SYRACUSE (WRVO) - The impact of the more than a billion dollars the state has invested for economic development in central New York should be kicking in soon, according to state officials. At a ribbon cutting event in Syracuse Thursday, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul took pains to explain how often she has been to central New York in the last 2 1/2 years.
"One hundred twenty-one visits, most of them I have either a shovel in my hand or a pair of scissors in my hand, because a lot of those are new projects that wouldn’t have happened but for the state’s interest and investment and commitment,” the lieutenant governor said.
According to Hochul, central New York has won $529 million for 505 projects since the Regional Economic Development Council program started in 2011. That doesn’t include the $500 million central New York won in the Upstate Revitalization Initiative in 2015.
And for those who question whether the investment has made a difference in a community that has struggled to recover from the recession, Hochul points to her hometown of Buffalo, which has blossomed economically since it was the target of the Buffalo Billion. But she admits, it takes time.
"I know people want it overnight. I felt the same in Buffalo. I assure you we all felt the same. But there’s no going back. And that’s the message from a sister city just down the road. And that should give some encouragement to people here,” Hochul said.