Wednesday, August 23, 2023

North Country gets $11M in Northern Border Regional Commission funding

fort ticonderoga reenactment

Funding will go toward 12 projects that include childcare expansion, fixing infrastructure, broadband and more

After delivering historic increase for the program in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $10,858,128 in federal funding for twelve projects across the North Country and Upstate New York through the Northern Border Regional Commission’s (NBRC) the largest annual investment for Upstate NY in the program’s history. Schumer and Gillibrand said these projects will help address critical needs across the region, including expanding childcare, fixing aging infrastructure, training workers for good-paying jobs, increasing access to high-speed internet, and accelerating the economic growth of Main Streets across the North Country and Upstate New York.

The historic increase in funding for the NBRC is a direct result of the funding Schumer and Gillibrand were able to deliver in the Bipartisan Infrastructure & Jobs Law. In 2021, the senators secured $150 million for the NBRC in the Bipartisan Infrastructure & Jobs Law, over triple it’s funding from previous years. For context on how large the historic nearly $11 million dollar investment in Upstate NY is this year, from 2010-2022, the NBRC invested in over 60 projects totaling over $28 million in investment for Upstate New York. Last year, the NBRC awarded $5.8 million for projects in Upstate NY. The NBRC’s 2023 Catalyst Program is designed to stimulate economic growth and inspire partnerships that improve rural economic vitality across the four-state NBRC region. The Commission made a historic level of funding available through the program this year, with up to $45 million in grants, including up to $20 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that communities across Upstate NY were able to tap.

“Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure & Jobs Law, more money is flowing to the North Country and Upstate NY through the Northern Border Regional Commission than ever before. I am proud to deliver this major nearly $11 million job creating, quality of life boosting federal investment to expand childcare, boost public health, strengthen our infrastructure, increase access to high speed internet, and help Upstate NY’s economy grow,” said Senator Schumer. “I fought to deliver historic increases for the NBRC because I knew that would deliver unprecedented funding for communities across New York, and now communities from Watertown to Plattsburgh are reaping the rewards. This is a big win for Upstate NY, and it is only the beginning. I’m proud to have delivered this historic funding to help families and communities lay the foundation for a better future here in the North Country.”

“The Northern Border Regional Commission has provided economic opportunities for rural communities in Upstate New York for years. This historic funding will help communities across Upstate rebuild their infrastructure, provide critical job training in in-demand fields, and revitalize our tourism industry. I am proud to have worked to deliver this funding, which is a direct result of the increased funding for the NBRC in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and I’ll keep fighting to make sure our communities have the resources they need to thrive by working to reauthorize the NBRC in the upcoming Farm Bill,” said Senator Gillibrand.

Community leaders applauded the historic funding that Senator Schumer and Gillibrand secured for Upstate NY:

“Working together, we are addressing the rural digital divide in the North Country,” said Carl E. Farone, Jr., Executive Director of the Development Authority of the North Country. “The Development Authority has worked with its Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Lewis county partners to identify gaps in broadband coverage and ways to address them. Senator Schumer has been a champion of expanding broadband access and this NBRC grant is a great example of what we can achieve by working together. We look forward to working with our partners to implement this grant to the benefit of unserved North Country households and we are grateful to Senator Schumer for his support.”

“Receiving the NBRC Catalyst grant means not only will Hand In Hand be able to create more childcare slots in all areas across Lewis County, but it will also create more jobs within our community. This is amazing news for us and we are so thankful to Senator Schumer, Senator Gillibrand, our State Representatives, as well as our local Lewis County Representatives for all of their support with this project. Hand In Hand Early Childhood Center and Lewis County saw a need in our small community and now we will be able to act on that need and work towards solving the childcare crisis in Lewis County and  we are so grateful for this opportunity,” said Jenniffer Bleakley, Executive Director at Hand In Hand Early Childhood Center.”

“We worked with former Congressman John McHugh some years ago on the creation of the NBRC as a source of flexible support for North Country projects, and thanks to our Washington friends today, it is really helping in a variety of ways,” said Garry Douglas, President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce. “The four projects funded in our area are all important and touch on the critical needs of workforce, housing, childcare and tourism related infrastructure. We thank Senators Schumer and Gillibrand for the funding boost in the Infrastructure Bill and for their continued support for economic and community development enhancements in our region. Onward and upward!”

Schumer and Gillibrand are currently leading the charge in the Senate to renew the Northern Border Regional Commission’s economic development programs and create more agency jobs. The senators introduced the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) Reauthorization Act of 2023 this past February, which would reauthorize the NBRC for another ten years, increase annual authorized funding levels, and target funds to addressing childcare and health care needs, supporting housing projects, building climate resilient infrastructure, and combatting the opioid crisis, in addition to the agency’s focus of creating new jobs, promoting business retention and expansion, making critical investment in public infrastructure, and boosting tourism across Upstate New York counties.

A full list of awarded project can be found below:

RecipientNBRC Award AmountLocation:Project Description
Hand in Hand Early Childhood Center$2,996,422.80Lewis County (NY-21)Hand in Hand will expand their flagship center located in Lowville by adding two classrooms and 24 more potential childcare slots. The proposal also includes the creation of two satellite facilities located at the northernmost and southernmost school districts in Lewis County. These satellite facilities would provide approximately 32 childcare slots at each school campus.
Development Authority of North Country (DANC)$2,455,079.00Lewis, Jefferson, St. Lawrence Counties (NY-21)The Development Authority of the North Country will complete a multi-jurisdictional telecommunications project bringing affordable, high-speed broadband to approximately 488 unserved households in rural communities in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence Counties. The project will result in 63.3 miles of new fiber and bring digital parity to rural residents. Following Schumer’s advocacy for expanded broadband funding in Upstate New York, the Development Authority of the North Country (DANC) received a major $14,547,750 investment this past June through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Grant Program to significantly expand broadband access in the region.
Ticonderoga Revitalization Alliance$248,570.00Essex County (NY-21)This project will renovate a vacant 10,000 sq ft building into a public childcare center walkable to Ticonderoga downtown and parks. Currently the town only has 16 childcare slots for more than 300 children under the age of 6. The project will create 50 new childcare slots for children from infancy through 5 years.
Cayuga County Water and Sewer Authority$605,385.00Cayuga County (NY-24)The project will install over 5,000 feet of 12-inch waterline from an existing source to the Cayuga County Industrial Park. The project will increase the capacity for water delivery by approximately 1.0 MGD to Cayuga Milk Ingredients (CMI), a major tenant in the Park, which is in the permitting stage for a $170 million expansion and create 85 new jobs. Last year, Schumer secured a $1.1 million grant for the Cayuga County Industrial Development Agency through the EDA’s American Rescue Plan Economic Adjustment Assistance program to help construct a new wastewater pumping station to directly support the ongoing growth and expansion of the Cayuga Milk Ingredients and Denkavit-Grober Nutrition dairy processing plants.
Canton-Potsdam Hospital$500,000St. Lawrence County (NY-21)Canton-Potsdam Hospital (CPH) will construct 16 exam rooms for practical learning, a fully equipped conference room, and office space for the program director, administrative support, and residents in support of the development of a residency program in Rural Family Medicine. This project seeks to address a need for more rural-focused clinicians in the primary care setting and it is anticipated that clinic visits will increase 5 to 6 times from having residents available to provide care.
Town of Henderson$1,000,000.00Jefferson County (NY-21)The Town of Henderson will construct a wastewater treatment and collection system to address sanitary waste problems for residents utilizing individual subsurface sewer disposal systems. The Town’s economy is almost entirely dependent on outdoor recreational tourism and this project will assist with expansion of existing businesses and creation of new economic opportunities.
Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority$1,000,000.00St. Lawrence County (NY-21)The project will build a new, easily accessible 15,000 square foot childcare center for the residents of St. Lawrence County to provide daycare, an integrated preschool program and other childcare services. Last year, Schumer secured over $2 million to support the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority child care center project.
Valley Residential Services, Inc.$400,000Herkimer County (NY-21)This funding will extend 1,300 linear feet of sanitary sewer lines from the Town of Herkimer’s municipal system to a 226-acre campus to assist with a new $53.3M 160-bed, neurobehavioral and skilled nursing facility, creating and retaining essential healthcare jobs, and ensuring the health and wellbeing of the community.
Clayton Improvement Association, Ltd.$500,000Jefferson County (NY-21)The project will rehabilitate a 9,240 square foot mixed use building, located in the center of LaFargeville in the Town of Orleans. The rehabilitation will create 2-3 new commercial spaces, 2 newly renovated commercial spaces and 4 residential units. These newly created spaces and newly renovated units will allow for new entrepreneurial small business. The revitalization of the large mixed-use building is expected will act as a catalyst for growth and development throughout the small community.
The Fort Ticonderoga Association$200,000.00Essex County (NY-21)Fort Ticonderoga proposes to replace approximately 820 linear feet of water line that services the Ticonderoga peninsula. The pipe is the only connection between the town water line and the peninsula, which includes Fort Ticonderoga, a Department of Environmental Conservation, boat launch and facilities, Amtrak Train Station and Fort Ticonderoga Ferry dock.
Clinton County Chapter NYSARC$452,672.00Clinton and Essex Counties (NY-21)The project will ramp up and rapidly expand workforce recruitment and retention activities for professional/paraprofessional to fill over 500 vacancies in a two-county. This will ensure service continuity and quality of care that is essential for the “hidden” communities of Individuals with Developmental Disabilities (IDD).
Lake Champlain-Lake George Regional Planning Board$500,000Clinton, Essex, Hamilton, Warren, Washington Counties (NY-21)The Lake Champlain Lake George Regional Planning Board will establish a Revolving Loan Fund for purchase/rehabilitation of long-term rentals within five upstate New York counties. This will increase the stock and affordability of long-term rentals for the year-round workforce within the Adirondack Park. Projects will be focused in hamlets and developed areas, and constrained to units that house year-round workforce, increasing business’ ability to attract workforce for the creation/retention of jobs within the region. This fund will provide at least 4 loans in the disbursement phase, renovating 4 buildings, creating approximately 12 units, and leveraging private investment.

Photo from Fort Ticonderoga. The fort proposes to replace approximately 820 linear feet of water line that services the Ticonderoga peninsula. 

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Community news stories come from press releases and other notices from organizations, businesses, state agencies and other groups. Submit your contributions to Almanack Editor Melissa Hart at

3 Responses

  1. John powers says:

    Would this be another deal where your congress person voted NO but shows up for the ribbon cutting?

  2. Bill Quinlivan says:

    Thanks, Joe, Chuck and Kathy! Blue works for you, North Country!

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