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Schuyler County opens final round of downtown revitalization grants

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

Schuyler County, in collaboration with the Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development (SCOPED), is calling for applications for the last phase of the Downtown & Business ARPA Program. This initiative, which aims at revitalizing downtown areas through a matching grant program for facade improvements, has already allocated $280,000 in funds to enhance the exteriors of commercial and mixed-use buildings in the county. Funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) since January 2022, the program supports small businesses and building owners in enhancing downtown environments in Watkins Glen, Odessa, Montour Falls, and Burdett.

Eligible applicants, within a half-mile radius of the mentioned business districts, can seek grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 for project improvements costing between $10,000 to $50,000. The program focuses on commercial or mixed-use buildings, excluding residential properties, and operates on a reimbursement basis, requiring applicants to finance the projects upfront. The successful initiative has prompted discussions about its continuation and expansion to further benefit Schuyler County communities.

Carl Blowers, Chairman of the Schuyler County Legislature, highlighted the program’s significant impact and mentioned plans to expand its scope and reach. Kerri Green from SCOPED emphasized the program’s role in driving private investment and improving downtown aesthetics, with $850,000 invested by property owners complemented by $190,000 in grants. For more information and to apply by the March 1, 2024, deadline, visit the SCOPED website.