BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - How should Buffalo spend a billion dollars promised by Governor Andrew Cuomo?
Officials are offering a clearer picture of which specific projects will get that money and when those projects will turn into jobs for western New Yorkers.
Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy is in charge of bringing Upstate New York from the brink of its own fiscal and economic cliff and a blue ribbon regional panel has identified three core areas for development: manufacturing, tourism, and life sciences.
"This is going to be a road map to the future," said Lt. Duffy. "This is not going to turn around overnight. This did not happen overnight. This is decades and decades of decline. I would have you look at it as the governor is planting seeds in a garden."
While Niagara Falls is the number one generator of tourism dollars, state dollars are set to flow into Buffalo's waterfront at Canalside and along the Outer Harbor.
In the life sciences sector, local co-chair Howard Zemsky says billions of dollars have already been invested in the downtown Medical Campus, but many of those jobs have only been shifted from other areas.
"We've done a lot of public research, a lot of investment in the Medical Campus, but we have not had enough private sector employment," Zemsky said.
The Regional Economic Development Council has also identified three core strategies for boosting economic development, including preservation and revitalizing landmarks and neighborhoods, improving workforce training, such as the Buffalo Arts and Technology Center that was unveiled back in October, and developing more western New York entrepreneurs.
Lt. Duffy drew a clear distinction between this and failed attempts to spur the western New York economy.
"I've seen efforts. I've seen good intentions. Actually the "Road to Hell" is paved with good intentions. This goes beyond that," he said.
When pressed about when these projects will go from the drawing board to reality, Lt. Duffy and Zemsky would only say good things are going to happen in 2013.
A man who was wrongly convicted of second degree murder in 2009 has been set free after spending four years in prison.
Investigators are trying to determine who dumped a dog on the side of the road inside a zipped up Coors Light thermal bag.
A man once featured on the Cattaraugus County Top 10 Most Wanted List has pleaded guilty after being extradited from Indiana.
Two men have been arrested by Wyoming County Sheriff's deputies and charged with selling heroin in the Village of Attica.
Cold and breezy with snow increasing in coverage into the overnight hours.
A woman was arrested Sunday after she allegedly tried to bite her neighbor during an argument over offense odors.