What is going to transform Penn Yan? That’s the question to be answered by the Local Planning Committee when it chooses projects to be funded with resources from the New York State $10 million grant that was announced in October.

Good ideas can come from anyone, so if you have suggestions for projects that will fit in the Penn Yan Downtown Revitalization Initiative, block out some time Nov. 27 to attend a workshop where you can share your thoughts.

The first community meeting to gather public input on Penn Yan’s DRI will be held at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 27 at Penn Yan Academy, 305 Court St, Penn Yan.

Those in attendance will be provided with information on the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, followed by a hands-on, interactive public workshop.

The purpose of the workshop is to identify potential transformative redevelopment strategies that will provide long term community and economic benefits for Downtown Penn Yan.

“This is an opportunity for residents and businesses in the community to provide feedback and help plan the future of Downtown Penn Yan. The DRI Local Planning Committee would like to know what you love about downtown Penn Yan, what draws you downtown today, and what amenities would bring you downtown more often,” notes Ed Flynn, director of planning at LaBella Associates, the consultant working with local officials.

Flynn says the effort builds upon existing plans and projects, including the village’s Comprehensive Master Plan and the Penn Yan Vision Plan.

This workshop is the first in a series of three Downtown Revitalization Initiative public participation meetings that will be held over the next four months.

Future public meetings will focus on a review of the goals and strategies developed by the DRI Local Planning Committee, as well as a review of potential projects.

About 40 people attended an informational meeting hosted by the Local Planning Committee Nov. 16 to learn more about the DRI and the process to apply for funding.

Projects that will be approved by the local committee should fall into one of four categories:

Public Improvement, such as streetscape, roadway improvements, trails, parks/squares/open space, public parking

New Development or Rehabilitation, such as significant new development or rehabilitation, mixed use, commercial, residential, public, private, or non-profit

Revolving Loans and Grants, modeled after the NY Main Street program, but slightly more flexible with potentially higher per building limits to provide funding for interior and exterior renovations.

Branding & Marketing, such as physical elements including public signage for gateways, directions, or banners.

Funds cannot be used for site acquisition, studies, paying back loans, training, operations and staff costs, and pre-award costs.

Projects must be completed within five years, and all awards will be paid as reimbursements. Awards will be announced in late summer or early fall 2019.

Projects should relate to four specific areas that were the focus of the application:

Leveraging Natural Assets

Craft Food & Beverages

Capturing Intellectual Assets

Arts as an Economic Engine

Initial applications for projects are due to the LPC by Dec. 10. Information and applications can be found at the Finger Lakes Economic Development website at http://www.fingerlakesedc.com or at the Penn Yan Village Office.