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State comptroller gives economic snapshot of North Country, state

That, paired with a large percentage of this year's anticipated revenue being banked on federal stimulus funding, concerns the state comptroller.

"We've got about $11 billion of the state budget based on revenues that are either nonrecurring or temporary in nature," said DiNapoli. "That's problematic; that's an issue and a concern."

Though the nation finds itself in the middle of an economic crisis, DiNapoli said it's also an opportunity for state leaders to think differently and be more frugal in government spending.

"I think that would've made a little more sense than taking the temporary benefit of the federal stimulus money on those tax increases and basically deferring to the future some of those tough choices on spending that we still need to make," said DiNapoli. "Those choices aren't going to go away. They've just been delayed to another time."

Focusing on the North Country, the state comptroller reported approximately half of the more than 5,000 jobs gained in the region between 2003 and 2008, were lost in the first five months of 2009. In addition, the North Country's unemployment rate during those five months averaged 10.2 percent - the highest of any region in the state.

Despite the bad news, there is still hope with the continued expansion of existing businesses and creation of new businesses in the area, said DiNapoli. The recent opening of NovaBus in the town of Plattsburgh and the potential for Laurentian Aerospace Corp. to bring an estimated 200-300 jobs to the North Country are both positive signs, he said.

"The long and short of it is you've got many great things that have been going on for a long period of time, but you're facing some of the challenges we're all facing in New York," said DiNapoli. "We need to not lose sight of progress we've made in recent years."

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