick videos, and an enthusiastic announcer.

The three winning regions Rochester-Finger Lakes, central New York, and the Southern Tier, each received $500 million each in economic development money, phased in over a five-year period.

Roxanne Mourhess says the milk trucks roll by her antique store every day. The store is a 150-year-old former church on the main drag in Campbell, New York, a small town near Corning. The store is just down the street from the weathered, light blue grocery store. In the other direction, a Kraft plant puffs out steam by the railroad tracks. Mourhess couldn’t believe it when she heard that the plant was slated for closure. 

“Your immediate reaction is, ‘Oh my gosh, another manufacturing industry in our town, and thus our country, is not going to be here,’” she says.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

 

Later this week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is scheduled to hand out more than $2 billion in economic development funds to regional groups. But a budget watchdog group says there needs to be better measurements to show how many jobs have actually been created and retained.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

 

Political and private sector leaders from around the state are spending three days at the Capitol, making their best case to win a share of $1.5 billion in economic development monies for their region. Critics have called the competition the “hunger games," because under the rules three regions will win, but four others will lose out on the funds.

Perhaps the most ambitious plan presented by the regions competing for the money may be returning the Olympics to New York.  

Jefferson County

The Watertown International Airport will soon have a longer runway. A federal grant for the project will pave the way for larger jets.

The runway at the Watertown Airport will be extended by a 1,000 feet thanks to a $3.5 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration. Right now, American Airlines, which operates two flights a day from Watertown to Philadelphia, switches from a 50-seat jet down to a smaller propeller plane in the winter. With the longer runway, American Airlines will be able to stick with their larger planes all year. 

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been making frequent trips to upstate cities this summer, touting his success in reviving the regions’ faltering economy. But a new report from the New York state comptroller on job creation shows there is still some work to do.

Watertown Airport

A new building and hangar at the Watertown Airport has opened to serve the growing needs of the local business community.

There are two parts to the Watertown Airport just outside the city -- there’s the commercial side where passengers board the two American Airlines flights to Philadelphia each day, and there’s the side that caters to private businesses. Jim Nabywaniec is a Jefferson County legislator who helps oversee projects at the airport.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The Central New York Regional Economic Development Council is getting ready to put together a proposal for the latest competition for state economic development dollars.  

Julia Botero / WRVO News

The race for mayor in Watertown is heating up. Three candidates have thrown their hat in the ring to run against incumbent Jeff Graham in November's election. 

Stephen Jennings, Joseph  Butler and Mayor Jeffrey Graham work together on a weekly basis. Both Jennings and Butler are city council members.  Both believe the city needs a new leader at the top.

“There is no vision to me. That is my great frustration and I feel that the things I envision are not going to be enacted in this current council. I think we need a change,” Jennings said.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The New York State Fair began public meetings on Wednesday to discuss how it will spend $50 million in state funds to renovate the fairgrounds. So far, proposals for the renovations would require tearing down a piece of Syracuse history.

At stake is about 70 acres of land where the Grandstand at the New York State Fairgrounds currently sits.

County Executive Joanie Mahoney unveiled a plan back in March to replace the Grandstand and the oval-shaped Moody Mile dirt race track that surrounds it with an equestrian park, multi-use indoor ice complex and new RV park.

Central NY leaders get to work on entry for economic development competition

Apr 10, 2015

It's only been a little over a week since the state legislature approved an upstate economic development competition in the budget, but central New York community leaders are already beginning to try to figure out their entry. At stake is $500 million from the state to help revitalize the economy in the manner of the Buffalo Billion in western New York.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO News File Photo

The lieutenant governor for New York says the state has money for infrastructure investment in sources other than the economic development competitions.

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul said during a recent visit to Syracuse she understands the need for infrastructure upgrades in upstate, but disagrees with some leaders, including Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, who say fixing pipes and roads is necessary for economic development.

Karen Dewitt / WRVO News

Legislative leaders say despite their differences with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, they intend to continue their streak of on time budgets by approving the spending plan on time for the fifth year in a row.

Durrie Bouscaren / WRVO File

Among the debates in Albany this budget season -- what to do with $5.4 billion in surplus money from a state settlement with banks. Much of that discussion has come down to two options for spending a portion of the cash --either on economic development or infrastructure.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney and New York State Fair officials have Gov. Andrew Cuomo squarely in their corner as they advance plans to make dramatic changes at the fairgrounds in Geddes.  

Ryan Delaney / WRVO file photo

There’s a big chunk of state funding on the table for investment in upstate New York’s communities and not surprising, there are a lot of opinions for what the funds should be spent on.

Rob Simpson is in charge of CenterState CEO. His organization represents 2,000 regional businesses. In the role, he’s close with both New York’s governor and local leaders.

governorandrewcuomo / via Flickr

The head of New York state’s economic development agency says a recent report questioning its success is flawed.

In his testimony to a state Legislature budget hearing, outgoing Empire State Development Corporation Commissioner Kenneth Adams said the comptroller’s report on his agency is misleading.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO file photo

There will be another competition for state economic development dollars, if the state legislature approves spending $1.5 billion for Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposed Upstate New York Economic Revitalization Competition. At least one Central New York Economic development official is ready for the challenge.

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