Next Monday is the day the State's ten Regional Development Councils will have to adopt their plan for economic development proposals that are competing in a statewide competition for dollars.
It's supposed to be a radically different way of doling out state grant dollars with an emphasis on leveraging private sector dollars and of course job creation. That's not good news for local governments applying for grants to do this and that. However that's the new paradigm Governor Cuomo has set up.
Four of ten regions will be chosen to receive $40million to fund their priorities, but since the regions are large, there is still a political (with a small P) need to spread money around, and no matter how you slice it, $40M doesn't do a heck of a lot over seven counties (or five boroughs).
There is lots of talk of "mission" and "vision" in these plans and most of the writing is still being done by staffers and bureaucrats. It has been a lot of work for participants and for Regional Council members attending plenary sessions.
The list of funding prorities is a cake that was pretty much already baked, but its been an interesting intellectual pursuit and a chance to encounter people and ideas.
This NY Times piece gives a pretty good overview of the statewide process, which the public doesn't really have much of a feel for.
There is another meeting this Friday in advance of Monday's deadline for plan submissions and the winners will be announced in December.
Despite the long cultivated hopes that dreams and hopes can be made real through getting a "grant", the process really underscores the need in most cases for communities to make their arrangements locally, even though that is more politically difficult than saying "it was paid for with grant dollars".
Development Projects to Compete for Money From New York State - NYTimes.com