Urbana and Hammondsport get state funds for development

Mar 10, 2024 at 11:24 pm by Observer-Review

NY Forward Funding Announcement
KEUKA LAKE--Gov. Kathy Hochul highlighted fiscal year 2025 budget investments in the Southern Tier during a visit to Binghamton University last week. The town of Urbana and village of Hammondsport will receive $4.5 million as this year’s Southern Tier region NY Forward winner. Fourteen Southern Tier localities, including Urbana/Hammondsport, join 143 localities statewide in launching applications to become pro-housing communities.
During the announcement, the governor also highlighted $1.4 billion in school aid for the Southern Tier as well as $123 million for renovations and maintenance at Binghamton University. The budget also includes $84.7 million for healthcare capital projects and $7.5 million for improvements at Taughannock Falls State Park.
“We are making transformative investments in education, innovation, and infrastructure to build a better, brighter future for everyone who lives in the Southern Tier,” Hochul said. “Communities across the region can revitalize their neighborhoods and create more opportunity for New Yorkers through the funding announced today, and I look forward to seeing the Southern Tier become an even better place to live, work, and visit.”
NY Forward is a component of the state’s economic development policy. The program works in concert with the DRI to accelerate and expand the revitalization of smaller and rural downtowns throughout the state.
Once awarded, NY Forward communities are supported by a professional planning consultant and a team of state agency experts to develop a Strategic Investment Plan that includes a slate of transformative, complementary and readily implementable projects. NY Forward projects may include building renovation and redevelopment, new construction or creation of new or improved public spaces and other projects that enhance specific cultural and historical qualities.
The Strategic Investment Plans and projects are driven by a Local Planning Committee, which conducts community outreach and engagement.
Assemblymember Phil Palmesano said, “This is fantastic news for the town of Urbana, village of Hammondsport, and community. They have worked tirelessly, finding ways to move forward with the strategic goals outlined in their 2015 Waterfront Master Plan. Funding from the NY Forward program will give them the ability to see that vision through. The rich cultural history of the area will continue to thrive with this funding, providing additional employment, along with increased tourism and business growth for the whole community and Finger Lakes region. Thank you to Gov. Hochul and the Regional Economic Development Council for recognizing the hard work and dedication put forth by the local leaders to improve and strengthen the economic vitality of their community.”
Urbana/Hammondsport plans to utilize existing assets to spur private sector investments including better access to the waterfront and public wayfinding to support additional businesses in the downtown area.
Urbana/Hammondsport and Groton join Montour Falls and Waverly in winning the NY Forward funding.
Funding will be awarded for selected projects from the Strategic Investment Plan that have the greatest potential to jumpstart revitalization and generate new opportunities for long-term growth.
Village of Hammondsport Mayor Jean Jensen added, “The village of Hammondsport board, employees, and residents have a shared vision for their community. In 2023, the village of Hammondsport was officially listed as a NY State historic district. Gov. Hochul’s NY Forward will enable us to achieve the village’s strategic goals and fulfill our vision. Proceeds from this award will enhance our efforts to maintain a vibrant and progressive municipality.”
Urbana Town Supervisor K. David Durepo stated, “The town of Urbana, along with the village of Hammondsport are proud to be the recipients of the NY Forward Grant. This grant will help complete our Waterfront Master Plan that the Community has been working towards. It will increase the attraction of visitors, and livability of our residents.”
As part of the event, the governor announced that 14 localities in the Southern Tier have launched their applications to become Pro-Housing Communities. They include: the city of Hornell, the town of Urbana, the village of Montour Falls, the city of Ithaca, the village of Watkins Glen, the village of Endicott, the town of Dryden, the village of Groton, the town of Roxbury, the town of Middletown, the village of Hammondsport, the village of Margaretville, the village of Odessa and the city of Elmira.
Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council Chairwoman and Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development Executive Director Judy McKinney Cherry said, “I am incredibly pleased to see the collaborative spirit of Roxbury and Grand Gorge. These wonderful communities pulled together to focus on their shared futures to become the latest DRI recipients for the Southern Tier region. Congratulations as well to the village of Groton and the towns of Urbana and Hammondsport on their exciting wins. Both the DRI and NY Forward investments will ensure that these beautiful communities can get to work on their focused strategic plans that are aimed at attracting new investment and reenergizing the bright futures for their residents for generations to come.”
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