ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – The City of Elmira’s Department of Community Development will be hosting two meetings to provide the public with an update and to gain community input on a Round 7 Downtown Revitalization Initiative application.

The City of Elmira is applying for funding for the Southside Rising: Downtown Revitalization Initiative. They will be hosting two public meetings to gain input from the community and update the public on the plan on August 22. One meeting will take place at the Steele Memorial Library from 12 p.m. until 1 p.m., and the other meeting will take place at the Southside Community Center from 6 p.m. until 7 p.m.

On July 26, 2023, the New York State Department of State announced that $200 million is available through competitive applications for Downtown Revitalization Initiative and New York Forward. The City of Elmira was a successful applicant under Round One of this program and received $10 million. Since then, the program has shown major success throughout the state with a total of $700 million being funded to 69 communities. It’s estimated that every dollar invested in the DRI generates $3 in additional investments as the revitalization accelerates and projects are completed.

Back in 2015, the City of Elmira completed a Brownfield Opportunity Area Grant funded by New York State Department of State. The study explored revitalization opportunities and utilization of southside brownfield sites. The Southside Rising Study is serving as a starting point for the City of Elmira’s submittal of a Round 7 DRI. A committee of local stakeholders has been established to guide the application and any award if it is received by the state.

The areas of focus that have been discussed for this funding include housing renovations, upgrades to support students and local residents, public health gaps through the creation of a Federally Qualified Health Center, small business support, business façade/facilities upgrades and neighborhood revitalization. Other projects that the community may deem beneficial for the southside of Elmira will be discussed at the community meetings.

All are invited to join the Department of Community Development at one of the public meetings to ensure that the application meets the needs of the community.