Albion awarded $388K Main Street grant

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 May 2021 at 5:51 pm

State funds will cover up to 75% of building renovations

Photo by Tom Rivers: Main Street in downtown Albion is shown this afternoon.

ALBION – The Village of Albion has been awarded a Main Street grant from the state that will pay up to 75 percent of building renovation costs in the downtown business area.

The village will be holding a meeting 6 p.m. on Monday at The Lockstone, 160 North Main St., for interested property owners to hear more about the program.

The target area for the grant includes both sides of North Main Street between Orchard Street and West State Street, and West Bank Street from North Main Street to North Liberty Street. Attendees should call the Village Office at (585) 589-9176 to confirm their attendance at the meeting.

The grant is for $388,192 and that includes $311,079 for building renovations, $47,613 for streetscape improvements, $25,000 for administration and $4,500 for architecture, engineering and environmental costs.

The project is expected to include 8 residential units and 24 commercial units. Property owners will need to state their interest in the grant, and submit a description of their projects with quotes for the costs. J. O’Connell and Associates in Clarence is administering the grant for the village.

The village has formed a committee that will review the proposals and select the grant awardees. The committee will also decide how to divvy up the streetscape grant. Those upgrades may include new benches, trash receptacles and trees.

Natasha Wasuck, owner of The Lockstone, was able to rally interest from several building owners in the grant application.

The meeting on Monday will provide an overview of the grant. Property owners who didn’t show interest in the initial application aren’t shut out from the process. They can now submit a project and see if it is picked by the committee, which will use a scoring system in ranking the projects.

The renovation projects can include grants up to $50,000, with the grant not to exceed 75 percent of the project cost.

Renovation projects that provide direct assistance to residential units may also award an additional $25,000 per residential unit, up to a per building maximum of $100,000 and not to exceed 75 percent of the total project cost, according to the NYS Homes and Community Renewal.

Eligible uses of funds:

  • Health and safety improvements – fire alarms, sprinklers, fire escape repair, correcting code violations
  • Accessibility improvements – ramps, elevators, widening entryways, automatic doors
  • Energy efficiency improvements – insulation, HVAC system upgrades, water-conservation improvements
  • Facade restoration – preservation projects, reopening storefronts, removing solid security gates, signs, awnings, re-pointing brick, window repair
  • Residential improvements – convert vacant upper stories into apartments, correct code violations, update existing apartments
  • Prepare commercial spaces for tenants – drywall, electrical, plumbing

Ineligible uses of funds include acquisition, new construction, demolition, capitalizing on a revolving loan fund, improvements to churches or religious structures, improvements to municipally-owned buildings and general maintenance.

The state also forbids using the grant for non-permanent fixtures, furnishings, appliances, electronics, security systems and business equipment. Recipients also can’t use the funds for site work or ancillary activities including septic systems or laterals, grading, parking lots, sidewalks, landscaping, fences or free-standing signs.