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Aurora, Cayuga, and Union Springs win $10M DRI award

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  • Staff Report 

Governor Kathy Hochul announced a significant boost for the future of three Cayuga County villages on Monday. The villages of Aurora, Cayuga, and Union Springs were awarded a $10 million state grant through the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, a contest the city of Auburn won in 2018. This funding is set to support a variety of projects determined through an upcoming planning process. The collaboration between these villages represents a pioneering approach to community improvement, pooling resources to achieve extraordinary outcomes.

The initiative, which began in 2016, has traditionally invited cities, towns, and villages to compete for $10 million awards in New York’s economic development regions. A rule change in 2022 allowed joint applications, leading Aurora, Cayuga, and Union Springs to submit a combined proposal with the help of the Cayuga County Department of Planning and Economic Development. Their application outlined 44 projects, including developments in retail, housing, and public spaces, aiming to transform their downtown areas.

Local leaders expressed elation and gratitude for the grant, viewing it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to drive significant change in their communities. The success of this unique consortium underscores the power of collaboration in achieving community development goals. The state will aid in developing a strategic plan to allocate the grant effectively, with a local planning committee guiding the process. This endeavor promises to revitalize the villages, fostering a bright future for the residents of Aurora, Cayuga, and Union Springs.