Updated 10/10/2012 06:35 PM
Cuomo visits the North Country
Governor Andrew Cuomo headed to the North Country Wednesday to check in on the Regional Economic Development Council. Our Barry Wygel has the story of what Cuomo learned while in Plattsburgh.
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PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. -- There was a feeling of pride and accomplishment as the governor visited the North Country Wednesday. It was part of Governor Andrew Cuomo's statewide visit to all the regions to check on the progress of the Regional Economic Development Councils. The councils are Cuomo's brainchild and he said so far they have been immensely successful.
"There is an energy in the North Country that is new, that is different, that is growing, that is developing momentum. People believe. You can feel it," said Cuomo.
"I would say the single most important outcome has been a rise in self-confidence in this region that is unbelievable," added Tony Collins, co-chair of the North Country Regional Economic Development Council and president of Clarkson University.
While in the area, Cuomo heard presentations about five different projects that received money from the state through the council. These projects ranged from a mobile slaughterhouse to more housing for Fort Drum soldiers.
"We recognize there was a need to bring developers to the region to build housing, at a time in our national economy when it wasn't really thought of as housing in most markets," said Michelle Capone, director of regional development for the Development Authority of the North Country.
Cuomo also pointed out that without the development councils some of these projects would not have been approved otherwise because they aren't direct job creators.
"Broadband as an economic development program wouldn't qualify. How many jobs did you create with broadband? None. When in truth, it is essential. Broadband today is the road system of the '50s," said Cuomo.
In the coming weeks and months, representatives from the development council will travel to Albany to argue on the region's behalf for more money for projects for next year.