State looks to invest $100M in smaller communities

Published: Aug. 8, 2022 at 6:04 PM EDT
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CHAUMONT, New York (WWNY) - Communities like Watertown and Massena have gotten millions of dollars in downtown funds from New York. Now the state is looking to invest in smaller communities.

“This is a game changer for villages like Chaumont,” said Hartley Bonisteel-Schweitzer, planning board chair, village of Chaumont.

New York’s Department of State sent a reminder last week encouraging towns and villages to apply for the NY Forward Revitalization Initiative.

“This is the first time that the state has really looked to these smaller hamlets and villages across the state. So the village of Chaumont is really excited,” said Bonisteel-Schweitzer.

Like the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, NY Forward looks to help build up the heart of a community specifically in small towns.

“The corner that we are doing is the entirety of the commercial district and the downtown historic area of the village,” said Bonisteel-Schweitzer.

$100 million in funding is being provided for smaller and rural projects not eligible for D.R.I. funding.

Towns and villages can apply for up to $10 million to invest in their communities. A new aspect of the application process is that neighborhoods and communities can now jointly apply for NY Forward funding.

“We really want to build on the momentum of some of the private development that has occurred in the village. We’d loved to see some streetscapes, some wayfaring, some street beautification,” said Bonisteel-Schweitzer.

Applications for the program need to be submitted by August 10.

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