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Central New York communities win NY Forward, DRI funding

By Eric Reinhardt (


The state has selected Brewerton/Hastings as one of two Central New York winners in the NY Forward initiative. The funding will help pay for community-improvement projects. The Village of Canastota also won a NY Forward state grant of $4.5 million for improvement projects. In addition, Aurora, Cayuga, and Union Springs will share a $10 million funding award in the state’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI). Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the funding awards during a Monday visit to PPC Broadband, Inc. in DeWitt. (Photo credit: Mike Groll via Hochul flickr)

New York State has selected Brewerton/Hastings and Canastota as this year’s Central New York region NY Forward winners, each receiving $4.5 million for community-improvement projects.

At the same time, the Cayuga County communities of Aurora, Cayuga, and Union Springs will jointly receive $10 million in funding as the Central New York winner of the seventh round of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI).

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced both the NY Forward and DRI grants during her Monday visit to PPC Broadband, Inc. in DeWitt.

NY Forward funding awards

Hochul’s office says the Brewerton area encompasses the downtown waterfronts of the towns of Hastings and Cicero and straddles both sides of the Oneida River. The two towns collaborated on a joint, mutually supported application, after each had submitted separate applications last year.

The Village of Canastota has also “demonstrated that it is ready for transformative growth” through the NY Forward award, per Hochul’s office. The village has recreational opportunities, including a trail system, and is also located close to several colleges, a Thruway exit, and the Syracuse and Utica metro areas.

Canastota and Brewerton/Hastings will now begin the process of jointly developing a strategic-investment plan to revitalize their downtown areas. 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.

DRI funding award

Aurora, Cayuga and Union Springs combined their nearby downtown areas along Cayuga Lake into one “comprehensive and mutually supporting” DRI application entitled, “Cayuga County’s Quaint Lakeside Village Corridor.” Each had applied individually for NY Forward last year.

The combined applications, and the projects identified, will create an “inter-connected tourism corridor” along the northeast side of Cayuga Lake, the state says.

Projects identified, with assistance from the Cayuga County Planning Department and “significant” public input, will boost tourism and business goals through better lake access, walkable neighborhoods, diverse retail and job creation, cultural and recreational opportunities, lodging, and housing.

Aurora, Cayuga, Union Springs will jointly begin the process of developing their plan with up to $300,000 in planning funds from the $10 million DRI grant. As with the NY Forward initiative, a local planning committee will lead the effort.


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