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Seneca Falls named Finger Lakes winner in fourth round of Downtown Revitalization Initiative

By Eric Reinhardt


SENECA FALLS, N.Y. — The state is awarding the town of Seneca Falls $10 million in funding as the Finger Lakes winner of the fourth round of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI).

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Seneca Falls as the Finger Lakes winner during a Wednesday appearance at the Seneca Knitting Mill.

As in the first three rounds of the DRI, one municipality from each of the state’s 10 regional economic-development regions is selected as a $10 million winner.

In the DRI program, New York says it seeks to help communities “boost their economies by transforming downtowns into vibrant neighborhoods where the next generation of New Yorkers will want to live, work and raise a family.”

Seneca Falls’ fourth-round DRI win entitles the town to receive $10 million in state funding and investments to revitalize its downtown neighborhoods and generate new opportunities for long-term growth. Seneca Falls now joins Geneva, Batavia and Penn Yan, which were the Finger Lakes region’s winners in the first three DRI rounds, respectively.

 “Today, we celebrate the opportunity to build on the rich heritage of Seneca Falls thanks to the governor’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative,” Robert Shipley, chairman of the Seneca County Board of Supervisors, said in the release. “Seneca Falls will capitalize on this investment to further expand opportunities for residents and visitors to live, work and play in our historic downtown. This new funding will help spark development in the entire Finger Lakes region.”

Seneca Falls will now begin the process of developing a plan to revitalize its downtown with up to $300,000 in planning funds from the $10 million DRI grant.

A local planning committee with municipal representatives, community leaders, and other stakeholders will lead the effort. A group of private-sector experts and state planners will support the effort.

The plan for Seneca Falls will identify economic development, transportation, housing, and community projects that “align with the community’s vision for downtown revitalization and that are poised for implementation,” per the release.

Plans for the DRI’s fourth round will be complete in 2020, Cuomo’s office said.

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