State Funds to Boost Downtown NT

December 6, 2005

Assemblyman Robin Schimminger was joined today by Mayor David Burgio and Alderman-at-Large and Mayor-elect Larry Soos in announcing a $200,000 state grant aimed at furthering downtown redevelopment in the City of North Tonawanda.

The state’s New York Main Street Program award to the city’s Lumber City Development Corporation (LCDC) will assist property owners in improving their buildings and help revitalize the streetscape in downtown North Tonawanda, according to Assemblyman Schimminger. The LCDC’s application to the competitive grant program had Schimminger’s enthusiastic support.

"North Tonawanda’s historic downtown business district is the heart of this community," said Schimminger, who chairs the Assembly Committee on Economic Development, Job Creation, Commerce and Industry. "This $200,000 state grant will support ‘NT’s’ continued revitalization of its downtown and adjacent waterfront areas. There are many businesses in the Webster Street/Main Street/Erie Canal triangle that need a little help with a crumbling façade or an apartment above a storefront that needs repair, and these funds will assist in those efforts. I commend Mayor Burgio, Alderman Soos, the LCDC and the local business community for their vision and ongoing commitment in this important effort."

"We are very excited about the projects that we will be able to undertake with this funding," said Mayor Burgio. "The city is looking to increase other investment possibilities and encourage growth of our promising tourism industry, along with providing the downtown area with affordable housing opportunities. North Tonawanda could not afford to go forward with this project without this significant state help."

"I would like to thank Assemblyman Schimminger for his support of our efforts to jump- start economic development in the downtown area of North Tonawanda. I’m sure that with his help we can continue with our revitalization plans for the Oliver Street corridor and the Roblin (Buffalo Bolt) site," Alderman-at-Large Soos said.

The state funds will enable the LCDC to provide matching façade grants of up to $10,000 for seven buildings in the target area. Additionally, two $50,000 matching grants will be awarded for renovations to two landmark buildings in need of major repair that are being eyed for downtown housing. Also, $25,000 will be used for streetscape improvements focusing primarily on signage and the pedestrian walkway connecting downtown to parking and to access to the Niagara River.

The New York Main Street Program is administered by the N.Y.S. Division of Housing and Community Renewal and the Housing Trust Fund Corporation and is funded by the State Legislature in the state budget.