Small-Business Support, Signs,
Westcott Lot Top DRI Projects
By IAN AUSTIN & LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
ONEONTA – The redevelopment of the Westcott Lot, new signage on Main Street, upper-floor apartments and, the centerpiece – the Mohawk Valley Food & Beverage Innovation District – were all recommended for a piece of the $10 million DRI funding by Stantec and the three Downtown Revitalization Initiative subcommittees during their annual meeting this afternoon.
“No one person in this group will get everything they want,” said Mayor Gary Herzig. “But, this is only the beginning. If we spend the $10 million dollars right we will all grow and the return on our investment will be far beyond $10 million.”
In all, 13 projects were put forth, and from here, said Herzig, the subcommittees will pick which projects they want to focus on, including several projects designed to enhance what Main Street already has.
“People like the idea of unified branding for downtown, advertising narratives on the Highway and ideas of innovation,” said Wayne Carrington, who chairs the Existing Projects committee. “It’s lighter, quicker, and cheaper.”
But property owner Seth Clark claimed had done his own surveys and interviews with downtown business owners. “Many people don’t feel they have had their ideas heard.” he said. He is planning his own public forum at 7 p.m. on Wendesday, Feb 15 at Foothills.
“This is just a preliminary recommendation,” said Herzig. “In the next week, the committees will meet and rank the projects for DRI funding, as a priority but not for DRI funding, or not to be pursued.”
The priority projects will then be turned over to the full committee, who will decide on the final projects to submit to the state.