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      CNY wins 'Best Plan,' awarded $103.7 million for economic development

      More than 100 million dollars is headed to Central New York to boost economic development.

      This morning, the Central New York region took home one of the best plan awards with $103.7 million in state money.

      "Today, the entire state found out what we know already: that Central New York has the vision, talent and enormous potential to be a major economic force in New York State," said State Senator David Valesky, (D) New York. "I congratulate co-chairs Rob Simpson and Nancy Cantor, and all of the members of the Central New York Council, for their leadership and hard work in creating an excellent and competitive plan. This is a real game-changer for the region."

      The North Country region, including the Adirondacks received $103.2 million, Western New York was awarded $100.3 million, Long Island got $101.6 million, the Finger Lakes region took home $68.8 million, New York City received $66.2 million, the Mohawk Valley took home $60.2 million, the Southern Tier was awarded $49.4 million, the Capital Region got $62.7 million and the Mid-Hudson received $67 million.

      "This is truly one of the finest days for the North Country," said Assemblywoman Addie Russell, (D, New York). "As a Regional Council Best Awardee, our regional plan is receiving more than $103 Million. These funds will really be the catalyst for creating jobs and boosting our economy."

      The ten regions from across the state competed for $1 billion in aid to help companies expand, locate or stay and to boost employment. In its pitch, each regions tried to propose the most promising and cost-effective plan.

      The regions divided by the Cuomo administration include the Capital Region, Central New York, Finger Lakes, Long Island, Mid-Hudson, Mohawk Valley, New York City, North Country, Southern Tier.

      Officials from CenterState CEO were on hand to accept Central New York's award.

      The Central New York Regional Economic Development Council worked feverishly for several months gathering input from a five-county region to create a plan that builds on current business strengths, educational assets and unique qualities of Central New York.

      Here are some of the projects from Onondaga County that made the list for significant state dollars:

      1. CNY Biotechnology Research Center (Onondaga County) : $1.95 million2. Kennedy Square Bioscience Park (Onondaga County): $3.6 million3. St. Joseph's Hospital (Onondaga County): $2.5 million4. Syracuse Inner Harbor (Onondaga County ): $3 million5. Clay Business Park (Onondaga County): $2 million

      Some of the other projects from the other four counties:

      1. Cayuga Ingredients Milk Processing Plant (Cayuga County): $4 million2. Cortland Business Innovation Center (Cortland County): $500,0003. Owera Vineyards (Madison County): $994,0004. Port of Oswego (Oswego County): $1.25 million5. Huhtamaki Plant (Oswego County): $1 million

      If fully executed, the project would created nearly 2,000 new permanent jobs and 1,900 construction jobs over the next five years.

      Upstate Medical University is behind two projects that would benefit from the money. The CNY Biotechnology Research Center would receive $2 million. Dr. David Smith, CEO of Upstate Medical University, says that money would finish six or seven more lab spaces in the building.

      The Kennedy Square redevelopment project would receive $3.6 million. That money is set to be used to take down old buildings and make the creation of Loguen's Crossing shovel-ready.

      "We need to get office space in here," says Smith. "We have to get about 500 office spaces in here, so we can begin construction and design. My need for that is about 14 months out."

      St. Joseph's Hospital is also on the list. CEO Kathryn Ruscitto says the money will be used for the hospital's construction project, and she says patients will see a big difference.

      "Better quality of care, more efficient care, safer care, in an environment that is very healing," says Ruscitto. She says the money will help fund expansion of patient rooms, operating rooms, and critical care rooms.

      Information from the Associated Press was used in this article.