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Hochul Tours Norwich in Advance of $500 Million State Competition

By Jason Weinstein.
New York Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul held a pair of economic round tables in Norwich Wednesday afternoon.

This comes eight days before the state announces the winners of the $500 million prize in the Upstate Revitalization Initiative. Seven Upstate regions, including the Southern Tier, are competing for the half billion dollars in economic development money.

Hochul dubbed today's round tables as events on her listening tour. She says both she and the Governor are separating themselves from the URI decision making process but says she does bring feedback like the kind she heard today back to those who will decide the URI winners.

Steve Craig, CEO of Commerce Chenango, says a Southern Tier URI win would be transformative for Chenango County. He pointed to five priority projects, including two involving the Raymond Corporation, that would be ready to begin with a URI win.

"We hope they'll be funded either way regardless if we get the URI but if we get the URI it will make it a lot easier. It will also make it a lot easier to plan for the next four years because that money is already locked in," said Craig.

"We really try to keep it out of the hands of people like myself and the Governor. It really is independently decided by individuals who have been studying the proposals for a long time, who have done this in the past. But I do give feedback to the different agencies when I'm talking to people about problems or challenges," said Hochul.