KINDERHOOK—Governor Kathy Hochul announced on March 3 that the Village of Kinderhook has received $2.25 million in funding as one of the Capital Region winners of the first round of that state’s NY Forward program.
Also as part of the first round the Greene County Village of Coxsackie has received $4.5 million and the Village of Cambridge in Washington County has received $2.25 million.
A press release from the governor says this new program is building on the momentum of the state’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI). The $100 million NY Forward program adopts the same “Plan-then-Act” strategy as the DRI to support a more equitable downtown recovery for the state’s smaller and rural communities.
As part of NY Forward Round One, two to three awards will be made to smaller communities in each of the state’s ten economic development regions to support development and implementation of a revitalization plan for their downtowns.
“New York’s small towns are huge drivers of our state’s economy—that’s why we’re investing in local communities to give residents the jobs, the tools, and the infrastructure they need to thrive,” Governor Hochul said in the release. “These investments will help the villages of Coxsackie, Kinderhook and Cambridge re-imagine their downtowns, enhance quality of life for residents and visitors, and create new job and business opportunities across the Capital Region.”
In the release from the governor’s office, Kinderhook Village Mayor Michael Abrams said, “We are grateful for the trust and partnership with Governor Hochul and the State of New York in providing this critically important funding. These funds will help us sustain our historical structures and attract and grow small businesses which are the lifeblood of our community.”
In an email to residents, Mayor Abrams announced the funding amount and said, “There will be more to come in the weeks and months ahead as we begin the process of upgrading Rothermel Park, renovating Van Buren Hall, re-building the bandstand [on the village green], as well as improving several private buildings throughout the village.”
He also thanked Village Economic Development Director Renee Shur, Village Clerk-Treasurer Nicole Heeder and Liz Cottingham “and the many other village staff members and residents who participated in putting our grant together. Thank you to the former mayors and trustees whose service and foresight over many years put the village in a position to win this grant: Dale Leiser, Jim Dunham, Carol Weaver, Bill Van Alstyne, Rich Phillips, and many others.”
According to the state, NY Forward serves smaller communities with historic character that distinguishes them from the larger, more urban central business districts typically funded through DRI. “NY Forward communities are walkable, less dense areas that serve the immediate local community, and are more local in nature—focusing on the immediately surrounding residential or rural agricultural centric development.”
Like DRI, each NY Forward community will develop a Strategic Investment Plan to revitalize its downtown through a slate of readily implementable projects. The state Department of State will provide enhanced technical assistance to better support smaller communities that may have less capacity as part of the NY Forward program and fund projects appropriately scaled to the size of each community. Projects may include building renovation and redevelopment, new construction or creation of new or improved public spaces and other projects that elevate specific cultural, historical qualities that enhance the feeling of small-town charm.
Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez said, in the release, “New York’s downtown communities are the heart and soul of our regions, and the NY Forward program is investing in our smaller downtowns to help ensure they can take part in our state’s renaissance of economic resurgence. As the first communities in the Capital Region to receive funding from NY Forward, Coxsackie, Kinderhook and Cambridge will now select projects that implement their visions for revitalization and put them on a path toward economic prosperity for generations to come.”
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