Several grants approved for projects in Orleans

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 December 2015 at 12:00 am

File photos by Tom Rivers – Bent’s Opera House is in line for two state grants. The building is a dominant structure at the corner of Main and East Center streets in downtown Medina.

ALBANY – State officials announced about $2.25 billion in funding for projects across the state today, and some of those dollars will go towards efforts in Orleans County.

The biggest award is $600,000 for the Orleans Economic Development Agency for a new building in the Medina Business Park. The EDA is working to have the shell of a building up to entice a company. Having the exterior of the building in place with the local permits secured would speed up the process for a company to settle in Medina, EDA officials have said.

Other Medina projects were picked for funding include $335,000 in a Main Street NY grant that will be administered by the Orleans County Chamber of Commerce. The money will assist in renovation of mixed-use buildings in historic downtown Medina.

Downtown Medina will get $335,000 in a Main Street NY grant.

Bent’s Opera House, a landmark structure that opened in 1865 at the corner of Main and East Center streets in Medina, was approved for two grants. A $70,000 grant will go towards includes building stabilization, facade improvements, asbestos abatement and interior renovations at the three-story building.

The state also approved another $150,000 for Bent’s, which is owned by the Orleans Renaissance Group, for additional restoration work.

“This work will represent one phase of a multi-phase restoration project that will not only enhance its appearance, but will also enable public use,” according to the state announcement. “When complete, the Opera House will provide a safe and historic space for public gatherings and events, and will also provide space to several revenue and tax-generating businesses.”

Other projects include:

$200,000 to the Orleans EDA for microenterprise support, including downtown rental subsidies for businesses in the downtown districts in Albion, Holley, Medina and Lyndonville. Some of the state funds can also be used as grants for the small businesses adding equipment or a new line of products.

$126,210 for the chapel at Hillside Cemetery, which is owned by the Town of Clarendon. The Gothic Revival chapel was built of Medina sandstone in 1894. The state funding will go towards restoring the non-denominational chapel and repurpose it for new public uses. Anticipated use includes concerts, historical and art exhibits, and lectures.

The chapel at Hillside Cemetery was approved for state funds for restoration and repurposing.

$40,000 for the Kendall-Yates-Carlton Local Waterfront Revitalization Program. The funds will go towards updating the waterfront plan for the three towns, providing new data on current conditions, policies, and implementation tools and projects.

Issues to be addressed include community revitalization, erosion, transportation infrastructure, water quality, and harbor management. Stakeholder feedback and public input will be solicited throughout development of the amended waterfront development plan.

$36,000 for Orleans County for a law enforcement shared service and efficiency study.

“The Orleans County Sheriff’s Office and the Police Departments of the Villages of Albion, Lyndonville, Medina, and Holley will commission a study to explore the efficiency of current local law enforcement operations and compare them with alternative policing models, including the potential consolidation of the five departments,” according to the state announcement.

In addition, the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council, which is based in Batavia and serves Genesee and Orleans counties, was approved for a $37,500 grant to create a full-time program director position to increase programming and service availabilities throughout its two-county region.

The Town of Alabama, just south of Shelby in Orleans County, was approved for a $1.5 million grant for new water lines to support the WNY Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP) and nearby residents.