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Local News

May 7, 2014

Officials: To lure funds, region needs more ideas

Officials from the state Department of State reviewed a slew of projects at a conference Tuesday that have helped municipalities, communities and businesses with support from various grant programs. 

About 100 people were registered for the Local Government Efficiency program presented by the Greater Oneonta Economic Development Council and Citizen Voices. The event, sponsored by Bank of Cooperstown, was at the Foothills Performing Arts and Civic Center in Oneonta.

However, local officials again noted the lack of funding to the Oneonta area and Otsego County, which is part of the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council. State and local officials and urged listeners to develop ideas, find partners for projects, tap into resources for information and guidance and apply for grants.

On April 28, Gov. Andrew Cuomo launched Round IV of the Regional Economic Development Council initiative, officially kicking off the 2014 competition for up to $750 million in state economic development resources.

The Consolidated Funding Application opened May 1, enabling businesses, municipalities, nonprofits and the public to begin applying for assistance from dozens of state funding programs for job-creating and community development projects. The deadline is 4 p.m. June 16.

Also, Mohawk Valley REDC officials have called on communities in the six-county region, which includes Otsego and Schoharie counties, to propose projects to compete for about $7 million recently awarded to the council by the governor. The federal Community Development Block Grant Program funds are to help with affordable housing and economic opportunities, a council media release said.

In Oneonta on Tuesday, the two-part meeting included a review of state-assisted municipal and economic development projects and a session to discuss ideas and resources for applications.

Carolyn Lewis, a Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council board member, encouraged local business owners, municipal leaders and others to consider ways to improve their companies and communities and apply for grants. She attributed lack of local awards not to “bad ideas” but to “no ideas.”

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