April 9, 2008
CONTACT: Jeffrey Gordon


Capital Investments Will Help Create Jobs Throughout New York, Upstate And Downstate to Benefit

Governor David A. Paterson today announced that the 2008-09 Enacted Budget includes a $700 million Upstate Revitalization Fund that will promote economic growth and opportunity throughout Upstate New York, as part of a statewide $1.6 billion economic development capital plan.

“Especially in these difficult economic times, when families are feeling the effects of a likely recession, we must make the critical investments that will create jobs and expand opportunity for all New Yorkers,” said Governor Paterson. “The strategic plan for growth we are implementing today will help unlock Upstate’s great economic potential and enhance communities throughout our state.”

Though the overall dollar amount originally proposed for the Upstate Revitalization Fund was reduced due to fiscal pressures (from $1 billion to $700 million), the major strategic components were left intact. The fund, which will be institutionalized in statute so future capital plans continue to invest in Upstate revitalization in a strategic fashion. These initiatives include:

  • Regional Blueprint Fund ($120 million): Reflecting the need to move away from a “one-size-fits-all” approach to Upstate economic development, the Enacted Budget creates a $120 million Regional Blueprint Fund, which will be used to take advantage of the unique assets in each part of New York. This fund will be administered by the Empire State Development Corporation and will build on Regional Blueprint sessions held last fall to identify projects that will enhance each specific Upstate area's economic advantages.
  • City-by-City Investments ($180 million): In the Enacted Budget, $150 million will support the historic commitment announced last year to break gridlock on several critical economic development projects throughout Upstate cities. These include Midtown Plaza ($55 million) and the University of Rochester’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute ($50 million) in Rochester; the Connective Corridor ($20 million) in Syracuse; housing in the Fort Drum area ($10 million); and inner and outer harbor revitalization efforts ($15 million) in Buffalo. Additionally, another $30 million will be provided to fund new City-by-City projects, which will be awarded competitively.
  • Upstate Housing Investments ($100 million): Increasing the availability of affordable housing is a crucial means of attracting the talented employees growing businesses need. As such, an estimated $100 million will be dedicated to the development of affordable, supportive, and workforce housing projects throughout Upstate, as part of a $200 million statewide commitment.
  • Rebuilding State Parks ($70 million): To draw residents, tourists, and private investment, $70 million (as part of a $95 million statewide commitment) will be provided for Upstate projects that help transform our natural treasures, including State parks, campgrounds, fairgrounds, historic sites, and other facilities.
  • Agricultural Development Fund ($40 million): This funding will support the continued growth of the food and agricultural industry by encouraging investments that promote the development of alternative fuel products, access to markets, and improvements in farm and agricultural infrastructure.
  • Upstate Infrastructure Investments ($30 million): To continue efforts to maintain and upgrade local road systems in Upstate, the Enacted Budget provides nearly $30 million in additional Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) aid to municipalities.
  • Other Initiatives ($160 million): Additional funding will also be provided as part of the Upstate Revitalization Fund to finance:
    • $35 million for an Investment Opportunity Fund that supports Upstate projects, including up to $13 million for Magna Powertrain located in Syracuse. This $35 million is part of a new, larger $50 million statewide initiative aimed at growing the New York’s business community, as well as ensuring opportunities are provided to those businesses expanding operations and growing their workforce;
    • $45 million for infrastructure improvements at the Luther Forest Technology Campus in Saratoga County;
    • $20 million for community development activities;
    • $15 million to expand and improve our state’s arts and cultural assets;
    • $5 million to expand the Universal Broadband initiative;
    • $3 million for a business marketing program targeting Upstate;
    • $12 million to enhance existing state programs supporting the development of high technology; and,
    • $25 million for other Empire State Development Corporation investment and job creation programs.

The Enacted Budget also supports additional funding for downstate capital projects. These initiatives include:

  • Downstate Housing Efforts ($100 million): As part of the $200 million statewide commitment for the development of affordable, supportive and workforce housing, an estimated $100 million will be dedicated to downstate areas.
  • New York City Waterfront Parks Funding ($30 million): A total of $30 million will be provided for waterfront improvements at Governor’s Island ($10 million) and Hudson River Park ($20 million).
  • Downstate Regional Projects ($35 million): The budget includes $35 million for regional projects downstate. It will fund research and development activities on Long Island, including $5 million for the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and $10 million for the SUNY Stony Brook Energy Research Center. Additionally, resources for infrastructure development in the Hudson Valley, including $10 million for waterfront improvement initiatives, $5 million for the development of the solar energy industry, and $5 million for the growth of the semiconductor industry will be made available.
  • Investing in Communities ($35 million): In the budget, $35 million will be provided to fund a new downstate revitalization program that will support investments in inner cities and distressed communities by encouraging smart growth efforts and business development in economically distressed areas.
  • Other Initiatives ($75 million):
    • $35 million for a Downstate Revitalization Fund;
    • $25 million for rebuilding downstate parks;
    • $15 million for an Investment Opportunity Fund efforts downstate;
    • $15 million for community development;
    • $15 million for arts and cultural grants; and,
    • $5 million for the Universal Broadband initiative.

The Legislature will allocate $700 million in economic development capital funding ($350 million for the Assembly, $350 million for the Senate) statewide. At least $300 million of this allocation will be dedicated to Upstate, of which $35 million will specifically be dedicated to the Upstate Revitalization Fund.

The State’s capital plan will be supported by the issuance of $1.5 billion in Personal Income Tax (PIT) bonds, $40 million in General Fund resources, and the use of $100 million in State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA) excess Mortgage Insurance Fund reserves.