Urbana looks at grant funding for lakefront
URBANA--The town of Urbana held an informational session Tuesday, Dec. 14 to detail the process of applying for a federal $2.8 million grant that would support the development of the Urbana lakefront area. Work has already started in the Champlin Beach and Curtiss Park area, however the future of the project could be substantially supported by new grant opportunities.
"This is really the start, this is going to turn (the south end of Keuka Lake) into a tourist destination," said Jean O'Connell, grant writer for the project. "It will enhance the whole area, people will come for a reason: because of the village, wineries and now the marina and park project."
Right now, the Champlin Beach and old tour boat area are only connected to the village by road or on foot by having to cut across the fire department's and school's back property. The development will allow visitors to easily move around the lake frontage.
"This project is huge, $2.8 million from the grant alone (and with roughly $1 million already bonded to construct a new dock) this is a $3-$4 million project," O'Connell said.
Key to receiving the money though is participation from local business owners, which is why Deputy Supervisor Jim Presley hosted the meeting on the 14th. A form available on the town's website (https://tinyurl.com/2p9y7mb5) needs to be completed by Jan. 3, 2022, and sent to O'Connell.
"Local business owners have to fill out a form, and it's about job creation relating to their business, in order for us to get the grant," O'Connell mentioned, saying the more participation the better.
Currently, Urbana has already bonded roughly $1 million for the construction of a new dock that would allow increased boat traffic to the area. Unlike some other grants Urbana is in the process of attempting to obtain, the federal money would come with no matching requirements.
"The purpose (of all this) is to get people really interested in visiting the south end of Keuka Lake," O'Connell added. "The result will be to help all the hotels and bed and breakfasts, restaurants and shops get more visitors."
While the Urbana project appears to meet many of the criteria for funding, there is no guarantee they will be selected for the federal grant money.
"We encourage [all impacted business owners] to fill [the survey] out and send it to me by Jan. 3 by email to email@example.com," added O'Connell.