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Governor Andrew Cuomo announced early in his term that he'd be creating a set of "regional economic councils" to build plans for funding economic development across New York, from the ground up.In the summer of 2011 he finally announced some of the details of the program, to be led by Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy. The ten councils each have dozens of members, and are charged with gathering input from the public and business leaders, and creating a plan by November 14. Those plans will be pitted against each other for a pot of $1 billion in grants, incentives, and tax relief from various state agencies. The winners will get more funding, the losers will get less.But other details - like whether funding will be available past the initial term, and who will serve on the board that decides who wins and who loses - have not been released.The Innovation Trail is looking for your feedback about what your regional economic priorities are, and what you want your community to look like once the councils have completed their task.

The details: Cuomo's economic development plan

Marie Cusick
Governor Cuomo says he wants to streamline the bureaucracy that doles out job creation incentives.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo offered more details today about his plan to revitalize New York's economy, and overhaul the way the state funds economic development.

Ten regional councils will compete for money using a new consolidated funding application (CFA), which will allow them to access a billion-dollar pot of grants and tax credits from nine state agencies.

Most of that money will come from the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC), as well as the state's Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), and the Homes and Community Renewal agency.

Here's the breakdown (in millions):

  • ESDC $270
  • NYSERDA $175
  • Homes and Community Renewal $169
  • Department of Transportation $50
  • Environmental Facilities Corporation $20
  • Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation $13
  • Department of State $10
  • NYS Canal Corporation $1.5

Cuomo says he wants to put an end to a fragmented system of funding.
"There will be a compounding effect," he explained, "So ... you're going to build the same number of housing units. You'll have more of an impact on the community when you coordinate those housing units with transportation, with labor, with parks etcetera."

Each of the 10 councils will be charged with coming up with a long-term vision for its region's economic  future. Cuomo says the state won't prioritize any particular industry, but rather use the money to encourage regional cooperation.

The grants will be awarded by a selection committee made up of members from the participating agencies, with the ESDC at the helm.

In the coming weeks, Cuomo says he will release the grant applications, along with judging criteria to demonstrate what a winning application will look like.

WMHT/Capital Region reporter for the Innovation Trail.
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