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Finally, the state smiles on the Adirondacks

For many years, it seemed those of us living in Northern New York could not catch a break.

It’s hard enough when we leave the area and people ask us where we are from. The response, “Northern New York,” is always followed by, “Albany?” “Syracuse?” “Buffalo?” “?” Seriously, there actually was a national television reporter who would refer to Weschester County as Northern New York.

It felt lawmakers saw the state in the same light. Millions and billions of dollars would flow like honey to everywhere but here, the Adirondacks. The rest of the state would evolve while the Adirondacks remained sheltered to all but a select few.

Fortunately, one of those select few now wears the mantle of Governor, Andrew Cuomo. Since his election just over three years ago, the state funding pipeline has been expanded to include the North Country and the Adirondacks.

The most recent example is the North Country Economic Development Council receiving $81.3 million in state funding to help with projects that will drive the economy of the region.

Saranac Lake, which has been an Adirondack playground for Cuomo, received a generous share of the funding, with $5 million for the renovation of the Hotel Saranac and $2 million for the construction of a new resort and waterfront restaurant at the former Lake Flower Hotel. Bionique Testing Laboratories received $650,000 for expansion at its Lake Clear facility, adding 10,000 square feet for laboratories, storage and conference rooms; and the Pendragon Theatre in Saranac Lake received $3,360 for the hiring of a seasonal intern.

Mayor Clyde Rabideau said Cuomo spoke highly of the area: “He really grew to love the area, knows what we are about and knows what we need.”

It wasn’t just Saranac Lake. In Tupper Lake, the Wild Center received $250,000 to support Phase 2 of its Wild Walk. A pair of North Country movie theaters in Indian Lake and Au Sable Forks received funding necessary to make the transition to digital projection technology in order to stay in business. The Adirondack North Country Association received $59,200 for the Adirondack Regional Arts Trail. Towns and municipalities received funding for infrastructure projects and green energy alternatives.

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