NORTH TONAWANDA, N.Y. - Four cities in the Western New York region will receive up to $2.5 million each in state funding for the purpose of revitalizing their downtown corridors, Gov. Cuomo announced on Wednesday afternoon.
The local governments of North Tonawanda, Lackawanna, Gowanda and Dunkirk must now decide how they'd like to spend their grant money under the parameters of the program, which is fueled by the second phase of the Buffalo Billion.
Each city had applied for a regional $10 million grant from the state, but that money ultimately went to the city of Olean in Cattaraugus County. Instead, these cities will share a separate pot of $10 million, splitting it four ways.
Appearing at the Remington Lofts in North Tonawanda on Wednesday, Cuomo said the funding for smaller municipalities is part of his administration's goal to supplement public investment in large cities like Buffalo.
"Let's get more nuanced, and more of a regional approach, and more downtown revitalization in some of the smaller cities," Cuomo said. "So we really start to spread out that growth. Because the strongest growth is when the entire region is working."
The mayors of all four cities attended the governor's event on Wednesday.
Dunkirk Mayor Wilfred Rosas said his city wants to invest the money in both the downtown business district and the waterfront on Lake Erie.
"These funds are very-much needed, and this will support a couple of the projects that we'd proposed in the $10 million proposal, and we will use these funds wisely to bring in private investment," Rosas said.
North Tonawanda Mayor Arthur Pappas said the city will seek to use the money to help develop downtown restaurants and the theater area.
"We have several projects on the docket that we're looking at," Pappas said. "And this will just put us one more step toward our goals."