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Cuomo Awarded Nearly $60 Million To The Finger Lakes Region

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Rochester: Cuomo Awarded Nearly $60 Million To The Finger Lakes Region
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The Regional Economic Council awarded nearly $60 million to the Finger Lakes Region on Wednesday. YNN's Rose Eiklor has more about this money and where you can see it going.

ALBANY, N.Y. -- "The Finger Lakes region will receive $59.8 million for their regional projects,” Governor Cuomo along with other state leaders announced the annual economic development awards in Albany on Wednesday.

"We got a nice award this year. We are excited about that," said President and CEO of Greater Rochester Enterprise Mark Peterson.

The awards are given out to ten different regions across the state. With more than $750 million in state funding and tax incentives up for grabs councils from each region compete to win the biggest share of the money by entering proposals.

The Finger Lakes Regional Council was recognized last year for having one of the best plans in the state and officials said this year they are continuing to move forward with exciting priorities.

One area that also received a hefty sum, is the I-Square Project in Irondequoit. The more than $2 million award will go toward the mixed-use development project on Titus Avenue.

"The grant we got is mostly something called the cleaner greener community,” I-Square owner Mike Nolan said. “I-Square really lives that from an advanced recycling program to alternative energy creation, community involvement, community development creation. We hit all the marks they were looking for."

The Finger Lakes region actually received $92.6 million last year, a significantly higher amount than this round but Mark Peterson said that’s okay.

"It was comparable to what other regions did. I think what’s more important is to look at over the three years we received $225 million and when you look at that we have received the fourth highest amount of all the 10 regions," said Peterson.

Even though the region did almost $60 million there were some projects that they hoped would have received more funding.

"There are dollars that went to the urban entrepreneurship program from this not as many dollars as we had hoped for,” Macedon Assemblymember Robert Oaks said. “There is also an agriculture entrepreneurship program with more of the regional areas that is one I want to see funded. Eastman business park is 50 companies there are more projects to be funded there that will expand that even greater and help this regional economy.”

Both Peterson and Oaks said working on these proposals has helped bring the region closer together, as it competes against other areas for funding. They will continue to fight for more money in the future.

"It's going to take a while to move forward but there will be progress," said Peterson.

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