Senator Patrick Gallivan congratulated the Village of Gowanda, one of four Western New York communities selected to receive up to $10 million in funding from the Buffalo Billion II initiative. Gowanda, along with the City of Dunkirk, City of North Tonawanda and City of Lackawanna are recipients of Smart Growth Community Funds for projects that utilize existing infrastructure to support walkable communities and sustainable development.
"New York State's Investment in these communities is important to the continued growth and revitalization of the entire Western New York region,” Gallivan said. “I support the work of the WNY Regional Economic Development Council in working with cities, towns and villages to develop projects that will encourage the growth of business and improve the quality of life for residents."
The Village of Gowanda will receive up to $2.5 million in funding. Projects could include improved waterfront access at various locations to increase recreation and tourism, including Zoar Valley Gateway Park, Creekside Park and the foot of the Aldrich Street bridge, which is a popular location for fishermen.
"The smart growth funding that we have been chosen to receive today enables Gowanda to continue to improve the access visitors and residents have to our beautiful waterfront and make it easier for those in our downtown area to get to it,” said Gowanda Mayor David Smith.
The Western New York Regional Economic Development Council is embracing growth and downtown redevelopment as core economic goals in its Strategy for Prosperity. Businesses are increasingly locating in or near vibrant, walkable downtowns built on the principles of smart growth because that's where the millennial workforce wants to live, work, and raise a family. Investments in existing downtowns also have been found to reduce local infrastructure and municipal service costs, thus helping to ease fiscal difficulties.
The WNYREDC made recommendations for Dunkirk, North Tonawanda, Lackawanna and Gowanda to receive a portion of the available Smart Growth Community funding. Following approval of these nominations, Empire State Development staff made a visit to each of the four recommended communities to discuss their proposed project list and to better understand the locations and readiness of each project. The visit report was presented at the WNYREDC meeting in August and received approval from the committee to proceed with the awards.