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Downtown improvement projects continue

WATKINS GLEN--Ask Judy Cherry, executive director for Schuyler County's Partnership for Economic Development, and she will tell you the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) continues to make progress in the middle of winter.
Cherry said, "We have several project areas that a number of people are involved with currently. One of those areas is business facade planning. Cherry said downtown businesses can qualify for a 50/50 business split with the state to improve a building in need of commercial façade renovations, interior commercial renovations, and or the rehabilitation of residential rental units. The DRI Fund provides reimbursable matching grants of up to 50 percent for qualified and approved projects.Cherry said there is some $300,000 available to improve businesses. It is important for businesses to follow the state guidelines and reimbursements can be made from $10,000 to $200,000. Project applications and program guidelines are available on the SCOPED DRI webpage, Applications can also be picked up the SCOPED office located at 910 S. Decatur St. and at the village hall at 303 N. Franklin St. All applications are due to SCOPED Offices no later than 4 p.m. Thursday, March 7.
Another project is the purchase of 166 lights for village streets. A sample photo of the light structure very similar to the actual light is shown in the photo on page 4. Cherry said the LED lights purchase is a $1,500,000 project for the village. When the lights arrive, the village electrical workers will install the lights in May. Cherry said the light structures will also hold flags and flower pots.
For the northern gateway signage in the village, the 'Welcome to Watkins Glen' request for purchase will be going out soon and the actual sign will be placed after the final paving work has been finished. Cherry said, "The Department of Transportation will be marking the location for the sign and then the DRI committee will be installing the sign."
For the Clute Park improvements, Cherry said it is important to keep in mind the plans are to make the park an excellent destination for children and grandchildren for years to come. This will allow the park to be used more throughout the year and not just for weekend events in the summer. Cherry said, "The heated bathhouse is a part of that project that will allow an ice rink to be successful in Watkins Glen."

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