CNY comes up big in "Upstate Hunger Games": What does that mean for Cortland?

CORTLAND, N.Y. – Central New York was one of three regions in New York State to be awarded $500 million as part of the Upstate Revitalization Initiative.

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state officials announced the awards in a ceremony Thursday. The funding will be distributed over a period of five years in $100 million annual installments.

"It's great news not just for our county, but the other four [counties] that comprise the Central New York region." said Garry VanGorder, executive director of the Cortland County Industrial Development Agency and a member of the CNY council.

The Central New York Regional Economic Development Council, which includes Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga and Oswego counties, submitted a plan in October titled "CNY Rising" that identified several investments that could benefit the region, including:

– Building a global center for unmanned systems and aerial drones
– Using the region's natural assets (resilient climate, cheap land, abundant water, agricultural expertise) to meet rapidly rising global demand for food and food safety
– Build a global manufacturing and logistics hub in Onondaga County that will develop a job-creating hub for manufacturing, warehousing and distribution activities
– Developing a National Veterans Resource Complex

Projects in Cortland County

The real victory for Cortland County comes in the form of more than $3.3 million in state funding that will go towards several capital projects in the city of Cortland and surrounding municipalities.

Here are the most notable local projects that received grant funding as part of the Upstate Revitalization Initiative competition:

$1.1 million for McNeil Development Company, which is working with McNeil Co., a general insurance agency, to renovate 5-6 downtown buildings, some of which have been chronically vacant. The funds will also be used to renovate the insurance agency's current space and additional space in adjacent buildings.

– $837,000 for the City of Cortland to integrate green storm water practices along with pedestrian features and bike lanes along Clinton Avenue, which is seen as a major corridor to the city.

– $425,000 for the City of Cortland to renovate mixed-use buildings in the city's historic downtown.

– $311,000 for the Village of Homer to acquire four blighted properties as the first phase of developing a linear park between Route 11 and the Tioughnioga River.

$250,000 for Yaman Real Estate to acquire and redevelop one-half of the 144,000 square foot vacant former manufacturing plant in Cortland into commercial space.

$250,000 for Cortland Plastics Company to add equipment and expand its facility on South Main Street.

– $235,400 for the City of Cortland to restore the leaking roof and repair damaged masonry on its historic Central Fire Station. The 1915 Fire Station is one of the finest remaining examples of the pseudo-Dutch style, and one of the oldest fire stations still being used for its original purpose.

– $200,000 for the Village of Homer to establish a Microenterprise Assistance Program that will provide grant funds to new and existing microenterprises.

– 131,000 for the Cortland County Soil and Water Conservation District to replace an aging culvert in the town of Lapeer, giving downstream trout access to 8.25 miles of habitat and refuge.

– $35,000 for the City of Cortland to conduct a feasibility study of the conversion of Main Street into a two-way street.

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