When about 120 people turned out for the first meeting of the village of Penn Yan’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative Local Planning Committee Nov. 8 they learned more about why the village was awarded the $10 million grant and the timeline for submitting applications for project funding.
The Local Planning Committee, which includes representatives from village, county, state and local agencies, as well as local businesses, met with consultants from LaBella Associates in a public meeting to review the committee’s responsibilities and the application that has earned Penn Yan a $10 million grant from the state.
The committee agreed to a process that calls for businesses and organizations to submit requests for information to be eligible for funding by Dec. 10, and a final overall plan to be complete for submission to state officials in March.
An informational meeting for potential applicants will be held at 1 p.m. Nov. 16 in the board room of the Penn Yan Village Hall.
The consultants will begin meetings with stakeholders the week of Nov. 26 and the committee will hold a public meeting Nov. 27.
Questions and comments during the public portion of the meeting illustrated concerns people had about the make-up of the committee, and the ambitious deadline for gathering the information needed for the application deadline of Dec. 10.
“Volunteers make this community run,” said Kris Pearson, executive director of the Yates County Arts Center, noting the timeline is short for these groups to be able to come up with projects and details.
Other questions from the public focused on parking, traffic flow, the boundaries of the project area, housing needs, and employment concerns.
What kind of projects?
The Penn Yan DRI Local Planning Committee will consider public improvement projects, private development projects, revolving grant and loan projects, as well as branding and marketing projects. The project location must be within the DRI Boundary and will be evaluated by the Local Planning Committee before inclusion in the overall plan sent to the state. New York State officials will have the final approval of projects.
The DRI area includes 234 acres in the historic commercial core, the Keuka Outlet and Keuka marsh area, village parks and the Keuka Lake waterfront.
A map of the DRI boundary is also on the Village’s website.
The purpose of the Dec. 10 submission of information is to identify potential projects that can provide economic and community development benefits. Projects will be vetted by the committee at future meetings that will be open to the public. The LPC will consider each project, which should be implemented in five years or less and located within the DRI boundary using specific criteria.
The Dec. 10 submission should provide basic information about potential projects including project scope, description, budget, and financing. The Local Planning Committee encourages all project ideas that could promote the revitalization of downtown Penn Yan.
According to Ed Flynn, the LaBella consultant, the initial applications can give basic information with the understanding that more detail can be developed before the final application deadline early in 2019.
Project criteria includes:
• The project is visually prominent and the proposed improvements will have a significant visual impact on the DRI target area.
• Funds will be used to improve upper story residential units.
• The project improvements will improve a historically significant building - architectural historic value and/or relationship to history of the area
• The project will promote economic development
• The project is consistent with plans for downtown
• The applicant has proof of other funding and the project is ready to go
• Value to Downtown
• Was the project included in the DRI application as a potential project?
The application completed by Steve Griffin of the Finger Lakes Economic Development Center that was successful in securing the $10 million grant included 19 potential projects as examples of efforts that will transform the downtown area:
• Keuka Outlet housing development
• Planned Water Street Townhomes
• NYSEG gas plant on Water Street
• Longs Opera House
• Belknap Books Building
• 126 Main St. (Village Drug)
• 11 Main St.
• Knapp Hotel
• Struble Arcade
• 111 Liberty St.
• The Lumber Yard (Careys)
• Sampson Theatre
• Keuka Boardwalk on the Outlet
• Sculpture Walk
• Barrington Distillers
• A brewery in the former Police Station on Basin St.
• 132 Water St.
• Pinwheel Market
• Downtown Wi-Fi
RFI project forms are available on the Finger Lakes Economic Development Center website (www.fingerlakesedc.com), the Yates County Chamber of Commerce website (www.yatesny.com) and in hard copy at the Village office, 111 Elm St., Penn Yan.
Questions can be directed to the DRI consultant, LaBella Associates, Ed Flynn, email@example.com or 585-295-6285.