Presentations continue for the second and final day in front of the New York 2015 Upstate Revitalization Initiative (URI), Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Regional Economic Development Councils' competition to award money to different regions in the state.

Locally, the team comprised of representatives from six counties, Fulton; Herkimer; Montgomery; Oneida; Otsego; and Schoharie, has been dubbed "MV500," for the Mohawk Valley's attempt to secure its third of the $1.5 billion offered.

The MV500 team concluded its presentation shortly after 10:20am this morning.  The North Country Region is the next region to present its plan.

The work of the MV500 team was applauded as the panel took a break for recess as Cesar A. Perales, New York's Secretary of State, said, "This has been a great presentation. I congratulate you."

Critics have pointed to the fact that, although the verbal presentation made specific note of the other counties involved, the video that was incorporated into the presentation was too Utica-centric.  The vast majority of the videos that were shot as part of the production were staged in and around Utica, New York and excluded any mention of the other five counties involved in MV500.

Despite that, those who worked on the project said that input from all of the counties was incorporated.

During today's presentation a leading member of the team and one of the presenters for MV500, Alicia Dicks, President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties in Utica, told the REDC panel that the MV500's product was the result of a group effort.  She said that it "...really took months to cultivate relationships within our counties…to really roll our sleeves up…and challenge us to move the needle forward.” She added, “This was about strategy, this was about vision…and we really brought people together.”

More information about the presentation can be accessed through the MV500 website at: MV500.com.

Of the seven regions that are eligible for the $500 million grants, only three will be selected.  The competition excludes Western New York, which has already received economic support in the form of the Buffalo Billions Initiative.  Some have dubbed Governor Andrew Cuomo's competition the "New York Hunger Games," as they are putting regions in the position of competing with one another for economic viability.  Proponents say that the regions should be competitive anyway in order to ensure their own sustainability.

A decision on the grant recipients, what the "Best Plan Awardees," is expected later this fall.


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