Governor Hochul Announces Cooperstown, Sharon Springs, and Dolgeville as Mohawk Valley Winners of First Round of NY Forward Program
Village of Cooperstown to Receive $4.5 Million; Villages of Sharon Springs and Dolgeville to Receive $2.25 Million Each
New $100 Million NY Forward Program Builds on Momentum of the Successful Downtown Revitalization Initiative to Support a More Equitable Downtown Recovery for New York’s Smaller and Rural Communities
Governor Kathy Hochul announced late yesterday that the Village of Cooperstown will receive $4.5 million, and the Villages of Sharon Springs and Dolgeville will each receive $2.25 million in funding as the Mohawk Valley winners of the first round of NY Forward. Building on the momentum of the State’s successful Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI), 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. As part of NY Forward Round One, two to three awards will be made to smaller communities in each of the state’s ten economic development regions to support development and implementation of a revitalization plan for their downtowns.
“Ensuring small towns and cities have the resources they need to thrive is critical to New York’s economic resurgence,” Governor Hochul said. “These investments will help the Village of Cooperstown, Sharon Springs, and Dolgeville develop their downtowns, improve the quality of life for residents and visitors, and create new jobs and attract businesses to expand economic opportunity across the region.”
NY Forward is a central component of the State’s economic development efforts, working together with DRI to accelerate and expand the revitalization of New York’s downtowns. NY Forward serves smaller communities with historic character that distinguishes them from the larger, more urban central business districts typically funded through DRI. NY Forward communities are walkable, less dense areas that serve the immediate local community, and are more local in nature — focusing on the immediately surrounding residential or rural agricultural centric development.
Like DRI, each NY Forward community will develop a Strategic Investment Plan to revitalize its downtown through a slate of readily implementable projects. The Department of State will provide enhanced technical assistance to better support smaller communities that may have less capacity as part of the NY Forward program and fund projects appropriately scaled to the size of each community. Projects may include building renovation and redevelopment, new construction or creation of new or improved public spaces and other projects that elevate specific cultural, historical qualities that enhance the feeling of small-town charm.
Cooperstown’s downtown is the core of a tremendous community, attracting locals, regional residents, and tourists to frequent it. Anchored by the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown is known for being a national attraction for baseball players, fans and afficionados, as well as a premiere arts and culture destination. The Fenimore Art Museum and The Farmers’ Museum are located just outside the Village’s Boundaries, and the Village hosts numerous musical and cultural events in addition to the two major Hall of Fame Events. The entirety of the Village is listed on the National and State Registers of Historic Place, and Lake Otsego provides a scenic backdrop for the community. Cooperstown seeks to build on prior downtown improvements and its natural tourism draw by creating connections from Main Street to Lake Otsego, revitalizing historic facades, enhancing infrastructure to improve residential and commercial quality, improving walkability and accessibility and assisting in the creation of downtown apartment-style housing.
The Village of Sharon Springs is recognized by both the National Register of Historic Place as well as the New York State Register of Historic Places as a historic spa village. While Sharon Springs only has 500 year-round residents, it has been the site of over $15 million in private investment to date, and establishments like Beekman 1802 continue to draw attention to the Village. Sharon Springs’ proposed NY Forward area would incorporate Main Street as it extends north approximately one mile to the Adler Hotel and Village line and two blocks east of Main Street. Within this area right on Main Street, mineral springs, creeks and waterfalls meander through a history that is coming alive in recreational spas, a village park, restaurants, hotels, theater and arts, exhibits and shops. Sharon Springs is looking to build on its recent growth in private business investment and public infrastructure investment to become a modern, model business, residential and tourism community for the 21st century and beyond. The Village will achieve its vision by renovating key arts and entertainment venues and other historic buildings, adding public Wi-Fi and assisting the Village’s numerous small businesses.
Tucked away at the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains, the Village of Dolgeville acts as a gateway to the Adirondack region and a connection to regional cities. The Village’s proposed NY Forward area is located in the heart of Downtown Dolgeville, an easily walkable space with the Village’s Main Street running through its center and comprising of some of its most unique features characterized by industrial uses along the East Canada Creek, a strategic location that was home to the first Mohawk Valley hydroelectric plant. The Village’s unique combination of natural resources and innovative infrastructure cement the space as a center of industry within the Village. Building upon its storied history, the Village’s vision is to restore its economic, commercial, cultural and artistic vibrancy and its historic Main Street district, leading the Village into a prosperous, sustainable future. The Village of Dolgeville seeks to achieve this vision by improving access to the East Canada Creek, creating a fund to assist small businesses and providing critical childcare facilities.