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6Th Round Of REDC Awards Benefit Albany & Troy

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New York state's 10 economic regions will divide more than $700 million in new economic development funding grants. Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration announced the awards Thursday in Albany. The cities of Troy and Albany are getting shares of that money.

REDC funding supports hundreds of local economic development projects including private company expansions, new start-up businesses, higher education programs, and workforce development initiatives.

This year, the Capital Region received $83.1 million as a “top finisher” among five regions, and more than $2M in grant funding for public and private development projects is headed to the city of Troy. Monica Kurzejeski  served as Troy’s Economic Development Coordinator from 2012 until her appointment as Deputy Mayor in January 2016.   "We had several wins yesterday, several non-profits, several private partners as well as some grants that the city had actually proposed. We were very fortunate to have quite a few awarded. You know we have some private partners out there who are doing some redevelopment efforts. They were awarded some great monies. The American Theater, which is the old Cinema Arts movie theater downtown. The developer proposed the renovation of that facility and the installation of a new movie theater in it. They were awarded grant funding, so we are really thrilled with that. Not only does that add an amenity to downtown that is not only good for visitors and residents and our students, but it helps us continue the drive to become an 18-hour downtown and an 18-hour city, which is extremely important when you're trying to create the urban atmosphere of a live, work, play type of city."

While the Port of Albany received $5 million dollars, Mayor Kathy Sheehan says there are many smaller projects in the city that have been funded.  "There is funding for the furthering of a study and hopefully implementation of transforming one of the exit ramps from 787 into a linear park, which could be really exciting. There's funding for the Tivoli Preserve, daylighting the Patroon Creek, and that's a big undertaking and a big project. We continue to invest in the Tivoli Preserve. It is one of the treasures in the city that not a lot of people know about. But that we are investing in and investing in a trail system for it."

Seventy-five thousand dollars is earmarked for the Albany Symphony Orchestra’s tour along the Erie Canal to mark its bicentennial. Mayor Sheehan says officials are looking into why the Palace Theatre was overlooked despite a request for about $4 million to help fund a proposed expansion.  "Why that happened and what the Palace can do to get that project off and running."

Sheehan believes the Palace project is ideally suited for the Regional Economic Development Council program.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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