In 2011, Gov. Andrew Cuomo created 10 regional councils to develop long-term strategic plans for economic growth. Otsego County was included in the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council, which put Oneonta in the southern-most portion of the designated area, which included several larger cities.
“We are an outpost of the Mohawk Valley economic development region,” Miller said. “We needed to consider ourselves a region.”
In that year’s first round of $785 million in statewide economic development funding, 59 grants were awarded in the Mohawk Valley region, with Brewery Ommegang in Middlefield the sole local private business winning $140,000.
The lack of local success that year sparked initiatives to boost economic development efforts, strategies and improvements to applications for state funding.
City, county and state representatives and others have been meeting and working toward improving results in applications for state funding since initial disappointing results.
This year, nine projects in Otsego County, mostly in the town and city of Oneonta, won state funding totaling almost $2 million. The awards were the city’s most successful efforts in recent years, Miller said previously.
State Sen. James Seward, R-Milford, who held an economic summit in March 2012, has announced a second summit Nov. 14.
Seward said the summit will identify specific projects and areas for economic development. Speakers will address topics and developments in other areas of the state that might be localized, he said.
“Our summit will dove-tail well with Mayor Miller’s efforts,” Seward said Tuesday night.
Among its roles, Miller said, the alliance may lobby for a particular economic development project identified by another organization. The next session of the alliance, which has been meeting the fourth Tuesday of the month, will be Nov. 26.
Zondra Hart, acting economic developer for Otsego County, said the informal approach fosters opportunities to share ideas, enhance understanding about factors that influence projects and to generate momentum toward local economic development.