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Regional News

Syracuse primed to compete for funds through proposed program based on Buffalo Billion

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Ellen Abbott
/
WRVO
Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he will discuss a new Buffalo Billion type of compettition program for central New York during his State of the State speech. (file photo)

The city of Syracuse is ready to jump into a competition for more state funds meant to spark the upstate economy. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is planning to announce a competition based on the model of the Buffalo Billion.

Cuomo, during an political stop in Syracuse last month, said he’ll start talking up the program in his State of the State speech in January.

“We’re going to ask for a billion and a half dollars to bring the Buffalo Billion type program to other cities across upstate New York," Cuomo said.

Already three projects have brought in $168 million to that part of the state.

Cuomo also told reporters in Syracuse recently that it’s more than getting cash for one project.

“It’s what is your long-term vision for sustainable economic development and job growth," Cuomo explained. "That’s what it’s about."

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner says the city will be in the hunt for these funds.

“We’re going to be part of a competition, and I’ve always said Syracuse always does well when we compete," Miner said. "Whether it’s the (Central New York) Regional Economic Development Council, or whether it’s competing for money for land banks. We have the best ideas, the best people, and we work together as a community, so I’m very bullish on our chances.”

She wouldn’t be specific about any potential proposals, but says she has some thoughts.

“Infrastructure is a huge need. It’s a huge need in the city," Miner explained. "It’s a huge need to compete. Not just physical infrastructure, but also human infrastructure.”

She says state dollars like these really do spark development.

"All you have to do is look at the Inner Harbor and see that that’s made a huge difference," Miner said. "We had a barren, abandoned waterfront property that had sat there for years and years and years. We now have development there. People can see buildings being built, hotels coming in. You can look around and see actual development by the state.”
         
Cuomo made it clear that state lawmakers would also have to agree to the plan.