Congressman Bill Owens voted last week in favor of the fiscal year 2013 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill (H.R. 5325). As passed, the legislation provides $1.4 million to support the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC), which assists with economic development across the 23rd Congressional District. The legislation passed by a vote of 255-165.
"I am pleased the House has again included support for the Northern Border Regional Commission, and I am hopeful this funding will remain intact through the remainder of the fiscal year 2013 appropriations process," said Owens. "The NBRC makes important investments in our region and across the northeast, and I will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure the Commission thrives."
The Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) supports economic development in 36 counties in the northeastern United States. Included in the NBRC's coverage area are Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Oneida, Oswego, St. Lawrence, Cayuga, and Seneca counties. The NBRC provides a uniquely responsible and efficient investment through a match of $7 of public or private funds to every $1 of federal funds.
In 2011, $350,000 in federal grants were awarded by the NBRC for two projects in Lewis and St. Lawrence counties to improve water infrastructure critical to allowing local businesses to maintain and expand operations. The commission is currently considering applications submitted for the coming fiscal year.
Owens is currently working to reauthorize the NBRC as part of the 2012 Farm Bill. The Commission was created under the 2008 Farm Bill and initially authorized for five years.