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So. Tier Council Picks Priority Projects To Bring Millions to Area

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By Fox 40 Staff.
The Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council announced it's more than two dozen priority projects that are in line for $30 million in funding from the state.

The projects include proposed money to increase Binghamton University's presence in Johnson City and to help the relocation of National Pipe and Plastics to Endicott. These projects will be the core of the area's bid for the traditional regional economic development awards and the Upstate Revitalization Initiative.

That initiative will award half a billion dollars over five years to three winning regions. It's a prize officials hope can reverse the trend of the area's shrinking labor force.

"I lived that. I saw my family leave. My kids left. But when the jobs start coming back, meaningful jobs, you can start to transform that in a short time. We're going to do that in the Southern Tier," said New York Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul (D).

"What we really want to do is make the Southern Tier a great place to live. We know it is a great place to live but the economy is struggling, the number of jobs is declining, and the population is declining. We'd like to see those things reverse," said Binghamton University President and Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chair Harvey Stenger.

Regional Council Co-Chair Tom Tranter says the council is focusing on projects that will revitalize downtowns and farmlands, as well as attract high-tech businesses. The state will announce the Regional Economic Development awards and the Upstate Revitalization awards in late Fall.