There is something that should be explained about all those Regional Council economic development dollars announced with considerable fanfare in Albany.
While the consolidated funding application process creates a more streamlined means to apply for free stuff, the dollar amounts in the media are not always quite what they apprear.
A $5.4M listed for renovation of Maple Courts Apartments may appear to be a grant. It is not. It represents the authorization granted for selling industrial revenue bonds. Since that was applied for the intended purchaser has backed out and another potential buyer is considering acquisition of the 92 unit subsidized complex on Ives Street.
Most of the $90M in economic funds listed in this weeks news accounts are various grants and programs long given out through state agencies throughout the year. Things like grants for facade rehab on a library, or studying a sewer problem, or building a water line or renovating a building. Some of its cash, some are tax credits.
It's now all packaged up in the CFA process for a big dollar announcement.
That doesn't make it bad, but please realize what the process is now.
Also while the regional councils do provide a forum for people from an entire region to work together and share ideas, some 80% of the scoring points on applications are still given out by the agencies doling out the benefit.
That means all sorts of the usual factors go into the decisions including accomodating people who are well connected. Again, that's not bad, as that's why building relationships is important. It's just that what is going on is not all that different than what always has gone on. That's all good.
Watertown Daily Times | Another buyer may be interested in Maple Courts Apartments