MONTOUR FALLS, N.Y. (WETM) – Mayor James Ryan says the $4.5 million dollar state grant awarded to Montour Falls is one of the biggest investments the village has ever received.
“Many people say it’s a game changer. This is a historic moment for this village” Mayor Ryan told 18 news reporter Nicolas Dubina. “When you look at 4.5 million dollars for a village like Montour Falls, it’s so important for us to make sure we spend it correctly, because it’s the only chance we get to spend this, we get to spend it once.”
The money awarded to Montour Falls is coming from the state’s “New York Forward” program, after the village applied for the funds in September of 2022. The initial projects proposed in the application will now have to be approved by the State of New York. Mayor Ryan says the current proposals include:
- A new housing development with mixed-use buildings for lower-floor retail and upper floor apartments as well as construction of town-house style single-family homes.
- Improvements along NYS Route 14 (Catherine Street) and Main Street will include new lighting, widening and replacing of sidewalks to allow for outdoor seating, and landscaping improvements.
- Variety of infrastructure improvements at Montour marina, including building new docks, a new boathouse facility, and replacing a 3,000 foot sea wall.
- Construction of a new park office, marina store, a new ADA-accessible kayak launch, improved access points at Queen Catherine Marsh, and a new playground.
- Creation of a Downtown Improvement Fund to allow property owners to submit for smaller projects such as facade improvements, conversion of upper floors to apartments, business expansion and other improvements.
“I think it’s a great thing” said Justin Andrews, Head Manager at Jerlando’s Pizza on Main Street. “I mean, around here we don’t have too much money that’s invested down here. Some of the business have gotten out as of late. I think it’d be a great thing for a great tourist attraction. We already get great business down here. It’s summertime, but I mean during winter time people will still be coming around. I think it’s a great thing for the community.”
“Well, having been Mayor before, I know how important that is” said John King, the former Mayor of Mountour Falls. “We have very little income in a town like this and we really depend on grants to really achieve anything significant, so it’s a super achievement.”
Mayor Ryan says he is betting on a brighter future. “I look at Montour Falls as if you look at the stock market, I always say invest on the bounce. And we are a part of that bounce.” said Ryan.
“We were pressed with some issues with COVID, we’ve been economically depressed because of you know some large factories had closed down and left our area and now we’re going to be able to turn around and come back. We’re at a turning point in this community, as many communities in our state, I think are at that turning point.”
The public will get a chance to weigh in before the final projects are approved. Mayor Ryan says he’s working on setting up town hall meetings and a public committee, to give residents a chance to voice their opinion on how the money should be spent.