WXXI AM News

Progress Report Due Soon from Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council.

Sep 13, 2016

Anne Kress, between Danny Wegman and Vinnie Esposito, at today's FLREDC meeting.
Credit Alex Crichton

Co-Chair of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council, Danny Wegman, addressed the dozens of people who gathered today at Monroe Community College for the first meeting of the council since June.

"Folks, I really believe that this process works," he said.

The Council wrapped up some recent accomplishments, such as the Genesee Brewery expansion project, a recipient of $9 million dollars through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative.

And the fact that a real estate consultant has been hired to determine a site in the Rochester region that will serve as the testing, assembly and packaging facility for the photonics initiative.

"They've been working a lot on programming and training and on the educational side of things at this point, and now we're moving into the facilities.  The main testing, assembly and packing facility, that's where the R&D and manufacturing would occur," said Vinnie Esposito, Regional Director for Empire State Development.

Esposito says now the council will be heading into a busy two week period, with a Friday deadline for the public to comment on the Council's draft Progress Report, which is due October 3rd.

"Our annual report is going to be published in a couple of weeks, and we're finalizing some drafts on that. We're scoring over 200 projects that have applied to the annual Consolidated Funding Application process for state funds, and that's what we're sort of culminating in the next few weeks," he said.

The Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council is competing for $750 million dollars in the latest round of funding from the state.

Another $510 million will be awarded from the state through the Consolidated Funding Application process.

Finger Lakes Council co-chair Anne Kress agrees that this process is working.

"I think for an activity like the Rochester Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative, would never had started, if we hadn't had those conversations at our table. So that's been incredibly powerful for our region, and again, look to the next couple of months for even bigger announcements from URI."

That's the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, through which the Finger Lakes region was awarded $500 million dollars.