Utica, NY (WIBX) - The Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council is meeting again this Wednesday, (10/26) at SUNY Oneonta to put the finishing touches on its grant application for state funding. Governor Andrew Cuomo established the Empire State Development program to allow communities across the state to compete for up to $1 billion in available state resources.

SUNYIT President, and Officer-In-Charge at Morris State College, Dr. Wolf Yeigh, co-chairs this regions 21-member Economic Council. He says this Wednesday's meeting is one of two upcoming events for the group. "We're meeting at SUNY Oneonta this Wednesday and in a couple of weeks we're going to be meeting at SUNYIT. Hopefully then we'll have our winning proposal to submit by November 14th. The work continues," he said.

According to officials with Empire State Development, this years budget provides for $130 million in capital funds to be available immediately. Also, $70 million in Excelsior Tax Credits will be available beginning in the 2012 tax year, however, that funding will be disbursed over the course of ten years. Utica College President, Dr. Todd Hutton says Cuomo's New York is Open for Business Campaign provides a much needed opportunity to improve the Mohawk Valley region. "We have an opportunity as a region to better ourselves through this process that the governor initiated, and with Lt. Governor Duffy's leadership we do have an opportunity to win a competition for funds that will be very important for our region and I'd like to thank President Yeigh for leading that effort," he said.

Yeigh says the competition process also requires the community's involvement and input. "I would also ask our Mohawk Valley community's to reach out to the 21-members of the Regional Economic Development Council--tell us what your thoughts are, so that we can properly incorporate them and address them in future Regional Economic Development Council meetings," he said.

You can learn more about the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council's proposal for funding by following this link, http://nyworks.ny.gov/content/mohawk-valley. Also, the community is invited to participate in the following upcoming forums.

Draft Strategic Plan Community Forums

The draft plan will be presented for comment at the following forums being held throughout our Region.

November 1, 2011

Griffiss Institute, Oneida County

725 Daedalian Drive Rome, NY 13441

6:30 - 8 pm

November 2, 2011

Johnstown Senior Citizens Center, Fulton County

109 East Main Street Johnstown, NY 12095

6:30 - 8 pm

November 3, 2011

Cobleskill/Richmondville Central School, Library, Schoharie County

155 Washington Avenue

Cobleskill, NY 12043

6:30 - 8 pm