Red Creek to Try NYS Main Street Grant Again

    By on March 2, 2016

    The Village of Red Creek applied for a New York Main Street Grant (NYMS) in July 2015. NYMS provides financial resources to communities to strengthen their economic vitality by aesthetic revitalization, business creation and retention. Though the Village was just awarded a sewer grant for South Street, unfortunately, it did not receive a Main Street grant.

    After follow-up conferences and conversations, it has been discovered that the Village did score well in the Regional competition and the Main Street application was sent on to the State level competition. NYS received 99 applications from regionals and approved only 34.

    Most of the Red Creek business applicants were applying for roof, siding and window replacements. NYS is looking primarily for safety, energy, historic preservation, and aesthetic improvements that would prepare the building for immediate business use and apartment rental. The state prefers that the building owners replace roofs, windows, and siding as their investment part of the project. The state also disallows any participation in the Main Street grant by elected officials, even when they are business owners and a dynamic force for Village improvement.

    The Village Board has sent out letters with 2016 NYS Main Street Grant requirements to the remaining business owners in the required three-block area of downtown Red Creek. If there are at least four business building owners interested in reapplying, the volunteer consultant, June Smith, will coordinate with them to resubmit a grant application in 2016. The owners need to complete and sign the letter of interest, submit basic project plans with estimates, and have a bank financing commitment letter for total cost of their project.

    The NYS Housing Trist Fund-Main Street grant provides monies to local governments to revitalize historic downtowns, mixed-use neighborhood commercial districts, and village centers. Improving building’s historic facades, interior commercial/residential building upgrades and streetscape enhancements are eligible for NYMS funds. A building owner can request up to $50,000 for historic façade, storefront, and commercial interiors renovation with an additional $10,000 per residential unit in the same building. Funds are released only after the finished space is ready for business occupancy and passed inspection.

    The Village of Red Creek has a long history and current opportunities and advantages, such as the Red Creek School District being ranked #34 out of 432 upstate school districts. The Community Center provides opportunities for healthy activities. Several homes have been renovated by new residents and there is demand for additional housing and jobs in this coveted school district. The Village has improved the storm water drainage system, the sewer system, and the dam at the falls.

    Application for a NYMS grant by the Village with building owners’ cooperation and investment can keep the Village viable and vibrant. Doesn’t Fair Haven’s Main Street look great? Fair Haven’s successful NYMS program involved building owners, residents, and local government. The Red Creek Vision Plan and Economic Development Plan goals for the Red Creek community include:

    • Encourage all members of the community to show “signs of caring” about appearance and maintenance of their properties that contributes to the whole image and respect historic value.

    • Reestablish Main Street as the heart of the Red Creek community that respects the historic structure, addresses vacancy, and expands the diversity of retail shops and restaurants.

    • Attract and embrace new residents and businesses that will appreciate and contribute to the village.

    • Develop tax incentive program that targets downtown properties and promotes business growth.

    • Commercial building improvement program that targets downtown properties, including parking areas.

    • Continue streetscape improvements that will promote Red Creek as a “pedestrian-friendly” village.

    • Investigate grants to develop the pond, dam, and falls to encourage interaction along the waterfront.

    Spring is coming. So show your sign of caring. Clean and spruce up your yard, home, or business. Let’s all work together to help Red Creek look like the wonderful place it is.

    Above are both a current views of Red Creek’s Main Street, as well as an “after” concept drawings of what Village officials hope to create through the state’s Main Street Grant.

    Join in on the conversation.