Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Going After the $10 Million

It seems pretty clear that Governor Andrew Cuomo loves a good competition when it comes to awarding state funds for economic development. Last year, it was the URI--Upstate Revitalization Initiative-- which pitted the seven upstate regions against each other for $500 million--$100 million a year for five years. This year, it's the DRI--Downtown Revitalization Initiative--in which the cities in each region compete with each other for $10 million. Some have opined that Hudson is not an appealing candidate because it's not needy enough, having enviably revitalized itself. Others predict that the money will go to a big city like Schenectady or Troy, and a small city like Hudson doesn't stand a chance. Still, with characteristic pluck and determination, Sheena Salvino, executive director of Hudson Development Corporation (HDC), has nominated Hudson and is now working on the application, which must be submitted by June 1. As Salvino put it, "Ten million dollars is going to be awarded to one community in the Capital Region. If we don't apply, your tax dollars will go to some other community. Wouldn't you rather those tax dollars be invested in Hudson?"

Working with input from the business community, the Common Council Economic Development Committee, and members of the public, Salvino has identified broad areas for potential investment, which she wants to keep confidential, since, after all, it is a competition, and you don't want the other guys to know what you're proposing. Should Hudson be selected for the $10 million investment, $300,000 will be awarded in the first year for in-depth planning with lots of community input to generate and develop specific projects to be pursued.

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