Wednesday, August 12, 2015

News from HDC: Regional Initiatives

Photo:Enid Futterman
Yesterday, Sheena Salvino and Branda Maholtz held a Hudson Development Corporation Quarterly Community Update Meeting. The meeting started with John Reilly, the supervisor from Gallatin who chairs the Board of Supervisors Economic Development Committee and who in June was appointed to the Upstate Revitalization Advisory Council, a subcommittee of the Capital Region Economic Development Council, talking about the Upstate Revitalization Initiative. Modeled after the Buffalo Billion Initiative, this program pits the seven upstate regions in New York against each other in a competition for $500 million that only three regions will receive. Reilly called it the "hunger games" of economic development.

The idea is that each region must develop a theme that characterizes the entire region and to which all the proposed projects relate. The Capital Region (Columbia County is part of the Capital Region) will be spending $2 million to hire consultants, the McKinsey Group, to develop a theme that will give our region a competitive edge. Ideas are now being solicited from the public for projects that might be financed with $100 million a year for five years. You can submit your ideas electronically here, or you go to a meeting that will take place on Thursday, August 20, at Columbia-Greene Community College in the Saland Forum of the Professional Academic Center. At what is described as a town hall meeting, "your input on transformational strategies and initiatives that will enable sustained economic growth and prosperity for all" will be solicited. Reservations, which are appreciated but not required, can be made here. Registration begins at 8:00 a.m. The meeting is from 8:30 to 10:00 a.m.

Salvino also reported on the work of Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress, a not-for-profit "policy, planning, advocacy and research organization, whose mission is to promote regional, balanced and sustainable solutions that enhance the growth and vitality of the Hudson Valley." The group has collected a lot of data about our little city, all of which can be viewed here. What is lacking (and what the community is expected to provide) is data about what's unique about Hudson, so here's another opportunity to share your ideas. Email your "opinions and perspectives" about what makes Hudson unique to Branda Maholtz. Put "Pattern for Progress" in the subject line.

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