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Council OKs project funds

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POTSDAM — The North Country Regional Economic Development Council on Tuesday approved a list of recommended projects to be awarded Infrastructure funds.

Pending submission of consolidated funding applications, the funding will provide the resources necessary to implement critical water and sewer infrastructure projects in the north country that align with the council’s strategic plan. The nine projects awarded within the region total $2.5 million in funding that will leverage nearly $26 million in additional investment.

Infrastructure Fund Projects awarded were:

n Plattsburgh: Route 3 Pump Station Improvement, $86,000.

n Ticonderoga: John Street Neighborhood Combined Sewage Overflow, $178,000.

n Watertown: wastewater treatment plant disinfection facility, $500,000.

n Clayton: sewer rehabilitation and pumping station improvement, $500,000.

n Malone: Sewer District #2, $72,000.

n Heuvelton: wastewater collection system improvements, $500,000.

n Saranac Lake: LePan sewer main replacement, $190,000.

n Inlet: Clean Waters sewer district expansion, $53,800.

n Bloomingdale: new pump station and wastewater treatment plant improvements, $422,000.

The council also adopted its opportunity agenda criteria for its regionwide strategy that will invest new and existing funding resources in projects that promote a healthier business environment.

Based on public input and the involvement of local government officials, the council identified specific requirements projects must meet to be considered as part of the north country opportunity agenda, including the ability to help move impoverished people into jobs, promote private-public partnerships in job investments and help revitalize distressed communities.

The council also adopted a resolution by Hamilton and Essex counties regarding the former Finch Pruyn lands acquired by the state for the forest preserve. The state is presently accepting public comments regarding the eventual classification of the land for various types of public use and activity. The council concurred with the position of Hamilton County and the five towns—Indian Lake, Long Lake, Newcomb, Minerva, and North Hudson— that host parts of the land, seeking to accommodate various recreational activities in appropriate areas, as well as the preservation and use of existing structures on the property.

The council also endorsed St. Lawrence County’s proposal designating the former GM site east of Massena as a part of the CSX Railroad Select Site program. The designation will add the site to the CSX marketing plan, promoting the region’s assets to prospective expanding companies to encourage development and create jobs.

A resolution encouraging Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the state Legislature to financially support the U.S. Department of Defense Army Compatible Use Buffer Program (ACUB) at Fort Drum was approved by the council. The ACUB Program established buffer areas of farmland and natural land around Fort Drum by limiting development, which allows the 10th Mountain Division to train and ready its soldiers.

The council also approved the reassignment of 2012 funds for a previously identified priority supporting the Adirondack Film Society and small community movie theaters. Coordinating with the Adirondack North Country Association, which is engaged in private fundraising for the project, the Adirondack Economic Development Corporation will administer a short-term loan fund for theaters that need financial assistance to convert their projection equipment to digital technologies and upon completion of the program, will relend the funds to businesses across the region for start-up or expansion projects.

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