State doubles awards for revitalizing downtowns

The village of Potsdam was awarded $10 million in 2019 under the state's Downtown...
The village of Potsdam was awarded $10 million in 2019 under the state's Downtown Revitalization Initiative. That year was the fourth round of the DRI. State officials announced Tuesday the start of the fifth.(WWNY)
Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 5:54 AM EDT
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ALBANY, New York (WWNY) - The so-called Hunger Games heat up as the state doubles down on its efforts to fix up downtowns.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday that for the fifth year of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, the state’s 10 economic development regions will each receive $20 million instead of the $10 million awarded each of the first four years.

The competitive style of the DRI program prompts critics to call it the Hunger Games for the popular book and movie series. The competition wasn’t held last year because of the state’s pandemic-induced financial uncertainty.

Each region will have the choice of nominating one community for a $20 million award or two for $10 million each.

The DRI has awarded one community in each region $10 million to develop a strategic plan for investing in its downtown and implement key projects as catalysts to prompt future development.

In the seven-county region the state considers the North Country, Plattsburgh won the first year, Watertown the second, Saranac Lake the third, and Potsdam the fourth.

Communities in our area have until September 15 to submit applications to the North Country Regional Economic Development Council, which covers Jefferson, Lewis, St. Lawrence Franklin, Clinton, Essex, and Hamilton counties.

Here’s more on the DRI program.

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