Montgomery County

Fulton and Montgomery counties submit dozens of projects for state grants

Economic development teams in Fulton and Montgomery counties have submitted dozens of “priority proj

Economic development teams in Fulton and Montgomery counties have submitted dozens of “priority projects” to the area’s regional economic development council for consideration in the state’s second round of grant funding.

The deadline to submit the list of priority projects to the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council was Friday, while the deadline to submit consolidated funding applications, the state’s new way to apply for economic development grants, is July 16. The state will announce awards sometime in October.

Some $25 million will be awarded for priority projects in the Mohawk Valley region. There is also $530 million in state funds available for CFAs statewide.

Ken Rose, executive director of the Montgomery County Industrial Development Agency, said his county submitted about 30 applications to the regional council.

“It was a mix of private, capital business projects, as well as municipal projects which range from small projects to projects much larger in scope,” he said. “I am optimistic we have some good, strong projects that will be funded.”

Michael Reese, executive director of the Fulton County Center for Regional Growth, said Fulton County also submitted applications to the regional council, but declined to provide a number.

Neither official would reveal details of the projects from their respective counties, citing confidentiality. The projects use code names on their applications, Reese said.

Last year, the regional council, which represents Fulton, Montgomery, Schoharie, Herkimer, Oneida and Otsego counties, identified 13 “priority projects.” In total, the region received $60.2 million for 59 projects. They included $2 million to develop the Tryon Technology Park and Incubator Center in Fulton County, which has yet to occur, and more than $3 million to support major private-public waterfront projects at key regional hubs, including Utica, Rome, Amsterdam and Frankfort.

Jason Conwall, a spokesman for Empire State Development, said the application process is highly competitive and this accounts for the necessary secrecy.

“We can’t discuss applications for the second round before they are submitted and after they are submitted. It is a competition, and if we were to talk about them, it would put someone at a disadvantage,” he said.

Applications will be scored on how well they meet state and regional strategic plans.

The higher the score, the better an application’s chance of receiving state funding, Conwall said. The maximum score is 100 points.

He said projects this year are reviewed by the regional council using new statewide endorsement standards. Projects can receive 20, 15, 10, 5 or 0 points from the council. Only priority projects will receive a score of 20 points. The state agency resource teams, representing various agencies that will provide funding, will give up to 80 points.

“The second round is identifying more projects to further develop our strategic plan,” Conwall said. “We are looking for transformational economic development growth.

“Governor Cuomo’s vision for the regional councils and economic development in [New York state] is a bottom-up, regionally-driven approach that emphasizes regional priorities. The state’s goal is to advance projects, strategies and industries identified and endorsed by each regional council. A priority project endorsement by a regional council is a strong message to the state that the particular project or set of projects is in line with the strategic plan and presents a clear opportunity for growth and development for that region.”

Projects can still be submitted separately by economic development agencies or counties for consideration by the state, he said.

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