THE PATCH: SEN. BALL HELPS SECURE $425K TO BOLSTER PEEKSKILL’S ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

 

    By Rasheed Oluwa

    Peekskill officials believe $425,000 in grants that Sen. Greg Ball, R-Patterson, announced Wednesday are being awarded to the city will boost development downtown and on the waterfront.

    The city received $250,000 for its Downtown Project, $125,000 for the creation of a multi-use waterfront trail and $50,000 to update its local waterfront development revitalization plan. Ball said the money was secured with assistance from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council and local partners.

    Nearly $93 million was awarded to 84 projects in the Mid-Hudson Valley.

    “I am proud to know that our region, ‘the Mid-Hudson Region’ was named a Best Plan Awardee, ranking third out of the ten statewide councils with nearly $93 Million dollars being awarded to specific job creating projects,” Ball said. “We didn’t get every penny we fought for, but we got a good share and we will continue to lobby for an even greater share as the process moves forward.”

    Peekskill’s Downtown Project is a matching grant program that will give property owners in the area of Bank Street, between Park Street and Main Street, funds for building renovations. The funds will also be used for streetscape improvements on South Street as part of a comprehensive sidewalk, lighting and infrastructure improvements project to be undertaken by the City of Peekskill.

    Anthony Ruggiero, the city’s director of planning, said this is the third year that the initiative has received funding. The program received $200,000 in 2009 and $500,000 in 2010. So far, the program has awarded applicants more than $660,000 and helped generate $2.5 million worth of renovations.

    “We weren’t sure if the program was going to get additional funding, but we were hoping that  it would,” Ruggiero said. “This will help us extend it another couple of years.”

    Examples of projects that have benefited from the program include Scott Camera & Studio on South Division Street, Baxter’s Pharmacy on Highland Avenue and the Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce on South Division Street, according to Ruggiero.

    The waterfront trail grant will be used to create a path from Charles Point Pier Park to the Charles Point Marina and parking lot. This trail segment will advance Westchester County’s planned Riverwalk with the City. Ruggiero said the city already has funding and construction documents in place for the trail north side of Fleischmann’s Pier and the $125,000 grant will be used to complete the south side.

    The $50,000 for the city’s local waterfront development plan, which was created in 2004,  will be used to develop a “blue plan” for the city’s waterfront. It is hoped that this blue plan study will help create a sustainable plan that promotes economic activity and public access along the riverfront.

    Ruggiero said the $50,000 will be enough to cover the costs of the study.

    Other local projects that received funding include:

    • Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, which received $1 million to help fund the construction of six new, state-of the-art regulatory compliant operating rooms, surgical support space and a new 13-universal bed Post Anesthesia Care unit in the hospital’s new emergency department.
    • The Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts Inc. in Bedford, which received $150,000  to present an exhibit entitled In the Garden of Sonic Delights throughout the summer and early fall of 2013. The exhibit will consist of up to 10 interactive sound art pieces by individual artists installed throughout Caramoor’s 90-acre campus in Katonah. Through this project, Caramoor will collaborate with up to 10 partners in the Mid-Hudson region.

    “We are incredibly grateful for this funding support, which will ensure that a national treasure is preserved for generations to come,” said Jeffrey P. Haydon, CEO of Caramoor. “We thank Senator Ball for his leadership and dedication to the arts. His work on Caramoor’s behalf ensures that the arts will remain strong, making this region a better place to live, work and visit.” (ARTICLE)