Tripathi praises latest investment in WNY
“Throughout this collaborative process, we’ve forged a bold vision for what our region can become and we are actively realizing that vision by building on our defining strengths and cultivating their full potential.”
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo yesterday awarded $52.8 million to fund 58 projects identified in an economic development plan created by the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council (WNYREDC), co-chaired by President Satish K. Tripathi and local businessman Howard Zemsky.
The award to Western New York is part of $738 million awarded to regional economic councils throughout the state through the governor’s plan to revitalize the state’s economy, particularly in upstate New York. Last year, Cuomo awarded $784.5 million to projects identified by the regional councils.
Cuomo has made Western New York an emphasis of his economic development strategy—pledging $1 billion to fund projects in the region, including the investment of $50 million to attract an Albany-based biomedical company to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.
Tripathi said this latest $52.8 million investment is more good news for Western New York and is a testament to the steady progress the community is making in building a thriving knowledge-based economy in the region.
“Throughout this collaborative process, we’ve forged a bold vision for what our region can become and we are actively realizing that vision by building on our defining strengths and cultivating their full potential,” he said.
“Together, we are creating an environment that will sustain the growth and enrichment of our region’s people, communities and institutions—now and for generations to come.”
Tripathi noted that the new funding recognizes the great strides the WNYREDC has made in a short period of time and provides a framework for the council’s continued success.
“We are deeply grateful for this vote of support and confidence, and very appreciative of Gov. Cuomo’s leadership and investment in our regional prosperity,” he said.
Of the 58 regional projects funded through the latest round of funding to the WNYREDC, the largest single project award is $500,000 to assist with a partnership between UB and Alfred University to create an Advanced Materials Manufacturing and Training Center that will substantially advance the speed with which new materials are brought to market.
With strong research and development, and advanced manufacturing infrastructure, Western New York is positioned well to accelerate the discovery and commercialization of innovative new materials, Tripathi noted. This includes synthetic replacements for natural elements that are rapidly growing scarcer—a focus of the recently designated New York State Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics at UB.
Other projects slated for funding include:
- $186,000 for the Town of Wellsville for infrastructure upgrades to provide public water for businesses along N.Y. Route 417. The 1.25-mile project area is occupied by 15 businesses, including Alstom Air-Preheater Corporation (620 employees) and Northern Lights Candles (100 employees).
- $268,000 to construct a 350,000-gallon water tank and related water-transmission works to eliminate low flows and pressures in the Town and Village of Ellicottville and the Town of Mansfield. This project will allow for job retention and growth by improving infrastructure used by existing major employers.
- $450,000 to revitalize the downtown mixed-use commercial district and adjacent residential neighborhood in Niagara Falls and attract young adults by offering to assist with the repayment of student loans.
- $434,310 to enable Springville Center for the Arts, a major provider of cultural activity and artistic experience in rural Western New York, to provide critical improvements to the 1869 Baptist Church property at 37 North Buffalo St. for reuse as a multi-arts center.
- $394,810 to enable the Springville Center for the Arts to acquire and rehabilitate 5 East Main St. into an arts cafe, artisan marketplace and artist housing.
- $420,000 for the restoration and reopening of Gowanda’s historic Hollywood Theater, a project that is expected to create jobs, enhance cultural tourism and encourage new business development.
- $300,000 for a joint development project between Calix Ceramic Solutions, GNP Ceramics and Ceramic Technology Partnership to create a company that makes ceramic products using three new advanced ceramic-manufacturing processes.
- $460,000 for Del Monte Foods to install additional railcar staging and unloading at its Milk-Bone Buffalo facility. This investment will help assure the Milk-Bone plant remains in Western New York for the foreseeable future as the only manufacturer of the Milk-Bone line.
- $350,000 for Dunkirk Bioenergy to provide a more affordable, recycled waste-disposal alternative, as well as lower-cost clean power and heat to two of the largest employers in Chautauqua County. This project is designed to take advantage of the industrial organic-waste stream that exists around the facility site to receive and process organic waste for power generation.
“For the second year in a row, the regional councils have been on the forefront of rebuilding New York State’s economy,” Cuomo said. “With this second round of Regional Economic Development Council awards, the state is recognizing the creativity and innovation of each strategic plan, while investing hundreds of millions of dollars to put New Yorkers back to work and rebuild our economy.”