The Schuyler County Legislature, in partnership with the Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development, is now accepting applications for the final round of the Downtown & Business ARPA Program, aimed at downtown revitalization with a match grant program to assist with building façade improvements. This successful program has already invested $280,000 in matching grants for building owners for façade improvements to commercial and mixed-use properties in Schuyler County.
This downtown improvement program is funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), and was established by the Schuyler County Legislature in January 2022. The purpose of the program is to support small businesses and existing building owners in improving the environment within our downtown communities.
Properties located within one-half mile of the business district of Watkins Glen, Odessa, Montour Falls, and Burdett are eligible to apply. Applicants can apply for a minimum of $5,000 up to $25,000 for their project improvements (total improvement costs of $10,000 - $50,000). Eligible properties include existing commercial or mixed-use buildings and exclude single, two-family, and multi-family homes. Applicants must show the ability to fund the project, as this is a reimbursement program and funds will not be disbursed until the project has been completed with all documentation provided as explained in the guidelines.
While the initial allocation provided by funds received through ARPA is nearly extinguished, the success of this program has prompted conversations about continuing this grant program with a few changes. Chairman of the Schuyler County Legislature, Carl Blowers remarked “This program has been hugely successful and all of the Legislators can see the impact this funding has had in the communities of Odessa, Montour Falls, Burdett, and Watkins Glen. As we work to develop the next phase of this program, we will seek to expand the boundaries and broaden the scope to allow even more of an impact across Schuyler County.”
Kerri Green, Senior Economic & Community Development Specialist at SCOPED administers the program and noted, “The twelve property owners who have completed their improvement projects represent a total private investment of $850,000, offset by $190,000 of distributed grant awards. The data supports the success of this program by improving the look of our downtown buildings as well as providing an economic benefit to the community and property owners who continue to invest in their communities. All of us at SCOPED are looking forward to working with our partners at the Legislature to grow and expand this program in the future.”
As the Economic Development Agency for Schuyler County, Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development will assist in the administration of this grant by reviewing the applications and working with each project sponsor.
For a list of past awards, the grant guidelines, the application, and more information, please visit https://www.flxgateway.com/downtown-improvement-fund.
Applications are due March 1, 2024.