State says regional council awards not final, leaving Owasco Lake project details murky

More than two months after Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council awards announcement, details on some Cayuga County water quality improvement grants are still turbid.

The Nature Conservancy was awarded one of the largest grants in the region at $1,124,069 and Cayuga County Soil and Water Conservation District was awarded $280,000 for projects in the Owasco Lake watershed. The conservation district was slated for an additional $300,000 for erosion control throughout Cayuga County. All three consolidated funding applications went through the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

A REDC 2017 publication provides a short description of the projects, but to learn more, The Auburn Citizen filed Freedom of Information requests with the DEC on Jan. 4 for the three grant applications. The DEC denied those requests, as well as subsequent appeals, citing for all three a clause of the public officer’s law that “if disclosed would impair present or imminent contract awards.”

The Citizen:
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