Gov. Andrew Cuomo in Albany earlier today unveiled more than $715 million in economic development grants for the regional economic development councils around the state.

It was the third year in a row the governor has held to tout the packaged grant money, which is being doled out on a competitive basis to the 10 different regions of the state.

The big winners or “top performers” were the Southern Tier, which received $81.9 million, the Mohawk Valley region received $82.4 million, the North Country received $81.3 million.

The Albany area received one of the largest packages, $82.8 million, an area of the state that has already greatly benefited from the state’s investment in both the nanotech college at SUNY as well as the tax credits for GlobalFoundries in Saratoga County.

Earlier this afternoon, the governor’s office released a 142-page book detailing where the grant money will earmarked.

Some are more specific than others, but there’s a mix in there for equipment purchases at colleges, trail construction and improvement and even marketing.

For example, $100,000 will be spent to “deliver a detailed business and implementation plan” for Adirondack North Country Product Branding.

Also in the North Country, $4.5 million will be spent on the expansion of the Plattsburgh International Airport.

In Cooperstown, the National Baseball Hall of Fame will receive $234,000 to help create a mobile app for the museum.

The YMCA in Syracuse will receive $985,000 for part of a $17 million construction project for a new facility.

All together, many of the items appear similar to the now defunct legislative member items that had been lavished on districts by the Assembly and Senate, often those in the majority. New member items have not been approved since the Paterson administration.

2013 Redc Booklet by Jon Campbell