OBSERVER Staff Report
Money for local projects may be coming to the Southern Tier. New York Secretary of State Cesar A. Perales announced New York state's Appalachian Regional Development Program submitted 14 proposed local area development projects to the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) recently.
The Appalachian Regional Development Program has requested $1.51 million in federal funding for the 2012 program year. More than $500,000 in funds were requested for Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany counties.
"I am pleased to announce the New York State's Appalachian Regional Development Program continues to assist the Southern Tier make strides to advance economically and socially," Perales said in a statement. "The Department of State relies on this program to help eligible local governments and not-for-profit organizations leverage scarce resources and reduce economic isolation. ARC is consistent with the work of Governor's Cuomo's Regional Economic Development Councils and continues to be a leader in promoting regional economic development in Appalachia."
The investment of over $1.5 million will go toward 14 projects which will leverage over $11 million in private and local investment. These projects will provide assistance to 32 municipalities, assist 168 new or existing businesses, create or retain 975 jobs within the region, provide career enhancing training to 400 workers, provide improved health services to 700 patients per year, develop water and telecommunications infrastructure for 269 residents and recruit four new mental health specialists into the region.
Projects for Southern Tier West which includes the counties of Allegany, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua, have requested $500,733 in ARC funds. The projects include the following: Chautauqua County Wireless Project, Equestrian Trail System, Small Wind Laboratory and Crossroads Development Water System.
The Chautauqua County Wireless Project requested by Southern Tier West Regional Planning and Development. The amount of $50,733 was requested to deploy wireless technology in the towns of Hanover, Pomfret, Sheridan and Villenova to purchase and install equipment to expand wireless technology services to areas that are inaccessible to wired broadband services. This project is slated to serve four communities, 150 residences, eight businesses and three governmental buildings with access to high speed internet which will foster economic development.
The Equestrian Trail System requested $150,000 in ARC funds to implement phases I and II of the County Equestrian Trail System Plan. This project upgrades 4.5 miles of equestrian trails to leverage local natural assets for economic development and implements a part of the county economic development plan. The upgrading of trails is projected to create 20 tourism related jobs and lead to four business startups.
The small wind laboratory which is the research foundation for SUNY Alfred State College requested $150,000 to create an alternative energy laboratory focused on small wind technology. It will be used to train electrician and mechanical engineering technology students.
The Crossroads Water Development System of Allegany County requested $150,000 of ARC funding to help complete a $3.9 million development at the I-86 and Route 19 intersection for planned retail and light commercial industrial uses. This will help secure private commercial investments to increase the county's economic viability.
ARC is administered within the Department of State's Division of Local Government. Since its inception, the program has approved over 1,720 projects providing $192,993,451 in federal support to the region, leveraging local and private investment of $667,547,189 for the Southern Tier.
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