O’mara and Palmesano: Watkins Glen Revitalization Award Keeps Fueling Southern Tier, Finger Lakes

August 3, 2017

Watkins Glen, N.Y., August 10—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C,I-Big Flats), a member of the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council (REDC), and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R,C,I-Corning) applauded today’s announcement that the village of Watkins Glen will receive the state’s 2017, $10-million Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) award in the Southern Tier region.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo made the announcement this morning at Watkins Glen International (WGI) on the eve of one of the state’s most prominent annual events, NASCAR’s “I Love New York 355 at The Glen.” O’Mara and other local, state, and regional leaders joined the governor.

In a joint statement, O’Mara and Palmesano said, “It’s one of the most exciting weekends of the year with NASCAR’s return to Watkins Glen International, and the village of Watkins Glen is taking an early checkered flag as the recipient of this year’s state DRI award. We are grateful for these ongoing, significant state investments to build stronger foundations for the future of the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions. This award will help the village and all of Schuyler County move forward, revitalize the downtown for businesses, visitors and residents alike, and keep fueling an ongoing renewal across the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes. We continue to appreciate the commitment and leadership of Governor Cuomo and his administration, our regional economic development council, and so many local leaders for taking these critical steps to spark more and more economic and community development across the region."

New York State’s DRI seeks to assist short- and long-term local plans to transform neighborhoods, encourage business development, and expand private-sector economic growth. Cuomo first proposed the initiative in his 2016 State of the State address. The state is distributing $100 million in grants to select cities in each of the state’s 10 REDC regions.

Last year’s Southern Tier DRI recipient was the city of Elmira.

Watkins Glen was selected following a competitive process conducted by the Southern Tier REDC. The award provides up to $300,000 in planning funds to allow private-sector experts to partner with a local planning committee in the drafting of a Strategic Investment Plan identifying specific economic development, transportation, and housing and community projects. Plans are expected to be completed by early 2018.