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Regional economic development officials make their pitch for state funding

Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chairs Anne Kress and Bob Duffy
Empire State Development
Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chairs Anne Kress and Bob Duffy

Members of a local group that helps determine how state aid is distributed among various economic development projects got to make their case Friday before some state officials.

Representatives of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council made the presentation at the Brighton campus of Monroe Community College.

Co-Chair of the council, Bob Duffy, who also heads up the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, says that a number of projects on their wish list involve the agriculture and food processing industry.

“Obviously Wegmans, LiDestri Foods, we have food producers, we have so many farm-to-table opportunities here, fresh foods; we sometimes take for granted what we do have here so it is a huge business for us, it is a huge opportunity for us.”

Regional Council Co-Chair Anne Kress, president of MCC, says that people on the local council really try to drill down into the impact that previously state economic development grants have had.

“I mean, we’re very data driven here, we keep on top of those projects, we want to see what value they do add so that if something is working we can figure out a way to even scale it further beyond the initial state funding.”

Officials from the Buffalo area and the Southern Tier also made presentations on Friday.

Various regional councils around the state are in a competition for the state aid. The next round of this initiative will award up to $750 million across 10 regions in the state. The funding awards will be announced in December.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.