MASSENA — Members of the village’s local planning committee will have an initial list of projects from the Downtown Revitalization Initiative to consider when they meet next April 12.
“We launched this project in February at our LPC kick-off meeting. We started talking about commitment, we started talking about vision, and we started what was called a call for projects,” said Jaclyn S. Hakes, project manager for the consulting team, during from Thursday evening’s DRI public workshop. “This call for projects was open to anyone wishing to propose a project to be evaluated for the DRI.
She said the call for projects closed last week.
“Our team has started compiling the initial list of potential projects for the local planning committee to start screening and reviewing. We also started looking at them ourselves,” Ms Hakes said. “We have completed a draft downtown profile and are continually working to update it. We will present this initial list of projects to the local planning committee at the April 12 PLC meeting. We invite people to come and participate and hear.
The potential list of projects will be refined with the PLC in May, and the PLC will identify the list of projects to be included in the IRC in June. The list of projects will be forwarded to state officials in July, and they will determine which of the projects will receive DRI funding.
As part of the process, the PLC identified a project boundary in the downtown area.
“Starting from the south, it’s really this area of Laurel Avenue, both sides of Main Street to East Orvis Street, Parker Avenue, across the bridge, back to Main Street, to Andrews (Street). So the main corridors in your DRI boundary area are Main Street, West Orvis, East Orvis, Andrews, Phillips and Water Street,” she said.
Ms. Hakes said there are four categories of projects — public improvement projects; new construction and rehabilitation projects; revolving loans and grants; and branding and marketing.
“Projects really need to be aligned with national and local goals. That’s why it’s important to hear from you tonight on your downtown goals and strategies,” she said Thursday. “The projects in the program are really or should be implementation-focused and should be implementation-ready. The DRI program is really focused on projects that are truly past the idea or concept and are ready for implementation. The program seeks projects that are transformative and can truly change the downtown in terms of how it works.
The committee is also looking for catalytic projects that can stimulate additional investment in the city center, as well as profitable projects.
“Does the project sponsor have the capacity to move this project forward and how cost-effective is that?” she says.
Public improvement projects, which are sponsored by the village, can range from streetscape improvements and public park improvements to recreational pathways and public art – “those things that happen in the public domain for the benefit of the public,” Ms Hakes said.
New construction and rehabilitation projects, which she says tend to be sponsored by private or non-profit entities, have a minimum DRI request of $100,000 and a maximum DRI request of 40% of the total cost of the project. project. The project sponsor should cover 60% of the project cost.
All-residential projects must have a minimum of eight units and have an affordability component. And, new this year is the decarbonization component as part of the state’s push for energy efficiency. In these cases, the maximum DRI request is 50%, and Hakes said further assistance will be offered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.
The revolving loan and grant program is managed locally by the village. It is capped at $600,000 and can be used for smaller downtown projects that may not meet the DRI minimum request of $100,000.
“The village can shape this fund to meet its needs for the downtown core,” Ms. Hakes said.
The category of branding and market projects, which is sponsored by the village, can include wayfinding and signage, branding and tourism promotion. It can target residents, tourists, investors and developers.