December 8, 2016 (ONEONTA, NY) – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced today that, for the second year in a row, the Mohawk Valley Region was a Top Performer in the annual Consolidated Funding competition, winning almost $82 million for the region and over $6,200,000 awarded to Otsego County-based projects. The biggest news of the afternoon was the $3 million that Otsego Now was awarded for further development of a building on Market Street, Oneonta, which will serve as a regional center for craft food and beverage innovation, including education, business incubation and services. Senator James L. Seward said, “Otsego Now is a true compass for local economic development and the projects funded by these REDC grants will help keep us on a steady course toward growth and job creation. The Mohawk Valley region was named a top performer thanks in large part to the unmistakable potential of these strong proposals. These latest winning initiatives fit well with other projects that are already progressing as we rebuild and transform our local economy with an eye toward a successful future.”

Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig exclaimed, “This is very good news for the City of Oneonta. The Food and Beverage Innovation Center is an anchor for our reclamation of Market Street and our Downtown Revitalization Initiative, and this award will ensure that it continues to progress. I would like to thank the staff and board of Otsego Now both for their hard work on this project and their confidence in the City of Oneonta. I also thank Governor Cuomo and the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council for investing in Oneonta’s future.”

“It’s fantastic that the state has once again recognized the importance of Oneonta and the potential for craft food and beverage growth in Otsego County and our region,” said Devin Morgan, Otsego Now Board Chair. “The food hub project can be a centerpiece and catalyst for the vibrant downtown envisioned by Oneonta’s DRI committee.” Morgan also commented on the $57,500 that Otsego Now was awarded to advance public wi-fi hotspots in Oneonta and Cooperstown, saying “Downtown wi-fi may sound like a small thing, but it’s an important step in making our downtowns appealing places to live, work, and visit.”

Otsego Now will also significantly advance its work in redeveloping the historic Oneonta Rail Yards with an ESD award of $1,000,000, and the revitalization of Oneonta will be furthered dramatically with Otsego Now’s award of $500,000 for the Market Street Innovation District, for streetscape improvements in that district. Beyond these awards, the City of Oneonta has ample reason to celebrate today, having been awarded $641,000 to repair the Lower Reservoir Dam, $200,000 in microenterprise grant funds, and $420,000 to purchase composting equipment to recycle food waste. Said Mayor Herzig, “In partnership with Otsego Now, nearly $5,000,000 in projects have received CFA funding. These projects all work together to revitalize our downtown, create good jobs, and rebuild on infrastructure. Oneonta is on the rise.”

“The Otsego Now Team and our many community partners are thrilled by today’s success and we express appreciation to the Governor, Senator Seward, Assemblyman Magee, and the Mohawk Valley Regional Council for their confidence. It takes years and a local commitment to economic development success to advance projects to fruition, and today’s news advances several or our priority projects closer to reality”, added Otsego Now CEO Alexander “Sandy” Mathes, Jr.

In addition to these projects, Otsego County is also celebrating these successes:
• Otsego Now’s award of $49,500 to further study redevelopment of Cooperstown’s historic Doubleday Field and the Village’s vibrant Railroad Avenue District
• The Village of Cooperstown’s $120,500 to help restore 22 Main Street, which houses the village offices, library and Arts Association
• $333,750 to the Baseball Hall of Fame to improve and update marketing materials
• $120,500 to the Fenimore Art Museum for marketing support of their 2017 exhibit of art and artifacts surrounding the sport of figure skating
• $13,000 to Toonie Moonie, a Fly Creek-based manufacturer of organic marshmallow crème, for the purchase of equipment

The Regional Economic Development Council initiative is a key component of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s transformative approach to State investment and economic development. In 2011, Governor Cuomo established 10 Regional Councils to develop long-term strategic plans for economic growth for their regions. The Councils are public-private partnerships made up of local experts and stakeholders from business, academia, local government, and non-governmental organizations. From 2011 to 2015, the Mohawk Valley Region has received more than $170 million in CFA funding for a total investment of more than $915 million, funding 375 projects and creating and retaining more than 6,300 jobs. Today’s announcement of grant awards will further catalyze growth in our region.