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River Agency creates 70 north country jobs

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CANTON – The St. Lawrence River Valley Redevelopment Agency estimates it has created at least 70 and retained over 300 jobs as a result of its community grant and environmental improvement project in the last three years.

Since it was formed in 2010, the River Agency Board and St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency’s Local Development Corp. review applications each year and award up to 5 percent of the funds for economic development within the county.

“But these grants are about fostering growth in the community and restoring historic structures, not just about creating jobs,” River Agency Chairman Robert O. McNeil said, pointing to a $45,000 grant to the village of Waddington for its Bassmaster Elite Series.

“I was grateful and humbled by the River Agency and IDA,” Waddington Mayor Janet M. Otto-Cassada said Wednesday. “We requested $130,000, but we did need at least $45,000 and we are grateful they gave us as much as they did, especially since there were so many applications.”

Mrs. Otto-Cassada said the bass tournament is “crucial” to the area. St. Lawrence County could see as much as a $2 million boost in local revenue. Organizers are hoping to raise another $60,000 in the next four months to cover the cost of hotel rooms, security, waste, emergency services, cable, internet, dockage, etc.

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