NY Forward program awards $4.5 million to Cooperstown, $2.25 million to Sharon Springs and Dolgville

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New York Construction Report staff writer

The Village of Cooperstown will receive $4.5 million, and the Villages of Sharon Springs and Dolgeville will each receive $2.25 million from NY Forward – the first of three rounds of funding to smaller communities in each of the state’s 10 economic development regions for downtown revitalization.

“Ensuring small towns and cities have the resources they need to thrive is critical to New York’s economic resurgence,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a statement. “These investments will help the Village of Cooperstown, Sharon Springs, and Dolgeville develop their downtowns, improve the quality of life for residents and visitors, and create new jobs and attract businesses to expand economic opportunity across the region.”

Each NY Forward community must now develop a plan to revitalize its downtown through “readily implementable projects”. The Department of State will provide enhanced technical assistance and fund projects appropriately scaled to the size of each community.

Projects may include building renovation and redevelopment, new construction or creation of new or improved public spaces and other projects that elevate specific cultural, historical qualities that enhance the feeling of small-town charm.

Cooperstown seeks to build on prior downtown improvements and its natural tourism draw by creating connections from Main Street to Lake Otsego, revitalizing historic facades, enhancing infrastructure to improve residential and commercial quality, improving walkability and accessibility and assisting in the creation of downtown apartment-style housing.

Sharon Springs will achieve its vision by renovating key arts and entertainment venues and other historic buildings, adding public Wi-Fi and assisting the village’s numerous small businesses.

Dolgeville plans to restore its economic, commercial, cultural and artistic vibrancy and its historic Main Street district, leading the Village into a prosperous, sustainable future. The Village of Dolgeville seeks to achieve this vision by improving access to the East Canada Creek, creating a fund to assist small businesses and providing critical childcare facilities.

“Revitalizing smaller downtown communities across the state is key to the success of our economic development efforts, and that’s exactly what our NY Forward program does,” said Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez. “The funding provided to Cooperstown, Sharon Springs and Dolgeville will transform these communities into attractive places to live, work and play, in turn supporting a more equitable downtown recovery for the Mohawk Valley and all of New York State.”

Local planning committees including municipal representatives, community leaders and other stakeholders will lead these efforts, supported by private sector experts and state planners. The Strategic Investment Plan will examine local assets and opportunities to identify projects that align with each community’s vision and that are poised for implementation.

Funding will be awarded for selected projects from the Strategic Investment Plan that have the greatest potential to jumpstart revitalization and generate new opportunities for long-term growth, the statement says.

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