Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Last year, the Southern Tier received around $35 million from the state to fund 57 projects across the region to improve and promote economic growth.
The projects were coordinated through the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council, one of 10 regional councils set up by Governor Andrew Cuomo last year.
The Southern Tier council met to evaluate its progress over the last year. They say last year's projects have helped retain or create more than 2,000 jobs.
However, the Southern Tier received the least amount of funding out of the 10 regions. The North Country region took the most with $103 million.
Council leaders say they have a better idea of what makes a good project. Members also say this year's participation is higher and the quality of project proposals are better.
"These municipalities and rural areas have come together as a region," said council co-chair David Skorton, "And people are responding to this approach that the governor has taken at bringing us forward at a much much better clip."
This year, there's more than $750 million up for grabs by the 10 councils.
The Southern Tier's council will be promoting projects that include rebuilding Binghamton's transportation industry and fixing rural health systems.
The council also wants to look at revitalizing the region's downtown areas which will hopefully translate into more money for the region.
"If we're trying to attract or retain companies, a lot of them are going to go down to that downtown and ask, what can it offer my employees," said Kevin McLaughlin of Empire State Department.
The council says they've had a surge of interest from local businesses and towns.
They say they have a lot more quality projects on the table.
At the meeting, the council discussed the priority of the proposed projects. They will have to submit their list of prioritized plans to the state on September 14.