Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that all ten New York State Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) regions have been awarded funding through the Cleaner, Greener Communities (CGC) program to develop and implement smart growth plans for regional sustainability.
The $100 million CGC program was a major environmental initiative announced by the Governor in his 2011 State of the State address. By providing competitive grants, the program will reward communities across the State that develop comprehensive regional smart growth plans. The program will increase green jobs, improve energy efficiency and reduce pollution. The Regional Sustainability Planning program, which is the first phase of the CGC program, provides nearly $10 million in funding awarded through a competitive process.
"These regional awards for the Cleaner, Greener Communities program are a major step forward in accelerating New York State towards a sustainable and energy efficient future," said Governor Cuomo. "This year, with the our NY Works program, New York made an unprecedented investment in our state's infrastructure so that we could create jobs and rebuild our essential infrastructure. These plans will result in green jobs, the development of renewable energy and significantly reduced pollution. This will allow us to build communities that are healthier and more prosperous all across New York."
The plans for each region, which will align with the strategic plan of their Regional Economic Development Council, will outline the region's vision, goals and objectives for a sustainable future. In addition, the plans will identify activities or projects that will have the greatest impact on reducing air pollution particularly ways to reduce carbon emissions and increase energy efficiency and renewable energy development within the regions. Up to $90 million will be available in the second phase of the CGC program for the implementation of plans.
Awards for seven of the regions were announced last December with the remaining three regional winners announced today. Funding of up to $1 million was available for each region in the first phase. Municipalities, acting on behalf of a coalition of counties, towns and organizations in their region, applied through the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA). The program is administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).
Francis J. Murray Jr., President and CEO of NYSERDA, said, "This funding is an excellent opportunity for all ten regions to develop plans that improve the state's environmental quality by reducing air, water and land pollution and advance our citizens' quality of life through smart growth principles and sustainable development. Governor Cuomo's Cleaner, Greener Communities initiative provides a real opportunity for regions to tailor plans for their own resources and needs to invest in a sustainable future for all New Yorkers."
ustainable development helps communities to use natural, economic and social resources more responsibly in order to preserve them for the future. Smart growth practices include implementing mixed land use, providing varied transportation choices, creating walkable neighborhoods and preserving open space.
Cleaner, Greener Regional Sustainability Planning awards were made to the following:
Capital Region: City of Albany, $1 million
Central New York Region: Onondaga County, $1 million
Finger Lakes Region: Monroe County, $900,000
Long Island Region: Town of North Hempstead, $800,000
Mid-Hudson/Westchester Region: Orange County, $865,000
Mohawk Valley Region: Otsego County, $1 million
New York City Region: City of New York, $1 million
North Country Region: Essex County, $1 million
Southern Tier Region: Tompkins County, $1 million
Western New York Region: Allegany County, $998,224
For more information on the Cleaner, Greener Communities program, please visit www.nyserda.ny.gov/Cleaner-Greener.
Last year, a total of $785 million was awarded through the CFA for community development and job creation projects consistent with each region's strategic plans.
To learn more about each Regional Council and their economic development plans, please visit www.nyworks.ny.gov.