HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 00-207
Further Information: For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685 Tuesday
Or contact your local HUD office August 8, 2000


BALDWINSVILLE, NY - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today awarded $900,000 in economic development assistance to Baldwinsville for revitalization projects along the Oswego Canal, part of the Erie Canal system.

Cuomo announced the grants and guaranteed loans today during a visit to Paper Mill Island in Baldwinsville with Mayor Dan O'Hara on day two of his three-day visit to upstate New York to promote tourism, economic growth and job creation that will take him along the Hudson River and Erie Canal, and to the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe.

"The Canal Corridor is a world-class tourism destination and getting better every year. The Federal government has invested nearly $400 million in the region over the last three years alone and the fruits of that investment are already starting to be realized," Cuomo said. "This additional economic assistance from HUD will help Baldwinsville attract more business and more tourism and help the entire Canal Corridor."

Cuomo said that the $900,000 in HUD assistance will help create 90 new jobs and help village officials leverage an additional $2.8 million in private and public funds.

Approximately $300,000 is a grant from HUD's Economic Development Initiative (EDI), which will finance site improvements that will create jobs for residents in Baldwinsville.

The remaining $600,000 comes from Economic Development Loan Guarantee under HUD's Section 108 Program, which will provide business loans at reduced interest rates to renovate a three-story office building; transform the O.S. Building into a restaurant and retail stores; expand the Yonnis Lock Restaurant and Evans/Senaca Grill; and transform the Hermann/Con-Agr. Building into office space.

The EDI grants, which were developed in 1994, are often awarded in tandem with HUD's guaranteed loan program.

Since 1997, the Canal Corridor Initiative has provided $237.3 million in grants and guaranteed loans to local governments and businesses in 57 communities. That money, in turn, has been used to leverage another $361.1 million in private sector, local and State investments. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, a partner in the initiative since 1998, has provided an additional $160.2 million, sparking another $41.5 million in private and local government investments.

On Monday, Cuomo released a Cornell University report about the Canal Corridor Initiative that estimates the HUD initiative, launched by Cuomo in 1997, will generate some 10,000 new jobs in manufacturing and services and $386 million more in annual economic activity in services and manufacturing. These estimates are over and above the 17,000 jobs and $327 million of economic activity in the region's tourism industries Cornell had estimated in a report last year. Some 38 percent of the jobs flowing from the Initiative, says the report, will be "outside the tourist sector."

The Erie Canal, completed in 1825, originally was a major link between the Northeast and the Midwest. However, railroads, modern highways and the St. Lawrence Seaway took over the canal's role as a commercial waterway. HUD's Canal Corridor Initiative is designed to put federal resources to work as part of a long-term and coordinated commitment to transform the Corridor into a major tourism destination that will "spin-off" other kinds of economic activity in the region.

"While some regions turn to tourism because other economic development options are not available," concludes Cornell's report, "upstate New York, including the Canal Corridor, is in an advantageous position. Despite its employment losses, it has retained a strong manufacturing base and is home to both large international firms and small skill-craft and high-technology firms." In upstate New York, it says, "investment in tourism can play a more complex role, interacting with other sectors of the economy."

The Canal Corridor Initiative involves cities, towns and villages within the area bounded from Albany to Buffalo and from Ogdensburg to Kingston.

Secretary Cuomo traveled along the Hudson River and to Albany on Monday, to the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe in Hogansburg and Auburn on Tuesday, and will travel to Newark, Holley and Rochester on Wednesday.

See related HUD release #00-204, about the Cornell Report, "Diversifying and Rebuilding Local Economies." The full report also is available on line at canalcorridor.html.


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