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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.

Four regional councils win big, but no one goes home empty-handed

Last summer when Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the creation of 10 new regional economic development councils, his emphasis was on competition.

Each region was charged with developing a five-year strategic economic development plan, which would then compete against the other plans for a billion-dollar pool of state funds.

But as he announced the awards Thursday in Albany, which totaled $785.5 million, it was apparent that everyone was a winner.

Four of the councils - Western and Central New York, plus Long Island and the North Country - took home the prize of "Best Plan" and were each awarded more than $100 million.

WMHT/Capital Region reporter for the Innovation Trail.
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