Albion urged to ‘Think Big’ with Restore NY grant for up to $10 million

Photos by Tom Rivers: Jay Grasso, owner of with G & G Municipal Consulting and Grant Writing, outlines the Restore NY program during a meeting Thursday evening with about 30 village residents and building owners.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 November 2022 at 9:22 am

ALBION – The Restore NY program could bring millions of dollars into Albion to address properties in distress, the village’s grant writer advised building owners during a meeting on Thursday evening.

“This is a rare opportunity,” said Jay Grasso, owner of with G & G Municipal Consulting and Grant Writing in Spencerport. “I really think we have to try. That is a lot of money to leave sitting on the table.”

The Restore NY program could bring up to $10 million to revitalize distressed commercial and residential sites, providing 90 percent of the costs. The program funds reconstruction, structural repairs, repair and replacement of mechanical systems, energy efficiency upgrades, and demolition.

Jay Grasso said Albion is a good candidate to receive funding through the Restore NY program, which targets distressed properties.

Projects could include new construction, renovation of existing buildings, facade improvements, and renovation for new retail, office, commercial, industrial, recreational or cultural uses.

Grasso and village officials are gauging interest from building owners in the program. They are asked to complete a short form that includes a 150-word description of a potential program.

The village has until Nov. 30 to submit a letter of intent to apply for funding. The state will let Albion know if it should then do a more in-depth application that would be due Jan. 27, 2023.

That application would need at least one bid from contractors for work at each building.

Gov. Kathy Hochul on Nov. 1 announced a new round of $250 million in Restore NY funding is available.

“Restore New York funding gives localities the resources to transform abandoned and neglected properties into modern, 21st century buildings,” Hochul said in a press release. “By helping to rebuild and strengthen communities across the state, we will stimulate local economies and continue to build back New York better and stronger.”

Restore NY funding can be used for vacant, abandoned, condemned or surplus buildings. These properties can be demolished, deconstructed, rehabilitated or reconstructed. The grant allows up to $70,000 per residential unit.

Albion meets the criteria of being in an economically distressed community.

Grasso urged building owners to show recent investments in their properties, including “sweat equity” where they did the work. The state will want to see that people “have skin in the game” with the sites.

The projects aren’t limited to the central business district, like many other state programs. Albion qualifies as a distressed community throughout the village, Grasso said.

The state wants to see Restore NY projects that spur development in the community. Grasso would like to see some projects near the canal, to help the village better capitalize on that asset.

“This is a charming community,” Grasso said. “It just needs a little help.”

He urged the property owners to “Think Big” and consider roof work, asbestos and lead abatement, heating and plumbing upgrades. If applications include energy efficiency and renewable energy (including rooftop solar) that would stand out to the state, Grasso said.

The work in gathering information for this grant could pay off with other grant initiatives from the state, too, Grasso said, including the $4.5 Forward NY program.

Grasso said the Village Board wants to go after grants to help the property owners.

“The village is trying to do the right thing but they can’t do it without you,” he said.

For more information, contact a G & G representative at (585) 368-8866 or send an email to