$1.325 million goes to Dundee for green gateway project to enhance downtown, improve stormwater management, and make Main Street safer

Christmas came early for the village of Dundee with the announcement that the village will receive two state grants totaling $1.355 million to make improvements to the village’s downtown streetscape and find ways to reduce the amount of stormwater that flows into the village’s sewage system.

The grants are part of $63.9 million in state funds coming to the Finger Lakes Region through the state economic development council announcements made last week. A total of $2.2 million will come to Yates County for various programs. Across the state, more than $755 million was awarded in the seventh round of awards through the program that pits 10 regions around the state in competition for dozens of grant programs. The awards were announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo Wednesday, Dec. 13 in Albany.

Other grants coming to Yates County include:

• Village of Penn Yan: A grant for $300,000 to the Finger Lakes Economic Development Center to revitalize Penn Yan’s Main Street through renovations of mixed used buildings.

• Middlesex: A $41,597 grant will pay for improvements at the Vine Valley Boat Launch, consisting of on-shore regrading, installation of a concrete boat launch, acquisition of an accessible removable dock system, signage, and a collection station for invasive species disposal.

• Yates County: A $17,500 grant will help build an irrigation system to irrigate up to 5,000 acres of land used to grow a variety of primarily organic crops.

• Yates Cultural & Recreational Resources: YCRR will use a $500,000 grant to continue improvements at the existing complex off North Main Street. Improvements will include athletic fields, pavilions, walking trails, a parking lot and road access to the fields, electrical infrastructure, drainage and irrigation systems. 

Dundee Mayor Fred Cratsley Jr. says one grant — for $1.325 million — will help the village develop a new downtown streetscape between Stoll and Spring Streets and on portions of Union and Seneca Streets that will provide a safer environment for pedestrians and improve the handling of stormwater, reducing localized flooding and making the area more attractive and interesting for residents and visitors.

The smaller grant — $30,000 — will pay for an engineering study throughout the village to identify where excess water from storm runoff is infiltrating the village’s sewage system, putting additional stress on the wastewater treatment plant.

Dundee’s green gateway streetscape improvement project will incorporate bioretention bump outs along Main Street that will combine special drainage systems with plantings to help handle stormwater. This is the second time the plan was submitted for a grant. Village officials learned in July that the application had made it past the first approval phase at the regional level.

Cratsley says if plans come together, work on the project should begin in the spring of 2019. Some of the environmental and historic paperwork required by New York State will be submitted by April 1. Some preparation work was incorporated in the recent water main replacement along the Main Street corridor, Cratsley says, which should help reduce the local share of funds and in-kind services for the project. The village will have to provide 10 percent of the project cost through local funds or services from municipalities and volunteers. “I want to use every ounce of in-kind services and volunteers so we don’t have to raise taxes at all,” says Cratsley, adding, “We’ve asked a lot of our taxpayers lately. I’m committed to not having a tax increase.”

Because the village’s Main Street corridor is State Route 14A, the state Department of Transportation will be involved with fine tuning the village’s plan. This is one of a group of improvements along the street. The state DOT recently completed the $2.1 million project replacing the Big Stream bridge at the south end of the village. The bridge has one lane of traffic in each direction and a new sidewalk on the east side of the bridge to better accommodate pedestrians. It was built with pre-stressed precast concrete beams and has a 9.5-inch- thick cast-in-place concrete deck.

The bridge serves the commercial center of the village of Dundee, including the nearby Outlaw Speedway, a popular race track. It is within one-half mile of the Dundee Central School and is an important approach route for much of the school’s bus fleet. State Route 14A also serves the main population centers in Yates County, and is an important facility used by first responders.

At the same time that project was underway, the water main project along the Main Street corridor was also underway. Village officials have begun plans to replace manholes, and are beginning to look at improvements needed in the wastewater treatment facility.

Now that Dandy Mart has purchased a piece of property from the Dundee Central School, construction of a new convenience store at the corner of Millard and Water Streets near the main entrance to the school can also begin. Cratsley says officials from Dandy Mart hope to start that construction by March.