Montour Falls gets $4.5M grant award
SCHUYLER COUNTY--During a visit to the Southern Tier Wednesday, Feb. 22, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that the village of Montour Falls would be the recipient of a $4.5M grant through the inaugural NY Forward Grant Program.
New York Forward was created in 2022 to give smaller communities the opportunity to compete for the highly sought-after downtown revitalization grants. Municipalities throughout the state competed in their economic development region for a grant of either $4.5M or two-$2.25M awards.
After submitting its application in September 2022, the village of Montour Falls was named a finalist and presented its plan to the selection committee last fall. Titled "Community Building for the Next Generation," the village of Montour Falls outlined several transformative opportunities in their application, which included:
• A new housing development with mixed-use buildings for lower-floor retail and upper-floor apartments as well as the construction of town-house style single-family homes.
• Streetscape improvements along Route 14 (Catherine Street) and Main Street will include new lighting, widening, and replacement of sidewalks to allow for outdoor seating for restaurants and cafés, and landscape improvements.
• A variety of infrastructure projects at Montour Marina such as the replacement of 3,000 feet of the sea wall to make the marina more resilient to future flooding, the construction of 20 new docks which will allow for 40 additional boat slips, demolition work and construction of a new bathhouse facility.
• In addition to the infrastructure improvements, additional resources will be allocated for the construction of a new park office, marina store, a new ADA-accessible kayak launch, improve access points at Queen Catherine Marsh, and the construction of a new playground which will be accessible by campers and the local community.
• Creation of a downtown improvement fund that will allow property owners to submit for smaller projects such as façade improvements, conversion of upper floors to apartments, business expansion, and other site improvements.
Montour Falls Mayor Jim Ryan said, "On behalf of the village of Montour Falls, I would like to thank Gov. Hochul for her NY Forward program aimed toward communities like Montour Falls. I am pleased the Regional Economic Development Council recognizes our village's past achievements and embraced our plan to continue moving Montour Falls forward. I want to acknowledge the professionalism shown by the project team, which will ensure the implementation of project goals. This level of funding will help advance Montour Falls in meeting its economic and community betterment goals."
Carl Blowers, chairman of the Schuyler County legislature and member of the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council added, "The Forward New York award of $4.5 million for the Village of Montour Falls is an excellent investment by the state because it will transform Montour Falls and by extension, Schuyler County. We are grateful to Gov. Kathy Hochul for creating this new mini-DRI program for small communities and look forward to assisting the village and state in completing significant revitalization projects in the village. I am particularly pleased with the community engagement and student involvement in the process."
Officials will meet with state representatives in the coming weeks to outline the process, create the local planning committee and work on community participation and feedback.
Judy McKinney Cherry executive director of the Schuyler County Partnership and Co-Chair of the Southern Tier REDC said, "On behalf of the Southern Tier REDC, I congratulate the village of Montour Falls on this fantastic award. I thank the state of New York and Gov. Hochul for her vision and commitment to upstate New York. The NY Forward program allows all communities within the Southern Tier to apply and participate in this new revitalization program. The team that presented on behalf of the village were excellent ambassadors and conveyed a compelling message that paid off. We look forward to the resulting private sector leverage that these public dollars will bring to the village."
"These are the things that a small county can do when we put our resources together and work towards a common good," said Fonda Chronis, Schuyler County administrator. "Congratulations to Montour Falls."