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North Country Regional Economic Development Council Announces Public Forums

The North Country Regional Economic Development Council announced details of three public forums designed for residents to provide suggestions on initiatives and strategies and aid in the creation of the council’s five-year strategic economic development plan for the North Country, which includes Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties.

Council Co-Chairs Dr. Tony Collins and Garry Douglas said the forums will provide the public with details concerning the process for developing a strategic plan for the North Country and will allow the council to gather input.

"The council believes it is imperative to let North Country residents know how we will be drafting a strategic plan for economic development in our part of the state and how important their participation is to the process from the very beginning," said Collins, president of Clarkson University.

Douglas, president of the North Country Chamber of Commerce, said the first set of meetings will be held in Plattsburgh, Tupper Lake and Watertown.

"Our plan is to hold public sessions to gather input in each of the seven counties as we move toward our Nov. 14 deadline," Douglas said. "We want and need as much input as possible, and these three forums will get the ball rolling."

The public forums are scheduled as follows:

Plattsburgh: Monday, Sept. 12, 6 - 8 p.m.
SUNY Plattsburgh
Hawkins Hall
Krinovitz Recital Hall
47 Beekman St., Plattsburgh
Tupper Lake: Wednesday, Sept. 14, 6 - 8 p.m.
The Wild Center
Flammer Theatre
45 Museum Drive, Tupper Lake
Watertown: Monday, Sept. 19, 6 - 8 p.m.
Jefferson Community College
James McVean College Center Building
Robert R. and Jean S. Sturtz Theater
1220 Coffeen St., Watertown

Each of these first public meetings will begin with an overview of the purpose of the regional council and the strategic planning process. There will be a brief question and answer period relating to the process before moving into an open forum for public comment, offering an opportunity for community members to provide ideas and suggestions on initiatives and projects, as well as the issues and opportunities facing the region. 

Please note, the next regularly scheduled meeting of the council has been moved to Monday, Sept. 12, at SUNY Potsdam. Visit the website to register for the public portion of the meeting.

Created by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the Regional Economic Development Councils represent a fundamental shift in the state's approach to economic development -- from a top-down development model to a community-based approach that emphasizes regions' unique assets, harnesses local expertise and empowers each region to set plans and priorities.

The North Country Regional Economic Development Council is one of 10 regional councils across New York that will serve as a single point of contact for economic activity in the region.  Through their strategic planning process, the councils will identify and expedite priority projects that demonstrate the greatest potential for job growth. As part of the initiative, up to $1 billion in state resources will be accessible to eligible economic development projects through existing program grants and tax credits.

Each regional council will draft a strategic plan for the development of its region, which will provide a regional vision for economic development, address critical issues and opportunities, and lay out an implementation roadmap for future growth. The state will work with the regional councils to align state resources and policies, eliminate unnecessary barriers to growth and prosperity, and streamline the delivery of government services and programs to help the regional councils carry out their plans for development.

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