The Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) is a regional economic development partnership between federal, state, and local government. Established by Congress in the 2008 Farm Bill, the Commission is composed of the governors of the 4 Northern Border states and a federal co-chair, who is appointed by the President of the United States. Each year Congress appropriates funds for Commission programs. The program provides financial and technical assistance to constituencies in the region in meeting its special problems, to promote its economic development, and to establish a framework for joint federal-state-local efforts toward providing the basic facilities essential to its growth, attacking its common problems and meeting its common needs on a coordinated and concerted regional basis.
New York State is one of the four states in the federally-defined Northern Border region that includes parts of Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.
Under the program the States are responsible for recommending projects for NBRC assistance in one of the following seven categories:
The Northern Border region of New York State contains the following fourteen counties: Cayuga, Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Herkimer, Fulton, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Oneida, Oswego, St. Lawrence, Seneca.
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The NBRC grant solicitation cycle begins in the spring and is completed with project application approval at the end of the Federal Fiscal Year in September. Area development program grant awards provide matching funds for projects in or affecting New York’s fourteen Northern Border counties. Priority is given to projects that will expand transportation infrastructure, build basic water and wastewater systems, enhance telecommunications access or increase work force and economic development activities.
Funding is available for up to $250,000 per project. The maximum NRBC contribution for a project or activity to be carried out in these counties is 80%.
FY 2012 New York State NBRC Projects
Business Development Corporation for a Greater Massena - $123,500
The Business Development Corporation for a Greater Massena in Saint Lawrence will construct a new rail spur from the CSX Transportation's St. Lawrence Subdivision to serve an existing industrial park in a remote area of Northern New York. The project will provide efficient and environmentally-friendly alternative transportation modes for the industrial park and surrounding area. This will allow a recent startup producer of alternative, domestic fuels (wood pellets) and an established supplier of wood fiber to succeed in the national and global marketplace, while reducing dependence on overseas fuels. This projects anticipates that it can create seven new jobs and retain of 119 more.
The Wild Center – $158,120
The Wild Center and its partner, the Paul Smith's College Visitor Interpretive Center in Franklin County, will implement the Northern New York Maple Project. This initiative will promote job growth through resource conservation and tourism. In cooperation with the Cornell Sugar Maple Research and Extension Program, this project will provide hands on training to current and potential maple producers; create and maintain two public, energy efficient maple sugaring demonstration sites at destination sites; raise community awareness of the potential for maple sugaring as a renewed part of a sustainable, local, working forest-based economy; provide stimulus, support, and resources for tappers and new entrepreneurs in northern New York's Maple industry; educate the economic development sector by demonstrating the energy efficient technologies available in the maple industry today; and generate self-sustaining income and employment for this region. This project anticipates direct and indirect creation of 40 new jobs for the region.
FY 2011 New York State NBRC Projects
Clayton Local Development Corporation - $250,000
Located in the Thousand Islands along the Canadian border, the Village of Clayton community relies heavily on tourism. While the community boasts many unique shops, parks, eateries, and recreational opportunities, the area currently lacks adequate hotel accommodations. This funding will support the installation of basic public utilities to develop a remediated brownfield site on the St. Lawrence River. The existing public utilities were required to be removed during site remediation activities. The town and the development corporation have secured a funding commitment from a corporation with success in developing the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel in Appalachian New York. The proposed development will include a $20 million 100-room hotel, creating an estimated 80 full-time jobs.
Lewis County Development Corporation - $95,320
The Lewis County Development Corporation recently purchased an old mill site from a private owner and is looking for redevelopment possibilities for the site. The mill site used to house a pulp and paper mill that employed 286 people, but closed in 2000. A local private entity, Aries Chemical Inc., is looking to expand its operations into a warehouse located on the site if rail service is available. This project will rehabilitate a railway spur located in the Village of Lyons Falls and allow for the expansion of Aries Chemical Inc.