Half a billion dollars in state aid may be headed our way and Central New Yorkers are hoping to revitalize our city with that money!

A couple of days ago The Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council asked residents to provide input and suggestions on the best methods to spend $500 million if a revitalization grant gets issued later this year.

The council is preparing an application for one of three $500 million economic development grants under Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Upstate Revitalization Initiative. Central New York will compete with six other regions of the state (Capital, Finger Lakes, Mid-Hudson, Mohawk Valley, North Country and Southern Tier) for the grants.

This grant money could benefit Central New York and the Mohawk Valley immensely. Where would you put that money to use? Would you like to see the rebirth of Charlestown Mall? How about expanding the Utica Zoo into an amusement park? Will Utica become the next 18 hour city; a city that sleeps for six hours at the most? The continued growth in downtown, and the ever expanding list of restaurants in our area are pointing us in that direction.

If that grant money is approved, YOU have a say as to where it should be put to use. All you have to do is participate in a short survey. Local leaders are calling this half billion dollar initiative: "the MV 500 Project"  and you can take the survey here.

Leaders are excited about our area's potential revitalization:

"This is a remarkable opportunity for the region, one that many of us have not see in our lifetime," said Robert Simpson, co-chair of the council and president of Center State Corporation for Economic Opportunity.

Just Jen and I chatted about this $500 million grant this morning!