North Country lands $80M in state funds - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

North Country lands $80M in state funds

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"It's a great airport I really like it. I'm glad there's gonna be an expansion, I'm really glad," Michael Ewald said.

Passengers like Michael Ewald of Peru, N.Y., are glad to hear that Plattsburgh International Airport is getting $4.5 million from the state to add more flights and also a customs area, so folks will find it even easier to travel overseas.

"Exciting projects certainly in the Mountain Lake area. Plattsburgh International Airport, the funding is now going to be there to include international arrivals with a customs presence in the airport terminal expansion. That's transformational," said Garry Douglas of the Plattsburgh-North Country Chamber of Commerce.

With more than $80 million coming to the North Country, not only will it be easier to fly in and out of Plattsburgh International Airport, it will also be easier booking a flight. And $6 million is earmarked to improve broadband service, to make the internet more accessible and affordable for those in the North Country.

"It's an information age and I think it's important for people to have access to information," said Lauren Eastwood of Plattsburgh.

And of course, you can book more than airline flights with this expanded internet service. You can also reserve a hotel room. Like in Saranac Lake, where Hotel Saranac is banking on a $5 million upgrade and $2 million is going toward construction of a new hotel.

A total of 79 projects around the region won state Economic Development Council Grants. Some of the most notable:


  • Bombardier Mass Transit Corporation is receiving more than $40,000 for employee training.
  • The movie theater in Ausable Forks is getting $70,000 to go digital.
  • More than $54,000 is going toward rebuilding a park in Jay that was destroyed by Tropical Storm Irene.
  • Nearly $1.4 million will go toward the Wood Pellet Boiler Heating Initiative.
  • And the Adirondack Museum will get $1.4 million for renovations.


And all of these big ticket improvements have people like Ewald hopeful they'll boost local tourism.

"I think maybe then more people will come visit this area," Ewald said. "It's so beautiful."

In all, $81 million is going to 79 different projects designed to help the North Country.

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