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State and local leaders come together for Watkins Glen forum on economic development

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  • Staff Report 

New York State Deputy Secretary of State Kisha Santiago led a forum in Watkins Glen on Thursday to highlight the state’s key economic development initiatives, the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) and NY Forward programs.

Held at the Seneca Lake Event Center at Clute Park, a project funded by the DRI, the event drew mayors and business leaders from across the Southern Tier who shared how these programs have positively impacted their communities.


During the forum, mayors from Watkins Glen, Elmira, Hornell, and Montour Falls discussed the transformative effects of state funding on their localities.

Credit: The Odessa File

The event, attended by approximately 70 local leaders including the mayors of Ithaca, Dryden, and Newark Valley, emphasized the importance of leveraging DRI and NY Forward for community growth.

Judy McKinney Cherry, Executive Director of the Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development, encouraged attendees to actively seek out these opportunities, calling them crucial for regional development. The Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce provided lunches, underscoring the collaborative spirit of the gathering.