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8/06/12: Poloncarz, Officials Visit Revitalized City of Tonawanda Main Street


City Business Exteriors Upgraded Through County Commercial Center Improvement Program

ERIE COUNTY, NY— Today, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz was joined by Commissioner of the Department of Environment and Planning Maria Whyte, Mayor of the City of Tonawanda Ron Pilozzi, local business owners, and community members to announce the completion of a grant program that assisted City business owners with improvements to the exteriors of their properties. The Erie County Commercial Center Improvement Program (“CCIP”) in the City of Tonawanda assisted ten businesses with grant funds for exterior architectural services and renovations, with a total investment of $207,423.

“The Erie County Commercial Center Improvement Program is an effective way for the County to reinvigorate local business districts through façade improvements and renovations, drawing new attention and business to local merchants in the process,” said Poloncarz. “Using federal matching dollars, this grant helps to restore commercial districts, which are often the heart of our various cities, towns, and villages. It shows the pride we have in local business, the support that we can offer to business owners who choose to partake in the program, and our commitment to strengthening our core business districts.”

The Erie County CCIP is a 50/50 matching grant program utilizing federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding. Erie County administers the program and contracts with an architectural consultant to carry out the necessary improvements. An eligible business can apply for a matching grant of up to $10,000. The program promotes physical improvements including new signage, awnings, lighting, and masonry work, while adhering to all state historic preservation guidelines.

Commissioner Maria Whyte added,” The building improvements have had a very positive impact on the City’s central business area and we are anxious to continue the program in other communities in Erie County.”

“The Main Street streetscape program has resulted in a major investment in our downtown business district,” said City of Tonawanda Mayor Ronald Pilozzi. “In addition to improving the facades of these businesses, it shows the importance of a partnership between government and private enterprise that is a win/win for all parties. Many thanks to Erie County for their part in this project, especially the Department of Environment and Planning. Many thanks also go out to all the businesses that took advantage of this program.”

City of Tonawanda businesses taking part in the CCIP program are located on Main Street from Niagara to Seymour and include: American Legion Post #264, PJ Hooligan’s restaurant, Hair After/Sturner Studio, Sweet Briar Antiques, Complete Homecare Inc., Washingtown DC, Tonawanda Wine & Liquor, Dome Stadium restaurant, Medical Claims Inc., and Smoke On The Water restaurant.

“The improvements made to our building through the Erie County Commercial Center Improvement Program were extremely beneficial to our business,” said Chris Cook, owner of Hair Do’ers Salon at 43 Main St., Tonawanda. Work at the site included replacement of all storefront glass, replacement of all upstairs windows and rear windows, and awning replacement.

The Erie County Commercial Center Improvement Program began in 2004 and has been active in the Villages of Springville and Gowanda, as well as the hamlets of Holland and Eden, in addition to the recently completed work in the City of Tonawanda. A total of 35 businesses have been assisted through the program, which is currently active in the Village of Lancaster. Clinton Brown Associates is the current architectural consultant for the program.