Capital Region to Get State Boost with $83M

The Capital Region was awarded $83.1 million during Thursday’s Regional Economic Development Council awards ceremony. That financial award is second only to the Mid-Hudson region.

The grant money will fund 116 projects in the Capital Region, including the Port of Albany, which will get $5 million.

The port plans to buy an 80-acre property south of the Albany side of the port and make infrastructure improvements, including a new heavy capacity access bridge.

The University at Albany Bioscience Development Corporation will receive $4 million for facility upgrades to their cancer research center and laboratory building. Three million dollars will go towards Sustainable Aquafarms, a Rensselaer County company, to expand production of hydroponic lettuce in Berlin.

In Schenectady, Re4orm Architecture gets $2.3 million to buy and renovate properties for what will be called the Mill Artisan District, a three-block area with space for a distillery, brewery, retail space and apartments. The town of East Greenbush will take home $2 million for roadwork and sewer services.

James J. Barba, co-chair of the Capital Region Economic Development Council, says the awards will support job growth.

"There are three council priorities in this order; jobs, jobs, jobs. That is what we look at," Barba said. "If a project, an application indicates that that it really, seriously can add new jobs, new employment, to any part of our region, that is going to get serious attention."

Barba applauded the efforts of the council and volunteers who helped compile each application for grant money, though the Capital Region got some $15 million fewer this year.

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