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State awards $19 million in revitalization funding to Mohawk Valley communities

By Traci DeLore (


The Town of Kirkland and Village of Clinton will receive a shared $10 million in funding from the sixth round of Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) funding awards. (Photo credit: New York governor’s website)

The Town of Kirkland and Village of Clinton will receive a shared $10 million in funding from the sixth round of Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) funding awards, the state announced.

Meanwhile, Cooperstown will receive $4.5 million and the villages of Sharon Springs and Dolgeville will each get $2.25 million in NY Forward funding.

All of the communities will now develop strategic investment plans for economic development, transportation, housing, and community projects that align with each community’s vision.

“This is just a splendid day to get $10 million for this community,” Clinton Mayor Elizabeth Tantillo said in a news release from the New York governor’s office.

Kirkland and Clinton, located within the town, are anchored by a village center full of shops and businesses and have a large concentration of quality-of-life amenities including the Kirkland Art Center and Clinton Arena. Clinton is also home to Hamilton College. The two communities want to modernize infrastructure; further commit to ongoing environmental, climate, and economic initiatives; and enhance programs for wellness, health, and quality of life with a focus on expanding existing uses in the village center, growing local housing stock, and encouraging the use of underutilized parcels.

“This is a work in progress for three years,” Kirkland Deputy Supervisor Gary Colarusso said. “This is our third attempt, and I’m very proud for a group of people who brought this today.”

Cooperstown, home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, hopes to build on prior downtown improvements and its tourism draw by creating connections from Main Street to Otsego Lake, revitalizing historic façades, enhancing infrastructure, improving walkability and accessibility, and assisting in the creation of downtown apartment-style housing. “This $4.5 million award for this small village, which has different components and needs, will make a big difference,” Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh said.

Dolgeville plans to build on its natural resources and innovative infrastructure to restore its economic, commercial, cultural, and artistic vibrancy along with its historic Main Street district through improving access to East Canada Creek, creating a fund to assist small businesses, and providing childcare facilities.

“NY Forward is a great thing, and we could not be happier to be one of the first recipients,” Mayor Mary Puznowski said.

Sharon Springs seeks to build on recent private business investment and public infrastructure improvements by renovating arts and entertainment venues and historic buildings, adding public Wi-Fi, and assisting small businesses. “We are beyond thrilled to receive this award,” Mayor Douglas Plummer said. “What an exciting opportunity!”

The Downtown Revitalization Initiative, launched in 2016, provides funding to help communities transform their downtown neighborhoods with funding awarded to projects with the greatest potential to contribute to revitalization and realize the community’s vision.

NY Forward, working together with DRI, serves smaller communities with historic character that distinguishes them from larger, more urban areas typically funded through DRI. These communities are walkable, less dense areas that serve the immediate local community.