SOUTHERN TIER, N.Y. (WENY) -- Governor Kathy Hochul announced on Friday, May 17th that Montour Falls and Waverly are getting $4.5 million each as part of New York Forward. Modeled on the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, New York Forward uses the same strategy as the DRI in an effort to help downtown communities in rural New York. 

“This funding for the Southern Tier will help communities carry out their plans to enhance the quality of life for New Yorkers, draw visitors, and spur economic opportunity in their downtowns, helping the next generation of New Yorkers thrive.," Hochul said in a prepared statement. 

Along with Montour Falls and Waverly, it was also announced that Johnson City is the latest DRI winner in the Southern Tier, getting $9.7 million for 15 projects. 

In Montour Falls, six projects were awarded money, including $971,000 to enhance the walkability and pedestrian comfort on Main Street. $916,000 was also authorized to build townhomes on a vacant lot in Downtown Montour Falls. 

“These transformative projects approved by the Local Project Committee and our state partners will now advance to the project sponsors implementing their economic investment into our community, building for the next generation," said James Ryan, Montour Falls Mayor in a prepared statement. 

Other projects include $685,000 for a new dental office and apartments on Catharine Street, $792,000 to preserve the historic Brick Taven Museum, $200,000 for a small project fund to help local small businesses, and $936,000 to improve the lighting on North Catharine Street. 

"These dynamic, community-led Downtown Revitalization Initiative and NY Forward investments will further fuel the economic engines needed to support local businesses and foster economic growth. The transformational and inclusive plans will infuse new life into the Johnson City, Montour Falls and Waverly communities, creating dynamic spaces and places that will benefit both current and future generations of residents," said Hope Knight, Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner.

In Waverly, the big money investments include $960,000 is going to improvements to Broad Street, $1,196,000 is going to renovate East Waverly Park, and $795,000 is going to establish waterfront access and new trails. On top of that, $420,000 is going to renovate Soprano's Market, $300,000 is going to convert an old Victorian house in multi-use residential and commercial building and $317,00 is going to construct a new commercial building in the Downtown. 

Other projects will establish a small project fund to help local small businesses and improve a local sports bar and fitness center. 

“Waverly is extremely excited and grateful for the generous support we received from NYS in the form of $4.5 million dollars. This money will be used for both public and private projects that will greatly improve the infrastructure and business opportunities in Waverly. The nine projects represent a true collaboration between state and local government. Our sincere thanks go out to Gov. Hochul for this demonstration of her support for small town New York," said Andrew Aronstam, mayor of the Village of Waverly, in a prepared statement.