The New York state executive branch revealed two additional Brownfield Opportunity Area designations—including the village of East Syracuse. Through this designation, the municipal government hopes to revitalize the business district on Manlius Street, among other redevelopment projects.
The announcement was made in April by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The Brownfield Opportunity Areas (BOA) program was created by the state in 2003 to redevelop and revitalize economically distressed areas. Mayor Robert Tackman said the village of East Syracuse qualified for this in part due to the fact the railroad industry was once a booming economic stimulator in the community, but has fallen to the wayside over the past few decades. Recently, Cuomo announced the designation of East Syracuse as a BOA, along with the Town of Erwin and villages of Painted Post and Riverside in Steuben County.
About six years ago, the village was awarded a $121,505 state grant to hire engineers to carry out the application process to become designated a BOA. Being designated a BOA means East Syracuse will be able to apply for a greater variety of redevelopment grants.
“This does allow us the opportunity to have a sort of leverage when applying for grants, and there are some grants that are just for Brownfield Opportunity Areas,” said Tackman.
Over the next few months, Tackman said the village board will work with the village clerk and village planners to identify areas that would work well for redevelopment projects, and the grants that they may want to apply for to carry out the projects.
Projects will focus on reinvigorating the village and, according to a press release from Cuomo’s office, can include, “repositioning the Manlius Street Business District as a thriving mixed-use downtown that serves residents of the village as well as surrounding communities; increasing and diversifying local employment opportunities; improving the quality of the housing stock and increasing owner-occupied housing; addressing brownfield, vacant and underutilized sites; capitalizing on the presence of Bristol-Myers Squibb; facilitating new and expanded compatible commercial, manufacturing and light industrial business uses; and enhancing pedestrian and bicycle connectivity and safety.”
Source: Eagle News Online