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Full house at City Hall for Downtown Revitalization Initiative meeting

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Government and residents meet about the major grant funding

By Syrena Lynn Carver

Pictured(L-R) Mayor John Buckley, City planner Heather Reynolds, Ed Harper, James Reynolds

Hornell has a really nice problem: nearly a half million dollars ready to improve the Maple City.

The $462,000 award is designated for building improvements, not maintenance. The improvements applications will be scored for Readiness of project; Economic Impact; Visual Impact, and leverage of personal investment.

The grant award and project completion timeline is three years. The initial application is due 3/15/23; Final application due May 2023; in June & July the committee will review the applications and in July, the final awards will be announced. August through October will be the start of the environmental testing and clearances. Winter of 2023 work should begin and in August 2024 Bid Progress Check-in by James Reynolds.

Like many NYS grants, there are strings: Building owners must pay for the improvements and then will be reimbursed by a percentage depending on their application scores. The applicants will also have stipulations to abide by based on the grant and committee criteria.

The improvements must be for building improvements only – nothing temporary. So think handicap-access or roofs, not awnings or painting. The application and details will be posted on the city website under Planning Office.

Building owners will have to show copy of deed, proof of available financing for project, the property must be current on taxes. Work must be completed by licensed contractors and projects must have bids. There is a 5 year requirement: Applicants must not sell or make changes for 5 years.

Public interest is very high for putting this money to good use. The crowd was very encouraging.

Some notable Hornellians in attendance: IDA’s Mike Nisbit; Ed Flaitz, Dan & Maureen Broughton, Sue Gray, Molly Liberto, Dave Palma, Mary Class, Mark Morrisey, Penny Smith, Hector & Sue Hoyos Valerie Whitehill, and

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