Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that Dunkirk ,New York has been selected to receive $ 2.5 million in funding from the Buffalo Billion II initiative.
The City of Dunkirk, City of North Tonawanda, City of Lackawanna and Village of Gowanda are recipients of Smart Growth Community Funds for projects that utilize existing infrastructure to support placemaking, walkable communities and sustainable development.
"Buffalo Billion funding is establishing accessible, vibrant and sustainable communities across the entire region." Governor Cuomo said. "Through this initial round of the Smart Growth Community Fund, we are encouraging the growth of new businesses, restaurants, and greenspace that will help attract young workers, build prosperity and further fuel the renaissance of Western New York."
Mayor of Dunkirk Willie Rosas said, "Today's smart growth award from Governor Cuomo ensures that Dunkirk will continue to take concrete steps to improve the overall vitality of our city. The projects we have planned will revitalize the business district and enhance the waterfront for the benefit of residents and also to attract a greater number of tourists to the region."
Following the example of successful smart growth locations such as Brooklyn, NY, Roanoke, VA, and Bend, OR - the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council is embracing growth and downtown redevelopment as core economic goals in its Strategy for Prosperity. Businesses are increasingly locating in or near vibrant, walkable downtowns built on the principles of smart growth because that's where the millennial workforce wants to live, work, and raise a family. Investments in existing downtowns also have been found to reduce local infrastructure and municipal service costs, thus helping to ease fiscal difficulties.
The WNYREDC made recommendations for Dunkirk, North Tonawanda, Lackawanna and Gowanda to receive a portion of the available Smart Growth Community funding. Following approval of these nominations, Empire State Development staff made a visit to each of the four recommended communities to discuss their proposed project list and to better understand the locations and readiness of each project. The visit report was presented at the WNYREDC meeting in August and received approval from the committee to proceed with the awards.
Four Western New York communities were chosen based on applications and interviews that closely aligned with and met criteria of the Smart Growth Community Funds. The remaining $10 million of the fund will be awarded in future smart growth rounds.