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Development panel sets new priorities

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Mike Desmond/wbfo news
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The latest wish list for the Regional Economic Development Council is on its way to Albany.

That list was approved during a Monday session. Although not announced, the list is led by nearly $5 million for the Gates Circle redevelopment project and the same for UB's Main Street campus to help make way for a shift of the School of Social Work.

Co-Chairman Jeff Belt says Olean is showing what the fresh dollars can do to bring in even more dollars, in the re-building of North Union Street.

"People in Olean believe in the city again. They're investing in the city," Belt said.        

"And now, what we're seeing is all down North Union Street in Olean, there's private sector investment underway."

Other projects on the wish list range from dollars for a biorefinery at Alfred State College to more cleanup dollars for the old Bethlehem Steel complex in Lackawanna to open more land for development along Route 5.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.