03.15.16

SCHUMER & GILLIBRAND URGE SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE TO BOOST FEDERAL FUNDING FOR THE NORTHERN BORDER REGIONAL COMMISSION – FUNDING TO PROMOTE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT & FEDERAL, STATE, LOCAL PARTNERSHIPS

14 New York State Counties Along Northern Border Would Benefit From Economic Development Initiatives

Schumer & Gillibrand: Economic opportunities cut across state lines, it is essential that our region address these obstacles to economic recovery in a meaningful and targeted way

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today urged federal appropriators to include funding for the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 budget. The Senators are requesting $10 million in federal funding for FY 2017 for NBRC’s programming that helps support counties throughout the region in building basic water and wastewater systems and transportation infrastructure, enhancing broadband access, and increasing workforce and economic development initiatives. The NBRC is a joint federal-state economic development effort that includes some of the most economically distressed counties of central and northern New York, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

“The Northern Border Commission plays a special role in spurring economic development and creating jobs in the North Country, and it is critical we invest in the NBRC so it can continue executing its mission,” said Senator Schumer. “This $10 million investment will allow the NBRC to help improve aging infrastructure, create jobs and spur growth throughout the regional economy for years to come.”

“Investments like this one help boost the local economy, revitalize our communities, attract new businesses, and create new jobs,” said Senator Gillibrand. “I will continue to work hard to fight for this funding in the Fiscal Year 2017 appropriations bill to help our local communities make the necessary investments in infrastructure, training, and other critical resources to support local businesses and entrepreneurs in creating and growing thriving businesses in the North Country and Central New York.”

The Senators in their letter stated economic opportunities cut across state lines and that it is essential for our regions to address obstacles to economic recovery in a meaningful and targeted way. By utilizing local and regional development plans, the commission will be able to infuse federal funds into projects with a broad economic benefit across the region. The Northern Border region of New York State includes 14 counties: Cayuga, Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Herkimer, Fulton, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Oneida, Oswego, St. Lawrence, and Seneca.

The NBRC is a regional economic development partnership between federal, state, and local government. The Commission is composed of the governors of the four Northern Border states and a federal co-chair to provide financial and technical assistance to communities in the region to promote economic development, and facilitate federal-state-local partnerships.

Full text of the Senators’ joint letter is included below:

Dear Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Feinstein:

            As you begin consideration of the Fiscal Year 2017 (FY16) Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill, we write to express our strong support in providing $10 million for the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC). We appreciate previous efforts you have made to make this a successful economic development effort along the Northern Border.

            The NBRC is a joint federal-state economic development effort that includes some of the most economically distressed counties of central and northern New York, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. For decades, this region have faced tough economic circumstances brought about by a dwindling number of economic and employment opportunities. The Great Recession has only deepened these troubles. 

            Even as available funds for the program have increased, demand in funds requested and total applications has far exceeded the available resources. In FY15, for example, the percentage of awarded funds compared to the amounts requested was only 36 percent. For this same grant cycle, NBRC funds leveraged on average 2.6 dollars in matching funds for each federal grant dollar that was awarded. Projections show that these efforts will result in thousands of new jobs created and more than a thousand jobs retained. 

            Since economic opportunities cut across state lines, it is essential that our region address these obstacles to economic recovery in a meaningful and targeted way. By utilizing local and regional development plans, the commission will be able to effectively infuse federal funds into projects with a broad economic benefit all across the region. As Congress continues to work to revive our economy, we should allocate federal resources to programs like the NBRC that will promote economic development efforts in the most effective way possible. Given the significant return on investment and need for additional resources, it is critical we support the NBRC with the requested modest increase in funding.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Schumer                                                               

United States Senator

 

Kristen Gillibrand
United States Senator                                                              

 

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