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Regional development council nearing deadline; calls for any last ideas

Empire State Development

Its last call for anyone with ideas on how to use state dollars to transform the central New York economy as the Regional Development Council is looking to get all the input it can before applying to win some of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s upstate revitalization money.

In a way, this round of economic competition, which pits upstate regions against each other to see who has the best ideas to grow local economies, has more at stake than past competitions.

"We’re talking about the opportunity to secure a $500 million investment to support our region’s economic development and revitalization.”

Central New York Economic Development Council Co-Chairman Rob Simpson says that the $500 million number is getting attention and creating more excitement this time around, the fifth year in a row the state has used these competitions to spur economic activity. 

Central New York’s haul in the first four rounds comes in just shy of $350 million making winning one of the three revitalization rounds a huge deal. 

With that goal in mind Simpson says the central New York region will be bringing in a national advisory council, made up of experts in business, philanthropy and entrepreneurship, to look at the central New York ideas so far.

"They’re goal is to give us a perspective that we don’t have where we sit here in Syracuse.  Understanding the national context and global context of our work to push us beyond our comfort zone.”

Simpson says the council is also looking for any last suggestions for projects by launching a “big idea” competition which will look at any potential projects submitted by August 7.

The central New York plan has to be in Albany by October 5.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.