Albion Village Board votes to seek $2 million in funding from Restore NY

Photo by Tom Rivers: Main Street in downtown Albion is pictured on Sunday evening after some snowfall.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 January 2023 at 8:29 am

ALBION – The Albion Village Board approved a $2 million application on Wednesday evening for the Restore NY grant program.

The application would assist 22 properties in the downtown area, and if approved would bring state funding for 90 percent of building improvement projects in vacant or underutilized buildings.

Jay Grasso, the village’s grantwriter for the application, said the projects range from $50,000 to up to $400,000. Most of the projects include drywall, utility work, plumbing and other improvements to make space more usable for residential and commercial uses.

He thanked the building owners and the village office staff for their efforts in providing information for the application. Building owners needed to submit estimates from contractors for work.

If Albion’s application is approved, Grasso said more detailed construction bids will likely be needed and the state will finalize contracts with each building owner.

Albion qualified as a severely distressed community, making it eligible for Restore NY funding. That state program seeks to revitalize the heart of community centers, bringing funding for residential and commercial projects.

The grants for a community are up to $10 million, and are often anchored by a massive project for several million dollars. Albion is going funding for 22 smaller projects, rather than one giant effort.

Grasso, the grantwriter and owner of G & G Municipal Consulting and Grant Writing, said he expects it will take several months before the state announces the winners in Restore NY. Gov. Kathy Hochul on Nov. 1 announced a new round of $250 million in Restore NY funding is available.

The Albion sites in the grant are on Main Street, South Clinton Street, South Platt Street, East Bank Street, North Liberty Street and Beaver Alley.

Grasso said the connections he’s made with building owners, included some not in the application, will be helpful if Albion pursues other grants including the Forward NY program. He said Albion qualifies for many of the programs and is a strong candidate for funding.