Share this article

print logo


Federal appropriations for Rochester and Central New York easily outpaced the federal money allocated to the Buffalo Niagara region from the omnibus appropriations bill adopted last weekend.

For example, Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds, R-Clarence, and others in Congress took bows for an additional $5.5 million for the bioinformatics center at the University at Buffalo. That brought total federal funds for the facility over the last four years to $25.8 million.

However, the University of Rochester's Laboratory for Laser Energetics got $73.5 million -- almost three times the UB center's total -- just this year.

"That's about $28 million more than we expected," the lab's director, Robert McCrory, told the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle.

Reynolds also claimed credit at Roswell Park Cancer Institute on Tuesday for a $500,000 grant. A year ago, the Republican leadership killed a $2 million appropriation for Roswell Park that was sponsored by Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, D-Fairport.

Meanwhile, the new Infotonics Technology Center in Canandaigua got $8 million on Saturday.

In Rochester, Reynolds announced $12.1 million for a bus station in the city's Renaissance Square -- about $5 million more than expected -- bringing total U.S. funds for the terminal to $26.6 million. Syracuse also got $3.25 million for a transportation hub.

Intermodal stations in Buffalo, Niagara Falls and Jamestown that were authorized in a six-year transportation bill died at the end of the session.

The largest project announced for Syracuse was $54.9 million for the Syracuse Veteran Affairs Medical Center.

Syracuse University got $12 million for an Environmental Systems Center and for the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Global Affairs Institute.

The Syracuse area received $5 million for a research project done by Lockheed Martin and $6 million for the Space Alliance Technology Outreach Program.

The Republicans in charge of the omnibus bill killed a $1 million program to enhance Michigan Avenue in Buffalo that was sponsored by Slaughter.

But they supported $6 million for an inner-city program in Syracuse.

With rare exceptions, the Rochester academic and business communities have for decades been better organized and more effective in their pursuit of federal funds for their university and research institutes, which are mostly private.

So the Rochester agenda is not as affected by the inevitable turnover of House and Senate members, as is the Buffalo Niagara Region's, which has been mostly driven by elected officials.

Rochester's quest for dollars was further enhanced by congressional redistricting of 2002, which added Monroe County to the district of Rep. James T. Walsh, R-Syracuse.

Walsh, chairman of an appropriations subcommittee, is considered one of most successful producers of federal aid in the nation. Monroe County is now represented by three House members, including Reynolds, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, and Slaughter.

On Tuesday Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., announced the omnibus bill allocated a total of $500,000 to the world-famous Hauptmann-Woodward Medical Research Institute in Buffalo. At the same time, a planned pharmacy college at St. John Fisher College in Rochester got $1.05 million, and the Rochester Institute of Technology will receive $1.5 million for a project on integrated sensing systems.

News Washington Bureau Assistant Anna L. Miller contributed to this report.

There are no comments - be the first to comment