New York City finished in last place in a grant competition overseen by Governor Andrew Cuomo. Zack Fink filed the following report.
For the third year in a row, the Cuomo administration held its regional Economic Development Council awards.
State leaders were on hand for the announcement, as was TV personality Maria Bartiromo, who emceed.
But this year, New York City came in dead last out of ten regions in the competition, winning $57 million in state economic development money.
"I hate playing that compare game, this person got this and this person got that. In my community we are going through Sandy recovery and there is a lot of money coming into the community,” said Queens Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder.
But the "compare game" is precisely how the grants are awarded. Regions literally compete with one another for the largest chunks of state money.
"We get the political leaders from the county and the city and the outlying towns and we say you have to work together. And rather than coming up with different proposals and competing with each other, come up with one proposal,” Cuomo said.
It's unclear exactly why New York City came in last place, but other regions were determined to have better ideas for how to use the money.
Rich Azzopardi, a spokesman for Cuomo, sent NY1 a statement.
"This is a competition and while New York City has not won the competition thus far, we hope they do in the future,” said Azzopardi.
A legislative source tells us that last year New York City used its awarded grant money to fund a study for a park in Queens. Most of that money went to outside consultants and the park was never built.
This year, New York's Mohawk Valley region got one of the largest shares.
"There is definitely a lot that goes into the competition. We've had a number of businesses put together very good proposals, we have downtown revitalization going on in Utica,” said Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi of Utica.
Staten Island is expected to get some of the money this year, even if it's less than local leaders had hoped for.
"The money is going to be used to help develop the shoreline with the coming of the new Wheel, the New York Wheel, and the outlets that are going to be there. This money will be used to supplement and help build that project,” said Assemblyman Mike Cusick of Staten Island.
At stake this year was more than $715 million, so no small chunk of change. Last year, New York City got just $51 million, but that wasn't the lowest amount out of the ten regions. It was second to last.