Medina names committee members to pursue downtown grant for $4.5 million

Photo by Tom Rivers: Main Street in downtown Medina is shown on Monday night.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 August 2022 at 1:17 pm

MEDINA – The Village Board appointed nine people to serve on a committee to help Medina pursue a $4.5 million grant from the state in a program called NY Forward.

Medina has been a finalist for a Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant before but has missed out to other villages and metros in the Finger Lakes Region. The state is making changes to the DRI program this year. Instead of only approving $10 million award winners, the state is making $10 million available for metros in cities through the DRI, and then $4.5 million for downtown areas in villages and hamlets through NY Forward.

Medina already is tweaking its approach to the downtown application. It has expanded the committee from five to nine people.

Those members includes Village Trustees Marguerite Sherman and Timothy Elliott, and residents Kathy Blackburn, Chris Busch, David Flynn, Chris Goyette, Reinhard Rogowski, Randy Reese and Lauren Backlas.

The application is due by 4 p.m. on Sept. 23.

“We have to get going on this,” Trustee Sherman said during Monday’s Village Board meeting.

The board also approved sending a notice to the state of Medina’s intent to submit an application.

Medina is considered to be in the Finger Lakes Region by the state for its program that includes 10 regional economic development council. Last year Medina missed out on the $10 million to the Village of Newark in Wayne County and the City of Rochester. Other previous $10 million grant winners in the Finger Lakes region include the City of Geneva in 2016, the City of Batavia in 2017, the Village of Penn Yan in 2018 and Seneca Falls in 2019.

Medina was one of five finalists for the grant in 2019 and in 2021.

Medina’s application in 2021 sought funding for streetscape Improvements, multi-use trail along the Medina Railroad from the museum to Main Street, upgrades to Canal Village Farmer’s Market, improved waterfront access and amenities at the Canal Basin Park, enhanced programming at State Street Park (ice skating rink, enhanced lighting, boat tie-ups, benches and bicycle racks, and a construction of a nature trail), boat tie-ups and docking facilities at the Lions Park, viewing platform and at Medina waterfalls, wayfinding signage, small grant fund for local businesses, adaptive reuse of the old Medina High School to turn into apartments, and redeveloping the Snappy facility on Commercial Street by the Erie Canal into a mixed-use commercial and residential space.

The committee will likely have to modify the application, with the village’s maximum amount cut from $10 million to $4.5 million.