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2/07/14: Erie County Awards Smart Growth Funds to Village of Lancaster


Funding Builds on Key Initiative for a Smart Economy; Furthers Smart Growth Principles

 West Main Street Reconstruction Project Complements Previous Work, Revitalizes Business District

 
ERIE COUNTY, NY— Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz and Erie County Commissioner of the Department of Environment & Planning Maria Whyte today announced an Erie County Smart Growth Fund award of $323,700 to the Village of Lancaster for the West Main Street Reconstruction Project, which will aid in further reconstruction and streetscape enhancements in the Village’s central business district and the Lancaster Historic Preservation District. The award is the first from Erie County’s Smart Growth Fund, a key initiative included in the County Executive’s Initiatives for a Smart Economy and which advances Smart Growth principles by concentrating development, preserving and reviving main streets and historic districts, and reinvesting in established areas.

“With this first award from the Smart Growth Fund, we are helping the Village to rebuild and recreate their critical business district while also reclaiming and preserving historically important buildings as part of the Project. A reinvigorated Main Street is the heart of a community, and in Lancaster that heart will soon be beating strongly,” said Poloncarz. “This investment will provide improved walkability, new amenities, and a new streetscape that will reflect Lancaster’s historic character and bring people into the Village for work, shopping and recreation. Revitalizing communities at their core brings beneficial economic and quality-of life outcomes that reach well beyond the initial investment for the entire community.”

West Main Street is located within Lancaster’s central business district and the Lancaster Historic Preservation District. The work done for this Project is in accordance with the Village’s Revitalization Strategy, and will complement previous work done in the area such as the Broadway/Central Avenue Reconstruction Projects, Town Hall & Opera House reconstruction and expansion, and demolition of the “BOCES” building. Planned streetscape enhancements include streetlights, fencing, decorative pavers, signage, trees, benches, trash receptacles and an informational kiosk. Improvements will increase accessibility and pedestrian use of the area in a new, more visually pleasing streetscape.

Commissioner of the Department of Environment & Planning Maria Whyte added, “This project is helping the Village of Lancaster to restore past glory to the business district and transform it into a modern, attractive area that is both conducive to commercial activity and inviting to pedestrians. Using smart growth principles to reinvigorate existing infrastructure can build success for communities across Erie County.”

Village of Lancaster Mayor Paul Maute added, “On behalf of the Village of Lancaster I want to thank County Executive Poloncarz for his continued commitment to our community. This Smart Growth award will allow us to complete redevelopment of the village business district and provide a much needed economic stimulus to the village tax base. We appreciate the county's support in this project and look forward to continuing a partnership that benefits the residents of Lancaster."

Through a competitive process, Erie County’s Smart Growth Fund makes approximately $1 million available to local governments in the County’s Community Development Block Grant (“CDBG”) Consortium Area for use on projects that employ Smart Growth principles to enhance village and hamlet centers, connect employment corridors with new neighborhoods, and integrate a mix of housing and commercial activity into new land development, along with similar activities. This first round award of $323,700 to the Village of Lancaster followed a Request for Proposals to utilize $325,000 in CDBG funds. The Village will be using other sources of funds to match the CDBG monies and complete this $2 million project.  Scheduled to begin on April 1, work is expected to take nine months and be completed by the end of December, 2014.

 

For more information:

On the Erie County Department of Environment & Planning, visit   http://www2.erie.gov/environment/