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DRI funds will transform major portions of downtown Penn Yan

Two of Bill Foster’s passions are history and architecture, so he was elated when he learned $1.5 million in downtown revitalization funds are being allocated for the Knapp Hotel building.

“I’ve waited for this kind of opportunity for a long time,” said Foster, who has owned the 200-year-old building on the corner of Main and Water streets since 2015. “I want this to be an amazing transformation … and bring this building’s history back.”

Now that the hoopla has died down in this Yates County village following an appearance by Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul earlier this month — she was there to announce which projects were getting the $10 million in state Downtown Revitalization Initiative funds — the attention has now turned to when the money will be coming and how it will be used.

Steve Griffin, the county’s economic developer, said several state agencies, depending on whether the project is private or public, will oversee the grant process and send out award letters. That typically takes 4-6 weeks.

Engineers and architects will be brought in for most projects. Griffin said there could be tangible work seen by next year.

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