After a two-month delay, some local projects awaiting state grants will find out Dec. 10 if they'll be awarded big bucks.
After a two-month delay, some local projects awaiting state grants will find out Dec. 10 if they’ll be awarded big bucks.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo will announce the distribution of the state’s annual economic development funding on Dec. 10 in Albany, said Jason Conwall, a spokesman for the Empire State Development Corp., which administers the grant program.
The projects awaiting funding include the demolition of the old Corning Hospital, a new tenant for the former Sikorsky HawkWorks facility in Big Flats and the repaving of the racetrack at Watkins Glen International.
Cuomo’s awards ceremony was originally scheduled for early October in New York City, but was postponed.
This is the fourth year of Cuomo’s competitive system for dishing out the economic development funding, in which grant applications are submitted to a regional council of government, business and education leaders.
The 10 regional councils develop an overall strategy for economic development in their region, rank the projects, and make a pitch to a state review panel. The regions deemed to have the best overall strategies get more funding for their projects.
This year, up to $750 million in grants and tax credits is available statewide.
That includes $220 million from Empire State Development Corp. for projects ranked as “priority” by the councils, and $530 million from state agency grant programs that’s available to all applications from a region.
Regions deemed “top performers” in the competition get an extra $25 million.
Each region is also eligible for up to $10 million in Excelsior tax credits, earmarked for helping business in targeted industries expand in New York or relocate here.
The grant process began in the spring, and the 35-member Southern Tier Regional Council spent a lot of time this year reviewing the projects, working on its strategy, and making its pitch, said co-chair Tom Tranter, Corning Enterprises president and CEO.
“We’re very hopeful that our 28 priority projects will receive their full funding and that we’ll again be selected a top performer,” Tranter said in an email Friday. “Numerous businesses have spent a great deal of time completing the state’s consolidated funding application and we’re looking forward to hearing the state’s determination on funding levels for each project.”
Some of the local priority projects:
• Guthrie is seeking $2 million in state money toward a $10 million plan to demolish the old Corning Hospital in downtown Corning. Guthrie has been talking with developers interested in the Denison Parkway site for commercial and/or residential use.
• Emhart Glass in Elmira is seeking $2 million for a $10 million project to move into the former Sikorsky HawkWorks plant next to the Elmira-Corning Regional Airport and expand it.
• Watkins Glen International is seeking $2 million toward a $10.7 million project to resurface the track and improve its optical fiber infrastructure.
• The Village of Watkins Glen is seeking $1.25 million for design and engineering of a new wastewater treatment plant for Watkins Glen and Montour Falls.
• Alfred Technology Resources Inc. is seeking $317,000 to help establish a manufacturing incubator at the former Schweizer plant next to the Elmira-Corning Regional Airport.
• H.P. Hood is seeking a $250,000 grant for an expansion of its Crowley Foods plant in Arkport.
• The Town of Big Flats is seeking $133,000 for a $700,000 project to increase its water system capacity to accommodate growth.
• Southern Tier Economic Growth is applying for $138,000 toward an $850,000 project to restore rowhouses on West Water Street in downtown Elmira.
• The Village of Painted Post is seeking $83,000 for a $300,000 project to upgrade the bike path that runs through Painted Post and Riverside, part of the route for the Wineglass Marathon.
The Southern Tier has received roughly $49 million, $91 million, and $81 million, respectively, in the first three years of Cuomo’s program, a total of $222 million for 207 projects.