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Geneva Awarded $10 million In State Revitalization Initiative

Kevin Colton/Chief Photographer
Hobart&William Smith Colleges

Governor Andrew Cuomo came to Geneva on Wednesday evening to announce that community is the winner of the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative in the Finger Lakes Region.

That initiative is part of a plan to transform local neighborhoods into vibrant communities. The winner was selected as part of a competitive process by the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council.

The award will include up to $300,000 in planning funds for private sector experts to help draft a plan that will identify specific economic development, transportation and housing and community projects.

Cuomo credited officials in that community for taking advantage of the community’s location in the Finger Lakes.

"You put in an application that I think was tremendously smart. You are looking at your main asset, right? That is a magnet, that lake. Mother Nature only made one of them, and you happen to have it. How do you connect the downtown area with that lake?" Cuomo told the crowd at the Visitor Center in Geneva.

Geneva Mayor Ron Alcock said the award is a "critical investment that will bolster our city's job growth..."

Hobart & William Smith President Mark Gearan says he helped make the case for the funding to a selection panel and he says the state funds will add to the vibrancy of downtown Geneva. Hobart and William Smith have made a number of investments in the City of Geneva in recent years.

Ontario County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jack Marren says the money provides a critical step toward transforming Downtown Geneva into a thriving and vibrant economic center. 

The Co-Chairs of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council, Anne Kress and Danny Wegman say the plan will focus on assets like a talented workforce and world-class educational institutions.

Cuomo announced three communities on Wednesday who will be the first winners of the downtown revitalization initiative.  Plattsburgh and Middletown were the others.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.