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State council awards county more than $940K

County Airport and ALCO Trail projects to receive funding

The 60-acre ALCO brownfield site waterfront trail project was awarded nearly $480,000 through the Capital District Economic Development Council’s plan submitted to the state.

The 60-acre ALCO brownfield site waterfront trail project was awarded nearly $480,000 through the Capital District Economic Development Council’s plan submitted to the state. Submitted photo by Bill Pytlovany

— Schenectady County is set to receive nearly $945,000 to spur development from the $785 million awarded through Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council initiative.

Cuomo announced what projects would receive funding through the 10 different economic development councils on Thursday, Dec. 8, and the Capital Region Economic Development Council will receive $62.7 million for 88 projects. Schenectady County had six projects selected to receive funding.

Schenectady County’s bid for the ALCO Trail received the most funding of the six, with almost $480,000 going towards the waterfront revitalization project. Also, the county’s bid proposal for the Schenectady County Airport to extend the existing municipal sanitary sewer and water services is receiving just over $284,000.

“Regional collaborations and planning is a roadmap to get New Yorkers back to work,” said Cuomo in a prepared statement. “The plans submitted by all 10 regions were truly extraordinary.”

The Capital District wasn’t one of the big winners though, with the Western New York, Central New York, North Country and Long Island councils all awarded over $100 million each. The council receiving the least amount of funding was the Southern Tier, which was awarded $49.4 million.

The Capital District’s core strengths as cited in the report include education, research, technology and advanced manufacturing, along with the natural resources it has to offer.

Ray Gillen, commissioner of Economic Development and Planning for Schenectady County, touted the ALCO multi-use trail planned for the 60-acre site running along the Mohawk River Waterfront as a key area for investment in the county.

“It is a very, very important project for the county,” said Gillen. “The state saw what we already have done there. They see that this is real and this project is already proceeding.”

The project is proceeding on schedule already, said Gillen, but the state funding will help the county complete the waterfront portion of the project “the right way.” The pathway is planned to be used as a hike and bike trail with an access point for the waterfront.

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