State picks Seneca Falls over Medina for $10 million downtown revitalization grant

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 November 2019 at 4:34 pm

Courtesy of Village of Medina, DRI application: The Village of Medina wants to improve public access to the Medina Waterfalls by constructing an elevated platform from the towpath. That project was part of Medina’s application for $10 million in DRI funding.

Medina village officials and many community leaders have been anxiously waiting for months to hear whether Medina would be awarded $10 million from the state for a Downtown Revitalization Initiative.

Today came the announcement from the state. The money is going to Seneca Falls.

The state has been approving $10 million for 10 different DRI each year, one for each of the 10 regions of the state. NY considers Medina and Orleans County to be in the Finger Lakes region/

This is the fourth round of the DRI, where communities submit applications and the state decides the winner. 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 last year and now Seneca Falls.

Medina put together an application with projects that that would have improved the downtown business district, the water front by the canal, created public access by the water falls, expanded housing opportunities, and added tourism amenities and attractions.

Click here to see an article detailing Medina’s application.

Medina Mayor Michael Sidari said the village has a strong application and will try again next year for the $10 million.

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul was in Seneca Falls today to announce the DRI award.

“With funding from the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, Seneca Falls will continue to flourish as an integral part of state and national history,” Hochul said. “As the birthplace of the women’s rights movement and a charming part of the Finger Lakes, Seneca Falls is primed for continued investment that will positively impact downtown growth. With this once in a lifetime opportunity, Seneca Falls will develop a roadmap for the future with innovative projects focused on boosting the local and regional economy.”

Seneca Falls will now begin the process of developing a Strategic Investment Plan to revitalize its downtown with up to $300,000 in planning funds from the $10 million DRI grant. A Local Planning Committee made up of municipal representatives, community leaders, and other stakeholders will lead the effort, supported by a team of private sector experts and state planners.

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