'Best Plan Award' To Integrate Southern Tier

By Kelly McCarthy

'Best Plan Award' To Integrate Southern Tier

December 19, 2012 Updated Dec 20, 2012 at 11:21 AM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) More than $90 million is coming to the Southern Tier in the latest round of regional economic development grants.

Binghamton University President and Co-Chair of the Regional Economic Development Council Dr. Harvey Stenger was in Albany to receive the Best Plan award.

Stenger returned to the BU campus and says it's a great achievement for the entire Southern Tier.

The council was recognized for its development plan that impacts eight counties.

He says having some grants and funding already in place help them achieve a more complete design plan to submit to Governor Cuomo.

"Having a design, at least the conceptual design ready allows us now to build out a more detailed design, start getting bids for contracts, start breaking ground like I said maybe as soon as this summer," said Dr. Harvey Stenger, Co-chair of the Regional Economic Development Council.

The Southern Tier Council was one of 3 Best Plan award winners.

The region is getting almost double what it received last year.

The proposal includes 62 projects that will help boost the region's economy.

About $2 million of the award money will go to a project that incorporates SUNY Binghamton students and new technology at BAE Systems.

"The students will actually be working at BAE while their taking this masters degree curriculum, so it's a great partnership and we're really glad they stayed here in the Southern Tier and maintained their organization and strength here," said Dr. Stenger.

The grant will also pay for phase one of the SUNY Binghamton incubator project.

Getting the "Best Plan" distinction gives the council an additional 25 million dollars of grant funds.

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