Construction is underway for a new Dunkin’ Donuts on a vacant lot next to Kwik Fill on Route 31 in Lyons. Cranes were out preparing the land Monday. Town Supervisor Jim Brady took a drive with FingerLakes1.com to showcase all the new things happening around town, and Dunkin’ is just one of several projects in the works.
“It’s kind of exciting,” Brady said. “We have a Quicklee Mobile Station doing a million-dollar renovation and the word is that a Kentucky Fried Chicken or a Taco Bell drive through and restaurant is going in there. Then we have the Dollar General.”
Those businesses are also on Route 31.
The growth isn’t limited to new businesses, either. Brady explained that existing businesses are expanding, too.
“Flint Creek is doing add-ons, they’re a metal fabricator,” Brady told FingerLakes1.com. “Another metal Fabricator, Legacy Iron works, is also adding-on.”
Brady said the Town has grant applications in for New York Forward and Restore New York, and he’s crossing his fingers those come through. If so, he plans to rehabilitate some downtown buildings.
Supervisor knows change won’t come to Lyons overnight: Patience is key
“We’re the (Wayne) County seat,” Brady continued. “We’ve done little tiny improvements over the past two years, trying to get the town in shape. We’ve done parking lots behind commercial buildings, painted the gazebo, put a new dock in behind McDonalds for the boaters, took care of some major draining problems in the town.”
The village dissolution is still a fairly recent memory for residents. Brady spoke to that, as well as the reality that there were a lot of unknowns when it happened. Now, the Supervisor and community are coming together to correct some of those outstanding issues.
Housing, poverty, and preparing for the next generation of Lyons residents
“We did have a building a couple of years ago fall down, and the two next to it will be coming down,” Brady added. “If the grant comes, there’s going to be money to be rebuild. It will be commercial downstairs and affordable housing upstairs.”
Brady isn’t shy about the fact that a community like Lyons needs a lot of work. Planning and patience have been crucial components to the momentum and success being built. Among the biggest things he hopes to see change: The fact that there are not a ton of quality places to live.
There’s a lot of poverty in Lyons, according to Brady. But he hopes with the right kinds of investment, the town can thrive.
“I looked at ways we can turn things around,” he continued. “When we first started we needed a comprehensive, long-range plan. We got that in place a year ago and we’re just trying to follow it. We have an implementation committee. We walk around town and say, how are we going to handle this? And we start handling them. Little by little.”
Another development involves work happening at the school there.
“We’re going to be doing a couple of additions,” Brady explained. “One is towards agriculture, and one is towards technical skills to teach young people who don’t want to go to college. It’s really going to be a beautiful complex because they’re putting an overhead bridge directly over the road to Manhattan Street to the community center, so the community center will become a major part of the school.” That project is in the engineering stages now.
All that said, the biggest, and most-immediate question on the minds of residents is timeline for opening of these new businesses.
Brady hopes the Dunkin’ Donuts, Quicklee and dollar general should be open in the Spring of 2023. He said they’re still waiting to hear about if they’ll receive any of the grants for which they applied.
Rebecca is a veteran multimedia journalist serving as one of our core reporters in the Finger Lakes region. She is responsible for telling stories that matter to every day Upstate New Yorkers. Have a question or lead? Send it to [email protected].