Schenectady County

Schenectady projects win state funds

City mixed-use project is among big winners

Several Capital Region development projects reaped significant funding Thursday as part of the governor’s annual economic awards program.

The Capital Region Economic Development Council won $83.1 million — the second-highest amount handed out this year, behind only the Mid-Hudson region.

Regional projects, including a few in Schenectady, won funding as part of the state’s Regional Economic Development Council program, in which 10 regions vied for a slice of around $750 million in funding.

The Capital Region and the Mohawk Valley councils were among five “top performers” in the competition. As a result, they each received bonus funding for their projects.

Top performers received around $80 million through the program, while the other five councils’ awards came in around $60 million.

On Thursday, at the Hart Theater in the Egg, Gov. Andrew Cuomo was joined by Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul and Empire State Development CEO Howard Zemsky to announce the awards in an awards show-style format. Each regional council learned of its award amount after a brief video displayed some of that region’s economic projects.

“I like the competitive aspect of it,” Cuomo told reporters after the event. He created the 10 regional economic development councils in 2011, changing the way the state doles out economic development funding.

The councils are made up of local stakeholders from businesses, government and academia. After coming up with proposals, each council pitches its ideas to state decision-makers. Those proposals are weighed against those from other regions, with the best pitches getting the most funding, according to the rules of the program.

Thursday marked the sixth round of awards for the development initiative. In the previous five rounds, the Capital Region council received a combined total of $353.9 million in state funding for its proposed projects.

In total, the Capital Region council, which represents Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren and Washington counties, had 116 projects that garnered funding.

The Mill Artisan District, a project that seeks to renovate seven buildings on lower State Street to create a hub of housing, artists’ studios and office space, was among the Schenectady projects to receive state funding. The project cost is listed at $14.1 million, and it received $2.325 million.

The Mohawk Harbor Visitor Center also received funding for a plan to build a walking trail, a visitors center with public restrooms and space for boats to dock. That project received $150,000 in state funds.

Schenectady County Community College, the Glenville Business Park and others received varying levels of funding as well.

“These grant awards will help us leverage private funding to create jobs and bring even more excitement to Schenectady County,” said Schenectady County Legislature Chairman Anthony Jasenski, in a prepared statement.

Saratoga County won funding for 10 projects, including one that involves transit improvements at the corner of Maple and Lake avenues in Saratoga Springs.

In Ballston, $200,000 will go toward establishing a microenterprise program in the town.

The Mohawk Valley region, which includes Fulton, Montgomery and Schoharie counties, garnered $81.9 million for 88 projects. In Fulton County, the Gloversville Public Library won a $500,000 grant that will be used to improve the building’s infrastructure. And Nathan Littauer Nursing Home received $46,000 to upgrade to a more modern primary care facility.

Montgomery County had several projects receive funding, including a grant for $85,000 to fund an analysis of the former Beechnut plant in Canajoharie. Elsewhere, the city of Amsterdam received $62,000 for the creation of the John Sampone Senior Memorial Park, a project that has been in the works for more than 10 years on the city’s south side.

Schoharie County had 11 projects win funding, with most of them focused on infrastructure. For example, the villages of Cobleskill and Richmondville will use grants for improvements to their water systems, while the Village of Schoharie will use a nearly $400,000 grant to improve access to the Schoharie Creek.

Categories: Schenectady County

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