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FAIR HEARS PITCH FOR REGIONALISM TO BOOST PROSPERITY

"Regionalism equals prosperity," Fredonia State College President Dennis Hefner told more than 100 people at a luncheon held Friday as part of the ninth annual Business/Industry Awareness Fair.

Regionalism, he said, is cooperation and collaboration, economy of scale and avoiding duplication of services.

Fredonia State formed the Center for Rural Regional Development and Governance with seed money from the Gebbie Foundation of Jamestown, Hefner said.

The center did the study and compiled the data for the discussion of shared services between the village of Brocton and the surrounding town of Portland. Both municipalities are reviewing the study, he said.

"The region has to take hold of what it can do to improve the prosperity in the area," Hefner said. "Look at the pluses, not the negatives -- housing costs, educational facilities, labor costs, low medical costs, many cultural events, a large source of fresh water, the electronic highway along the Thruway and the outstanding quality of life.

"We don't have hurricanes. We have some snow."

The morning part of the fair was held at Steele Hall on the college campus. Ten local school districts sent 550 students to see the exhibits and talk to representatives of 34 private businesses, non-profit organizations and public sector agencies. All the organizations are based in the northern part of the county.

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