Bob Joseph/WNBF News [file][/caption]The Southern Tier region was one of three major winners in New York's Upstate Revitalization Initiative with an award of $500 million for economic development projects.

The state's Central and Finger Lakes regions also will receive similar infusions of cash over the next five years.

The regional winners were announced in Albany Thursday morning.

Governor Andrew Cuomo had established a regional competition to award economic development money for significant projects to help upstate communities.

The initiative quickly became known as a Hunger Games-type competition because only three regions would land the biggest awards.

Mayor Richard David last February unveiled a "Binghamton Half-Billion" website as a way to allow residents to share their ideas for how the economic development money might be used.

In a statement released by his office shortly after the award was announced, David said the money for the Southern Tier "will have ripple effects for decades." He said it will be a "primary catalyst to jumpstart our local economy."

Senator Frederick Akshar released a statement indicating he is looking forward "to working hard with local leaders to help see these projects through to fruition."

In her statement, Broome County Executive Debra Preston said the money will help fund "several projects that will not only bring jobs, but will bring real development and opportunity" to the region.

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