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Watkins will seek $2M grant

WATKINS GLEN—The village of Watkins Glen will seek a $2.5 million state grant to help finance redevelopment of the vacant Municipal Light Building.
The village board unanimously approved an application for the funds at its meeting Tuesday (Feb. 17). Plans call for the building, which dates to about 1915, to house a restaurant on the ground level and luxury apartments on the upper level, said Mayor Judy Phillips.
The project, already approved by the village planning board, is known as Magee Point Landing. It is located at 65 Salt Point Road. Phillips said the building is identified in the village’s proposed Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan as a historic structure that is appropriate for preservation and redevelopment. Developer of the project is Magee Point Associates LLC, which is owned by William and John Benedict of Elmira.
The village will be competing with communities across the state for part of $150 million in Restore New York Communities Initiative grants administered by the Empire State Development Corp. Applications are due by May 4.
The grants are designed to help finance the rehabilitation or demolition of vacant, abandoned, condemned and surplus properties. Preference is given to economically distressed communities. Each municipality awarded a grant must provide cash or in-kind services totaling 10 percent of the award. The funds can come from private or government sources.
Phillips said the village will consider adopting the Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan at its March 2 meeting. The proposal is a comprehensive blueprint for future development along the Seneca Lake waterfront and the Seneca Canal. The plan is available for inspection during business hours at the village clerk’s office. It has been endorsed by the village planning board.
In other action Tuesday, the board:
• Approved the purchase of a 2006 Chevrolet truck to be used by the village’s meter reader from Dave’s Auto World in Montour Falls at a cost of $6,900. Trustee William Smagner opposed the purchase because of the high mileage - 92,000 miles - on the vehicle.
• Referred to Parks Manager Michelle Hyde a request from Michael Ciccotti to place bluebird nesting boxes in Clute Park. Ciccotti told the officials in a letter that he is working on the project with Cornell Cooperative Extension.

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