Western New York was allocated $66 million to support 118 projects in the latest round of Empire State Development's economic development awards.
Western New York's total was third lowest among the 10 state's regions. Each of the state's regional councils submitted wish lists of projects, competing for allocations. The funding determinations were announced on Tuesday by Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul.
"By empowering the people who know their communities best, we have transformed the state's economic development strategy into one that is not only successful, but is built to last," Hochul said.
Statewide, more than $763 million was awarded. Central New York was awarded $88.2 million, the most of any region. The Finger Lakes region, which includes Rochester, was awarded $86.5 million, the third highest total in the state.
Some of the projects the $66 million awarded to Western New York that will receive funding:
•$2 million to support an expansion of Rosina Food Products' protein operation. Rosina is carrying out a $32 million expansion of its West Seneca plant and production line.
•$2.2 million for streetscape improvements and blight removal in Niagara Falls, on 6th and 7th streets between Walnut Avenue and Niagara Street, to support development of the former St. Mary's Hospital.
•$1.2 million to the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute for the Center for Therapeutic Interactions, a $4.3 million project designed to accelerate drug discovery and treatment of disease.
•$1.6 million to the town of Evans, to support a project to repair the western breakwall protecting the Sturgeon Point Marina.
•$539,187 to the Westminster Economic Development Initiative, to support an expansion of the West Side Bazaar. The awards summary said WEDI will renovate a vacant building "just a few blocks" from the bazaar's current home and transform it into an expanded business incubator.
•$500,000 to Buffalo Place to support the revitalization of downtown mixed use properties.
•$498,600 to AgriAmerica Fruit Products, to support a $2.4 million project to revitalize a closed juice-making plant in Fredonia.
•$273,000 to support adding interactive touch pools at the Aquarium of Niagara.
Empire State Development has announced Amanda Mays as the new executive director for the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council. She is also Empire State Development's new regional director for Western New York.
The nonprofit Reclaim New York Initiative criticized the entire economic development awards process, which was started in 2011.
“Propaganda spectacles don’t address the crippling issues of unaffordable property taxes, unreliable public transportation and unavailable job opportunities that are the root of what’s really hurting people across our state," said Jadan Horyn, the organization's communications director.