Saratoga County received some $4.3 million in economic and community development funding through Round VIII of the Regional Economic Development Council initiative. The funding covers 10 projects.
The money is part of $67 million awarded to 95 projects in the Capital Region. The state awarded a total of $763 million statewide.
Key among the local funding was $1,695,000 awarded to Saratoga Performing Arts Center for two different projects.
Some $195,000 is for a multi-media marketing campaign designed to increase cultural tourism. SPAC will increase cultural tourism to Saratoga Springs and the Capital District overall, by creating and executing an integrated marketing campaign (Television, Digital/Social media and print) to promote it as a world class arts and culture destination to travel decision makers in suburban communities.
Some $1 million is to replace aging infrastructure and provide new facilities. These facilities will include classroom and gathering spaces that will be utilized in expanding educational programs, audience development and community engagement activities benefiting the diverse and underserved populations.
Another $500,000 will help replace aging and inadequate restroom and concession facilities to improve visitor experiences, increase attendance, employment opportunities, and tourism.
“SPAC’s vision for the future includes a much larger footprint in the region, including expanding the wide array of arts, culture and education programs and opportunities that it currently provides to residents, tourists and surrounding communities, who represent a large economic driver for the region. In order to continue to serve our half-a-million visitors a year, our 52-year old facilities must be updated and rehabilitated to reflect its status as a best-in-class, internationally recognized cultural institution,” said Elizabeth Sobol, SPAC’s president and CEO.
Established in 2011 as a centerpiece of the state’s strategy to jump-start the economy and create jobs, the Regional Councils replaced the state’s old top-down approach to economic development with one that is community-based and performance-driven. The initiative empowers communities, business and academic leaders, as well as members of the public in each region of the state, to develop strategic plans specifically tailored to their region’s unique strengths and resources to create jobs, improve quality of life and grow the economy.
“Over the last eight years, we have implemented a vision to move New York state’s economy forward by allowing communities to make strategic investments to help grow their local economies and reenergize and develop their unique regions,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “Regional-based economic development is vital for maintaining New York’s thriving, prosperous economy.”
“By empowering the people who know their communities best, we have transformed the state’s economic development strategy into one that is not only successful, but is built to last,” said L. Gov. Kathy Hochul, Chair of the Regional Economic Development Councils, who made today’s announcement. “Through the REDC process, we’re advancing the strategic economic development plans of each region and supporting growth as part of the Downtown and Upstate Revitalization Initiatives. With a focus on workforce development and growth of high-tech industries, we’re adding new job opportunities and strengthening the economy of the entire State of New York.”
Officials said the REDC process has transformed New York State government’s approach to economic development, creating a statewide framework for bottom-up, regional economic growth and streamlining the state funding application process. Since the initiative’s inception in 2011, over $6.1 billion has been awarded to more than 7,300 projects that are projected to create and retain more than 230,000 jobs statewide.
Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, “Across the state, communities remain actively engaged in their own economic development strategies and, as a result, we are seeing economic growth and job creation. By empowering regions to create their own path to success, New York state is making smart, strategic investments that promote sustainable economic development.”
Other projects receiving funding are:
• Upper Hudson River Watershed Roadside Erosion Remediation. Phase One, $389,178: The Saratoga County Soil and Water Conservation District will stabilize 33.5 acres of roadside ditches at 92 sites in the Upper Hudson River Watershed. The project will improve water quality by reducing the amount of sediment and nutrients entering water bodies from roadside ditch erosion.
• Lakes To Locks Passage, Inc., Lock by Lock: Why the World Needs to Know About the Champlain Canal, $49,500: a multimedia experience celebrating the unique canal heritage and identity. It includes a story-filled audio tour, canal-themed exhibit at the Visitors Center in Schuylerville, and online gallery called Art of the Champlain Canal.
• City of Mechanicville Sanitary Sewer Collection System Restoration Study, $30,000. The city will complete an engineering report to identify instances and causes of infiltration and inflow within the sewer collection system and provide rehabilitation recommendations.
• City of Mechanicville Water Mains Replacement, $750,000. Funds will be used to replace water mains identified in its 2018 Water System Study.
• MDI East Inc. ERP System Training, $74,000. MDI East will provide training to its existing employees as they transition to a new ERP system.
• Town of Stillwater Water District 6 Water Line Replacement, $750,000. Funds will be used to replace sections of deteriorated water supply infrastructure.
• Wesley Health Care Center, Certified Nurse Aide Training Program, $94,752.
After eight rounds of the REDC process, more than $6.1 billion has been awarded to more than 7,300 job creation and community development projects consistent with each region’s strategic plans, projecting to create and retain more than 230,000 jobs. For more information on the Regional Councils, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov.