New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday announced more than $755 million in Regional Economic Development Council grants. The Mid-Hudson region emerged a top performer. WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne takes a look at a few of the many projects being funded.
Round seven of the REDC initiative yielded $84.8 million for 113 projects in the Mid-Hudson region. Assistant Dutchess County Executive for Economic Development Ron Hicks says his county made out well, garnering just north of $10 million.
“Two, in particular, that are really important are on the Route 9 corridor. One is in Hyde Park and that is for wastewater, which is critical to Hyde Park, realizing their downtown center and being able to get their storefronts filled,” Hicks says. “The other is a project on Route 9D. It is a gateway project to Dutchess, and it’s in Fishkill. It’s being done in the context of the stadium and the interchange.”
He calls the $1.5 million for the Route 9D redevelopment and recreation project a shot in the arm. The county will renovate Dutchess Stadium, home of minor league baseball team, the Hudson Valley Renegades. The stadium is just off Route I-84, and has hosted concerts and other events.
“And part of this plan is to look at what other development opportunities could occur around the stadium that would be complementary. So if you needed to go to a concert, you might be able to stay in a hotel within walking distance, or you’d have a walkable downtown that you could go down to.”
Steve Densmore is president of New Paltz-based Choice Words, which handled the grant writing for nine projects across five counties that received $7.3 million, including the construction of the sewer system in downtown Hyde Park. One development in Ulster County that is receiving funding is The Kingstonian Uptown Revitalization Project. Densmore explains the mixed-use project from JM Development Group.
“A $48 million project in the Stockade District of Kingston which will include a boutique hotel, some residential units, commercial, a pedestrian plaza, and what’s probably most important to residents in Kingston, and businesses in Kingston, is a 450-lot parking garage I think four levels, that will really serve the parking-starved needs of uptown Kingston,” Densmore says.
And $1 million was awarded to the Hutton Brickyards Redevelopment Project, also in Kingston. Hutton Brickyards hosted two Bob Dylan concerts in June and the aim, says Densmore, is to redevelop a significant portion of the city’s long underutilized waterfront.
“This money will support I think about a $5 million project to bring in appropriate lighting, paving, parking, a lot of the things that’ll make the site more accessible,” says Densmore.
Just more than $1.2 million is headed to the Winnakee Land Trust to acquire two parcels totaling 335 acres in Red Hook, adjacent to the Saw Kill, the water supply for Bard College. The Trust’s Executive Director Gregg Swanzey says the project protects the water supply, bat habitat and wetlands and could enhance a trail network.
“And what it does is provide access to lands right along the Saw Kill, so it’s really protecting that water supply but it also means that, we’ve been interested in seeing if we can run a trail through there. It would be crushed stone, it would be appropriate for that area but also would be at a level that would allow multi use, including bicycles and runners and walkers and that kind of thing,” Swanzey says. “And it would connect the Village of Red Hook to Bard College, and our goal has been to connect on up to Tivoli. And, also, this happens to be where the Empire State Trail is running through as it goes north in toward Columbia County, so incredible.”
Other top performer awardees include the Capital Region, Mohawk Valley and Central New York. The North County and Southern Tier were Regional Council awardees. Since the REDC initiative's inception in 2011, more than $5.4 billion has been awarded to more than 6,300 projects.