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Village of Montour Falls Receives $4.5 Million as NY Forward Recipient


The village of Montour Falls will receive $4.5 million from the state as a Southern Tier region winner of the first round of NY Forward program, which is designed to help support downtown recovery for New York’s smaller and rural communities. Governor Kathy Hochul made the announcement on Wednesday. The village of Waverly was also announced as a $4.5 million winner.

“Montour Falls and Waverly represent some of the best that New York State has to offer: natural beauty, a vibrant business community, thriving agriculture, and culturally rich historical sites,” Governor Kathy Hochul said. “Thanks to NY Forward, these communities will be able to leverage these assets and state funding to revitalize their downtowns, welcome even more workers and businesses, and transform their Main Streets into regional destinations. My administration remains committed to investing in local economies like these to give residents the jobs, the tools, and the infrastructure needed to thrive.”

From the state, “Montour Falls exemplifies a genuinely remarkable convergence of natural, cultural and recreational assets with a commitment to a sustainable future. The downtown area of Montour Falls connects one of the region’s most popular and impressive waterfalls – Shequaga Falls – to a corridor of restaurants, breweries, boutiques and historically significant buildings and sites. The Village is dotted with small parks that serve as gathering places and venues for community events, and it offers unique opportunities to enjoy the scenic beauty of the region, such as the Catharine Valley Trail and the Queen Catharine Marsh trails. The Montour Falls Farmers’ Market, centrally located at Fireman’s Field, provides some of the freshest locally sourced food available, and several wineries near downtown host weekly public product markets, offering specialty foods for residents. Significant investment in infrastructure, sustainability and job growth has been made within the downtown and surrounding area, and the Village is quickly becoming a popular destination for Schuyler County residents and visitors. The Village of Montour Falls seeks to leverage its growing culture of sustainability and environmental awareness along with its historical charm, entrepreneurial spirits, friendly and walkable atmosphere and proximity to major regional employers like the New York State Fire Academy to create a vibrant downtown that maximizes its “main street” character and improves the quality of life, resiliency and economic opportunities for progressive community development to sustain a year-round innovative and prosperous economy. The Village will realize its vision by encouraging new construction to incorporate Green building principles, preserving and restoring historically significant buildings and encouraging the growth of small, locally owned businesses and increasing the number of residential options available in downtown.”

Chair of the Schuyler County Legislature Carl H. Blowers said, “The New York Forward award of $4.5 million for the Village of Montour Falls is an excellent investment by the State because it will transform Montour Falls and by extension, Schuyler County. We are grateful to Governor Kathy Hochul for creating this new mini-DRI program for small communities and look forward to assisting the Village and State in completing significant revitalization projects in the Village. I am particularly pleased with the community engagement and student involvement in the process.”

Village of Montour Falls Mayor James Ryan said, “On behalf of the Village of Montour Falls, I would like to thank Governor Hochul for her NY Forward program aimed toward communities like Montour Falls. I am pleased the Regional Economic Development Council recognizes our village’s past achievements and embraced our plan to continue moving Montour Falls forward. I want to acknowledge the professionalism shown by the project team, which will ensure the implementation of project goals. This level of funding will help advance Montour Falls in meeting its economic and community betterment goals.”

State Senator Tom O’Mara said, “It’s great news for the communities of Montour Falls and Waverly, and for our entire region, that these NY Forward investments will allow local leaders to carry out critical revitalization projects. It’s an important and difference-making initiative for the future quality and strength of our smaller and rural localities. We will look forward to the ongoing planning, development, and implementation of projects that are sure to enhance the economic, cultural, and social fabric of these outstanding area villages.”

Assemblymember Phil Palmesano said, “This is fantastic news for the Village of Montour Falls and surrounding area. The Village, located in the heart of the Finger Lakes Region, has been working very hard improving and upgrading the overall local infrastructure, increasing economic job opportunities, and successfully implementing environmentally sound best management practices. This NY Forward award will provide the critically necessary funding that is pivotal to their continued transformation and when completed, residents and tourists will be able to experience and enjoy the rich deep cultural history that the Village of Montour Falls has to offer. Thank you to the state, regional and local partnership and collaboration that helped make this happen.”

NY Forward is a central component of the State’s economic development efforts, working together with DRI to accelerate and expand the revitalization of New York’s downtowns. NY Forward serves smaller communities with historic character that distinguishes them from the larger, more urban central business districts typically funded through DRI. NY Forward communities are walkable, less dense areas that serve the immediate local community, and are more local in nature – focusing on the immediately surrounding residential or rural agricultural centric development.

Like DRI, each NY Forward community will develop a Strategic Investment Plan to revitalize its downtown through a slate of readily implementable projects. The Department of State will provide enhanced technical assistance to better support smaller communities that may have less capacity as part of the NY Forward program 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.

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Get the top stories on your radio 24/7 on Finger Lakes News Radio 96.3 and 1590, WAUB and 106.3 and 1240, WGVA, and on Finger Lakes Country, 96.1/96.9/101.9/1570 WFLR.