Governor Kathy Hochul announced that the village of Phoenix will receive $4.5 million, and the villages of Moravia and Hamilton will each receive $2.25 million in funding as the Central New York region winners of the first round of NY Forward. Building on the momentum of the state’s successful Downtown Revitalization Initiative, the $100 million NY Forward program adopts the same “Plan-then-Act” strategy as the DRI to support a more equitable downtown recovery for New York’s smaller and rural communities.
“New York’s downtowns are the heart and soul of our communities and regions, and NY Forward will ensure that Phoenix, Moravia, and Hamilton have the resources they need to thrive and flourish,” Governor Hochul said. “This funding will revitalize these villages back to what the bustling areas they once were by making communities more walkable, creating new housing opportunities and attracting businesses.”
Central New York Regional Economic Development Council co-chairs Randy Wolken, president and CEO of the Manufacturers Association of Central New York and LeMoyne College president Linda M. LeMura said, “Phoenix, Moravia and Hamilton truly represent all that is good about the Central New York region’s smaller communities and everything that they have to offer. Many thanks to Governor Hochul for recognizing the need to help fuel the revitalization of these beautiful communities, accelerating their economic opportunities for years to come.”
The village of Phoenix is a canal community rich with 19th century history and character centered around Lock 1 of the Oswego Canal on the Oswego River. Phoenix’s Canal Waterfront District will be the focus of NY Forward funds. Phoenix seeks to achieve its vision for revitalization by embracing its canal history and the pursuit of continued economic development initiatives, along with a commitment to compatible building and open space design. The village aims to enhance the economic, residential and recreational opportunities available in the Canal Waterfront District and throughout the village by reinvesting in the buildings and recreating the thriving canal community that once existed along the Oswego Canal at Lock 1. These new and expanded businesses, affordable housing stock and waterfront setting will attract people from around the country to the village’s distinctive canal-centered environment.
To support these economic development initiatives, Phoenix’s application also identified the need to upgrade the village’s wastewater treatment plant and sanitary sewer system. Currently, the system cannot support any additional capacity. The expansion of the wasterwater treatment plant and sewer system will address existing issues, as well as provide the necessary capacity for large-scale economic development opportunities in the village and at the L. Michael Treadwell Industrial Park in the town of Schroeppel.
Mayor of Phoenix Caleb Sweet said, “The village of Phoenix is ripe with potential and ready to finish its transformation into a vibrant canal community. Thanks to Governor Hochul and the innovative NY Forward program, we can now make our plans a reality. We look forward to creating a strategic plan that will attract new businesses, expand housing opportunities, increase employment rates and enhance tourism and recreational opportunities in the village.”
Operation Oswego County Executive Director Austin Wheelock said, “The village of Phoenix developed an excellent proposal by building off their unique waterfront assets and recent successes. They were very deserving of the $4.5M NY Forward award. With $100B in public and private investments over the next 20 years, just a few miles away at the Micron site in Clay, Phoenix is poised for significant commercial and residential growth and will now have the much needed financial resources to turn those plans into reality. We are excited to continue working together with the village on the implementation of this important initiative.”
Phoenix will now begin the process of developing Strategic Investment Plans to revitalize their downtown. A Local Planning Committee made up of municipal representatives, community leaders and other stakeholders will lead these efforts, supported by a team of private sector experts and state planners. The Strategic Investment Plan will examine local assets and opportunities to identify projects that align with each community’s vision and that are poised for implementation. Funding will be awarded for selected projects from the Strategic Investment Plan that have the greatest potential to jumpstart revitalization and generate new opportunities for long-term growth.