State Senator John J. Bonacic (R-I-C - Mount Hope) announced today that six groups in the Hudson Valley/Catskill region will receive a total of $1.064 million to assist with downtown revitalization efforts.
Projects in Phoenicia, Monticello, Kingston, Newburgh, Stamford, and Grand Gorge will benefit from the funding, which was included in the 2004/2005 State Housing budget.
Senator Bonacic, Chairman of the Senate Housing, Construction, and Community Development Committee, initiated a pilot program four years ago to help with main street type programs. That program was expanded by Governor Pataki last year to include $10 million in funds to be used across the State.
"It is important to invest in much-needed main street improvements. Smaller communities, in particular, have needs that were not being met by existing programs, and the State’s Main Streets program is helping to fill that void."
The funding will make façade and building improvements, better streetscaping, and can also include related enhancement such as signage, street furniture, and informational kiosks.
Under the awards announced today, various non-profit organizations will receive funding to make improvements in Monticello ($200,000); Phoenicia ($200,000); the City of Kingston ($200,000), Stamford ($200,000), Grand Gorge ($64,000), and the City of Newburgh ($200,000).
Non-profit organizations selected by the State to run the programs include, the Sullivan County Partnership, the Catskill Center, Rural Ulster Preservation Company (RUPCO), and the Newburgh Local Development Company.
"These organizations have solid track records in making positive things happen in our Senate District and the surrounding region. I am pleased that these projects will be funded, and look forward to more improvements in our downtown areas," Senator Bonacic said.
Mark Baez, President and CEO of the Sullivan County partnership said, "The Partnership was pleased to work with Senator Bonacic and the Village of Monticello to apply for this funding. I am confident that this grant will continue the effort to locate and expand an ecclectic mix of small businesses in Monticello's downtown area."
Kevin O’Connor, Executive Director of RUPCO said, "The revitalization of the main streets in Ulster County is important. We are excited to hear that our Kirkland Hotel has received funding from New York's Main Street program. The project will restore this national landmark to mixed use including a restaurant, office space, and housing. The Main Street funding will also add significant streetscape improvements around the Kirkland and offer facade renovation to nearby uptown building owners. It is a great asset to have the Chairman of the Senate Housing Committee represent Ulster County in the Senate and I appreciate his support and the support of Senator Larkin and the Mayor in making this project a priority."
Helen Budrock, Assistant Executive Director of the Catskill Center said, "The Catskill Center’s Main Street’s program is an important part of what we do. Working with communities across the region, we have been able to lay out important goals and achieve many of them. This funding will help us improve downtown Grand Gorge."
The funding announced today represents the first round of funding under the State’s Main Streets grant program. A second round of funding is planned. For more information on the grant program, visit www.senatorbonacic.com.