Hornell gets largest grant ever, thanks to DRI
Hornell, NY (WENY) -- Millions of dollars in state funding are heading to the City of Hornell. They're the newest recipient of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative funding. The state cut the check to Hornell, worth $10 million, Wednesday. The $10 million will go towards fixing, updating and rejuvenating the Maple City's downtown. It's the largest amount of funding they've ever received.
After being passed over multiple times, Mayor John Buckley said the 4th times a charm.
They've applied for the DRI funding a number of times and made it to the final process a few different times. Other southern tier communities have also received DRI funding. Other communities in the Southern Tier that have received DRI funding include Elmira, Watkins Glen and Owego. Part of their new approach included looking at previous winners applications and presentations and looking at what was successful.
The DRI program assists in transforming neighborhoods and encourages business developments across the state.
“The excitement is just off the charts. It's through the roof. I’m still on cloud 9. This is the single largest grant that the city of Hornell has ever received.” said Mayor Buckley.
Filling out the application was a long process. It included an application with dozens of pages. Following that, the representative for the city from Alfred presented their plan on how to best utilize their funding. Part of the money, they said, would be going towards, an education and training center. Roughly $3.5 million of the $10 million.
Alfred State College and Corning Community College could come in and offer classes and courses to residents in and right around here in Hornell.” said Mayor Buckley.
Part of the funding will also go towards aesthetics and beautification of downtown. $3.50 million will go towards an education and training center located right on Main Street. $2.50 million will go towards upper floor accessibility. $1.75 million will go to street scape improvements. A center for medical residents will get $1.50 million and the rest will go towards developing a public park.
Mary Devlin, who owns The Cat's Cradle Antiques and who just recently moved the store to Main Street, said that revitalizing downtown will also help her business.
“I'm hoping that the revitalization will bring more people into the area. We have a lot of businesses that have opened up in the last couple years.” said Devlin.
For Devlin and others, the rejuvenation is already underway. The state gives funding to help build a small team to look at the feasibility of some of the work.
“The first step of the process is that the state allocates $300,000 and than you do the studies to look at the viability of the certain project.” said Mayor Buckley.
This comes as Hornell could go back to what it was like when Devlin was a child. She grew up in Hornell and remembered what it was like. She said there used to be multiple stores including a woman’s dress store.
“Downtown back when i was growing up in Hornell used to be booming.” said Devlin.