Last night I attended the regional ED forum for Allegany County and have to say it was not as bad as the process sounded. Though we were given broad strategic areas there was plenty of time to nuance these items for our area and add housing and other community revitalization efforts ( Main Street, CDFI lending, etc) to the mix. Each region has devised different questions based on the Regional councils discussion so this may vary between regions.
Questions arose regarding the consistency with the QUAP in the new role of the regional councils in determining projects and whether the allocation throughout the state were going to be carried through by the regions, I am not an expert here so not sure if these concerns are valid. The presenters knew nothing about housing and had no response on how this would fit into economic development. My guess is this is going to be something that the Chief elected may be consulted on regarding whether they support certain housing proposals in their area.
For those in Hydrofracking areas there was concern on local housing costs if a few thousand workers are imported into areas and also that local workers be used first. Rumors are that most new jobs in Marcellus Shale have gone to imported workers from out of the area. There was an overall concern from the group that Erie and Niagara counties not take all the money and that the types of projects would be quite different from our area vs. Urban areas. A specific question arose about the definition of Smart growth that it conflicts with the DHCR definition. Again not sure how valid.
Also wanted to add that Blair, Nancy and I met with senator Young regarding abuses of Land Contracts in her district and that she is interested in sponsoring some form of consumer protection bill at a minimum requiring filing and disclosure of terms and conditions. More on this as the session comes closer.