Fine, NY, Oct 03, 2012 — The North Country Regional Economic Development Council has emerged as one of the most influential groups shaping economic activity in the region.
The Council was created last year by Governor Andrew Cuomo. It helped direct more than $100 million of state aid to companies and non-profits -- from the Bombardier plant in Plattsburgh to a new energy project at Fort Drum.
But the councils, which are made up entirely of volunteers, have also sparked controversy. The group has backed costly railroad projects in southern St. Lawrence County and in the central Adirondacks that some critics say have questionable economic value.
Brian Mann spoke recently with Tony Collins, co-chair of the North Country's council and president of Clarkson University in Potsdam. Collins says the organization has already established a strong track record, helping to fund projects that are sparking new jobs and investment.