WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (WETM) – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the completion of $5.3 million in renovations at Clute Park in Watkins Glen, a project funded through the Schuyler County village’s $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative award in 2017.
Improvements include new gathering spaces and recreational features such as a year-round pavilion, a bath house with amenities, a winter ice rink and a summer splash pad.
“As we build back New York better than it was, the Downtown Revitalization Initiative is empowering local communities to reimagine their downtown areas as hubs of economic opportunity that benefit the entire region,” Governor Cuomo said. “Our investment in Clute Park will provide Watkins Glen with yet another attraction to bolster tourism and spur economic growth for generations to come.”
The renovations were unveiled on Tuesday by Lt. Governor Hochul in Watkins Glen.
“Watkins Glen is a New York State gem and we are further transforming the community into a great place for families, businesses and tourists to work and play,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “Our Downtown Revitalization Initiative provides new gathering spaces and recreational opportunities that will not only benefit the Watkins Glen community, but also boost businesses, create jobs and draw visitors to the Southern Tier region for generations to come.”
As part of the improvements at Clute Park, the new year-round pavilion has space for a future café and the new bath house includes outdoor showers. The new spaces are all ADA accessible.
The village received several state grants to fund this $5.3 million project, with the Department of State providing roughly $2.6 million in Downtown Revitalization Initiative funding and more than $2.1 million in Local Waterfront Revitalization Program grants from the Environmental Protection Fund. The state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation also provided a $415,000 grant for the project.
Named a Round 2 winner in 2017, the two-square mile area in Watkins Glen selected for revitalization includes a traditional walkable downtown that is surrounded by both residential and commercial neighborhoods. The area includes more than150 businesses, numerous residential properties, and cultural institutions. Downtown Watkins Glen is ripe for investment, benefitting from local amenities that include the Seneca Lake waterfront, parks, wine trails, a growing art scene, and the internationally-recognized Watkins Glen International.
The downtown Watkins Glen Strategic Investment Plan is guiding revitalization projects that advance the community’s vision for its downtown and that can leverage and expand upon the state’s $10 million investment. Funded projects will build upon other recent investments in the downtown and surrounding area, including Watkins Glen International and Watkins Glen State Park, to create a sustainable environment for a year-round innovative and prosperous economy.