Governor George E. Pataki and Senator Hugh T. Farley (R,C - Schenectady) today announced three cities in the 44th Senatorial District -- Amsterdam, Saratoga and Schenectady -- will receive funding through the New York's Main Street program, an innovative initiative launched by Governor Pataki that is designed to stimulate downtown revitalization in communities across New York State.
It wasannounced that$200,000 in funding was awarded to help strengthen businesses on West Main Street in the City of Amsterdam under the New York Main Street Program's first funding round.
The program provides funding for building renovations, streetscape enhancements and downtown business or cultural anchors. The West Main Street Revitalization Project will receive $200,000 to bolster businesses in the target area.
"New York's downtown business districts are the lifeblood of our cities, towns and villages, which we will help to strengthen and revitalize under our new and exciting Main Street program," Governor Pataki said. "Here in the historic City of Amsterdam, we are providing critical support through the program that will help reinvigorate and transform the local business community along West Main Street.
"With the cooperation of the City and the backing of the business community, I am confident that the West Main Street revitalization project will generate greater investment and attract more visitors and customers to the area," Governor Pataki added.
Lieutenant Governor Mary Donohue said, "This Main Street Award will provide the assistance necessary to continue revitalizing Amsterdam's downtown. Building on the success of programs such as the Governor's Quality Communities Initiative, the New York Main Street Award will bolster efforts to improve downtown areas throughout New York State."
The Main Street program is a natural outgrowth of the State's Quality Communities Initiative, which has been led by Lieutenant Governor Donohue. Under the Initiative, the Lieutenant Governor traveled the State and met with local leaders to identify ways to strengthen local community development efforts throughout New York State and make better use of State and federal programs. One of the key initiatives identified was the importance of rebuilding our downtowns and Main Streets.
Senator Hugh Farley said, "Many of the buildings in downtown Amsterdam are long-ignored architectural gems. This grant will help to preserve and restore some of our solid older buildings, making the community more attractive to businesses and residents. I applaud Governor Pataki, himself a former Mayor of a small city, for his foresight, and I'm proud of Amsterdam's economic development team for submitting the proposal which garnered these funds."
Assemblyman Paul Tonko said, "This is welcome news for Amsterdam and Schenectady. For some time, I have argued for a renewed commitment to cities from both the state and federal government. Hopefully, this is just the beginning of many more announcements of investments in urban cores throughout New York State."
Amsterdam Mayor Joe Emanuele said, "We are very grateful for this generous announcement for the City of Amsterdam's West Main Street corridor. This grant will offer financial assistance to both residential and commercial property owners improving their quality of life. We are proud to be working with Governor Pataki on initiatives which benefit our neighborhoods."
The West Main Street Revitalization Program was the product of a partnership between the Industries for Amsterdam, Inc. and Amsterdam Urban Renewal Agency. Under their proposal funds façade and building renovations will be made available to eight commercial and 18 residential units on West Main Street. The program calls for business owners to match Main Street Funds dollar-for-dollar.
The other recipients in Senator Farley's district received the following: Saratoga Economic Development Corporation in Saratoga, $200,000; Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation, Inc., $190,000; and Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation, $200,000.
Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) Commissioner Judith A. Calogero said, "There is a new energy on our Main Streets that is real and
palpable and is being fostered by local business and civic organizations around the State. The awards announced today are an effort to catalyze that energy and use it to propel communities forward. The unprecedented partnership between DHCR and our sister agencies has helped us fashion a program that will have a positive impact on the future of our downtowns."
The New York Main Street Program, which is being administered by the Division of Housing and Community Renewal and the Housing Trust Fund Corporation, was launched by the Governor in June with an initial investment of $20 million. The program provides matching grants for facade and interior building renovations, streetscape enhancement to improve lighting, landscaping and signage and to install street furniture, and for communities to establish a business or cultural anchor in their downtown.
For more information about the New York Main Street program, please contact the State Division of Housing and Community Renewal at 518-474-9553 or visit the Main Street website at www.nymainstreet.org.