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Gov. Hochul: Billions to fund WNY projects as part of 2023 state budget

In a press conference Monday, Gov. Kathy Hochul outlined billions of dollars of investments that will be made in the Western New York community.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Gov. Kathy Hochul was in Western New York on Monday to highlight aspects of the 2023 New York state budget. 

In a press conference at Kleinhans Music Hall, Hochul said the state will be using the entirety of the $221 billion budget to make "historic investments that will make a difference in people's lives now and for years to come." The governor outlined billions of dollars of investments that will be made in the Western New York community. 

"I will tell you, I am so proud of this budget. $221 billion to make historic investments that will make a difference in people's lives, not just today, but for decades to come," Hochul said.

Below is a list of some of the investments coming to WNY:

  • $8 million for Kleinhans Music Hall to make repairs and upgrades
  • $10 million for the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens
  • $9 million for the Buffalo Zoo
  • $20 million to expand the Albright-Knox Art Gallery
  • $5 million to create a Hispanic Heritage Center in Buffalo
  • $9 million to establish the Niagara Falls agritourism Sector
  • $25 million for the Niagara Falls waterfront
  • $5 million for Niagara Falls small businesses
  • $65 million for a new engineering building at UB

Hochul says the state isn't only investing in the places that Western New York is historically known for, but there is also money in the budget to reimagine Buffalo's East Side. These investments include:

  • $37 million for the Broadway Market to ensure it continues to be a pillar of the community
  • Bringing Central Terminal back to life
  • $30 million for Michigan Street's African American Heritage Corridor
  • $15 million to support commercial districts and small businesses
  • $6 million in support for MLK Park
  • $55 million for Northland Corridor Redevelopment Area Phase 3
  • $21 million for Northland Workforce Training Center

In this budget, $1 billion is being allocated for "Operation Pave Our Potholes" to fix potholes across the state. In addition, the state will be investing in local infrastructure. Some of the projects include:

  • $55 million to continue progress on the Cars on Main Street project
  • $50 million to reconstruct Tifft and Louisiana streets
  • $41.8 million to rehabilitate three bridges carrying Interstate 86 over Chautauqua Lake
  • $12.2 million for pavement renewal and bridge repairs along Route 219
  • $5.9 million to reconstruct the intersection of US Route 62 and NY Route 429 in Wheatfield
  • $68.2 million for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) - a 15% increase over FY22
  • $20 million to continue progress toward the design of light rail expansion to Amherst
  • $30 million for the Old DL&W Right of Way Revitalization Project
  • $57.1 million in funding from the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS)
  • $15.7 million in funding from the PAVE NY program

Hochul says up to $1 billion will be invested to reconnect neighborhoods across the Kensington Expressway in Buffalo. The governor didn't go into details about how this would be done, but stressed that this project is an important aspect of rebuilding the City of Buffalo.

Another big aspect of the budget involved keeping the Bills in Buffalo for 30 more years with a new stadium in Orchard Park. According to the governor, 10,000 union jobs are being created to complete the largest construction project in Western New York history - the new Buffalo Bills stadium.

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