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Senators announce millions for local projects, including upgrades to veterans’ health services

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Max Schulte
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand announced on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023, that hundreds of millions in federal funding is coming for multiple community projects in Rochester, including $62.5 million to help complete the overall planned $506 million modernization of the Canandaigua VA Medical Center campus.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand announced Wednesday that $250 million in funding is headed to the Rochester and Finger Lakes region.

The money comes from the omnibus spending bill approved by Congress last month.

“This money is going to benefit people directly,” Schumer said during an appearance with his Democratic colleague at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Canandaigua. “Not go into some bureaucracy where you never see it again.”

The VA received $62.5 million. Bruce Tucker, director of the medical facility, said it will help them open an outpatient clinic and renovate their facility where homeless veterans are provided residential care and rehabilitation, among other things.

“It puts us at par with the community in terms of providing modern health care,” he said.

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Max Schulte
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand visit the Canandaigua VA Medical Center on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023, to announce federal funding for multiple community projects.

Some of the projects have already broken ground.

Among the other recipients is Cameron Community Ministries in Rochester’s Lyell-Otis neighborhood. Director Olivia Kassoum-Amadou said their $200,000 in funding will go toward expanding an after-school program that targets violence prevention.

“This money is a huge game-changer for us,” she said. “We haven’t traditionally had a lot of funding for the after-school program, and to be able to serve additional people, families, in the community will mean quite a bit of a change for us.”

Other recipients include:

  • YMCA of Greater Rochester: $1 million to construct the Sands Family YMCA in Canandaigua.
  • Rise Up Rochester: $400,000 to fund the Anti-Violence Safe Housing Project.
  • University of Rochester Medical Center: $1 million for its Strong Memorial Hospital Emergency Department modernization.
  • City of Rochester’s Youth and Adult Employment Services: $1 million to expand services and jobs for both youth employment and the young adult workforce.
  • Bivona Child Advocacy Center: $306,000 for its Prevention Education for Child Safety program.
  • Willow Domestic Violence Center of Greater Rochester Inc.: $325,000 to enhance services and training to support survivors of abuse.
  • Monroe County: $3.5 million to build an addition to the Monroe Community College Applied Technology Center to address workforce demands across the Finger Lakes region.
  • National Susan B. Anthony Museum and House: $750,000 for its expansion.
  • Rochester Institute of Technology: $2 million to bolster chip research.
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Max Schulte
Jim Wideman, chairman of the Finger Lakes Veterans Advocacy Council, thanks U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer after the majority leader and U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand announced hundreds of millions in federal funding for multiple community projects, including $62.5 million for the Canandaigua VA Medical Center.

Veronica Volk is a senior editor and producer for WXXI News.