Southern Tier Reacts to $91 Million in Grants

By Callan Gray
By Candace Chapman

Southern Tier Reacts to $91 Million in Grants

December 19, 2012 Updated Dec 20, 2012 at 11:26 AM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The Southern Tier places high in Governor Andrew Cuomo's economic development awards.

The state awarded the region $91.1 million dollars to help it continue to grow.

During the first round of grants last year, the southern tier finished in last place, being awarded the least amount of money of all 10 regions in New York State and nearly half of what the state awarded it this year.

Among the projects funded are partnerships between local business and universities.

There's a half million for Cornell University to develop a Food Processing and Development Lab.

It will provide space to farmers or other small business to produce products such as yogurt, beverages, cheese.

And the state's making a $7 million dollar investment for the construction of the Southern Tier High Technology Incubator.

A project announced earlier this year in Binghamton.

We spoke to State Senator (R) Tom Libous and other leaders who say the grant money will create jobs and an economic future.

"We also want to create career opportunities so people stay in the Southern Tier," said Libous

"We have a lot of tech at SUNY and they’ll develop new things and leave and they may not just leave New York, they'll leave the country so by having this incubator, that keeps it here," said Debbie Preston, (R) Broome County Executive.

Preston says the grant pays for phase one of the incubator. But she says they will continue to push for more funding for the project.

Extending the airport corridor is another project Executive Preston says can be started with the additional money.

"That's a huge area," said Executive Preston. "If you look at what we've got up there its not just room for one business. This would be developing a whole corporate park so that would be for many businesses"

She says they will extend the sewer down the corridor to improve the infrastructure of the area.

This will make it possible to develop a corporate park in the corridor.

Executive Preston says it is too soon to know what kinds of businesses the area will attract.