Capital Region Council Will Again Compete for $750 Million in State Funds

Albany Business Journal | Liz Young | May 31, 2018  

Ruth Mahoney, market president of KeyBank, and Havídan Rodriguez, president of the University at Albany, are the new co-chairs of the Capital Region Economic Development Council.

The Albany area’s economic development council is beginning this year’s process of competing for a portion of $750 million in state money to use on economic development projects.

The Capital Region council met Thursday to prepare for the eighth round of Gov. Andrew Cuomos state money competition. It was the first meeting with the council’s new co-chairs, Ruth Mahoney, market president of KeyBank, and Havídan Rodriguez, president of the University at Albany.

Rodriguez spoke to how he believes the council’s efforts are key to shaping the region’s future.

“The work of the CREDC has been truly transformational for the Capital Region,” Rodriguez said after the meeting. “The work that is done here is critically important for the growth and the development and strengthening the region.”

The Capital Region Economic Development Council met Thursday at the UAlbany Campus Center.

During the meeting, Rodiguez and Mahoney recognized Drew Matonak, the president of Hudson Valley Community College, who is retiring this year and leaving the council, and James Barba, the chief executive of Albany Medical Center who previously chaired the council and remains a member.

In the first seven rounds of the state money competition, New York has granted $5.4 billion to 10 regions. The Capital Region has received $521.9 million for 718 projects so far. That has included money for the $480 million Mohawk Harbor and casino development in Schenectady and the $110 million Park South development in Albany, as well as for projects like the Wick Hotel in Hudson.

Cuomo started the regional councils process in 2011 to streamline the state’s economic development work. The process culminates each year in an elaborate awards ceremony that highlights each region’s chosen projects.

This year’s deadline for projects to submit their consolidated funding applications is July 27.

The Capital Region Economic Development Council will then submit its plans to the state’s economic development arm, Empire State Development, by Oct. 1. The awards ceremony will be held in late fall.

Before that, the council will review applications for the state’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative. That effort, now in its third year, gives out $10 million to one downtown in each region. Glens Falls and Hudson were the past two winners in the Albany area.

The downtown revitalization initiative applications are due Friday. Mike Yevoli, the regional director for Empire State Development, said the council expects it will receive less than five applications and must make a recommendation to ESD by July 13. (Cohoes and Troy are two of the cities applying.)

The Capital Region’s council covers eight counties: Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren and Washington.