On Long Island NY, Suffolk County shows how to trigger revitalization at the county level

On November 16, 2017, Suffolk County (New York) Executive Steve Bellone announced that 12 organizations will receive over $580,000 in total funding for Round 15 of the Suffolk County Downtown Revitalization Grants Program.

Suffolk County Executive
Steve Bellone

Revitalization News readers might remember Bellone from the Featured Article of the October 15, 2017 issue. That earlier article documented his innovative approach to renovating the county’s water infrastructure, which––in turn––is designed to restore the health of Suffolk’s three major estuaries—Long Island Sound, Peconic Bay and the Great South Bay—in addition to protecting drinking water from its sole source aquifer.

These new grants leverage over $1.1 million for a total investment of $1.6 million in community revitalization. Each award recipient was selected by the Suffolk County Downtown Revitalization Citizens Advisory Panel following a competitive application process.

Creating and improving robust downtowns around Suffolk County is an integral part of my administration’s economic development agenda,” said Bellone. “Investing in our downtowns and their infrastructure are not only critical to creating jobs and improving safety in our communities, they also help showcase the rich culture and beauty that makes Suffolk County the ideal place to work, live and raise a family.

This year, the County received 16 applications for the Round 15 grants and 12 projects were funded. A pool of $600,000 was made available to partially fund qualified capital projects located in or adjacent to downtown areas on municipally-owned property.

Shopping in The Hamptons.
Photo credit: Discover Long Island

Since 1997, Suffolk County has awarded over $11.5 million in funds for Downtown Revitalization initiatives.

Among the various projects that are eligible for grants are public parking facilities, curb and sidewalk construction, pedestrian walkways, street lighting, public restrooms, disabled accessibility, renovations to existing structures, cultural and recreational facilities.

Round 15 award recipients include:

  • The Cold Spring Harbor Main Street Association ($10,000.00): Installation of a Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon illuminated warning system at existing crosswalk on Route 25A.
  • Holbrook Chamber of Commerce ($28,785.00): Installation of six antique lighting fixtures along Union Avenue in Holbrook.
  • Medford Taxpayers and Civic Association ($10,000.00): Installation of a six-post pavilion at Medford Veterans Memorial Park.
  • Greenlawn Civic Association ($64,434.00): Installation of antique lighting fixtures and brickwork on Broadway between Pulaski Road and Wyckoff Street.
  • Hampton Bays Beautification Association ($100,000.00): Construction of a comfort station in Good Ground Park.
  • Mattituck-Laurel Civic Association ($60,180.00): Improvements to the Pike Street municipal parking lot including the addition of 14 new spaces.
  • Brightwaters Downtown Revitalization Committee ($48,710.00): Improvements to the “Four Corners” Downtown including street lights, pavers, new handicap access ramps, sidewalk repairs and planting of trees.
  • Lindenhurst Chamber of Commerce ($20,450.00): Improvements to the North Wellwood Avenue municipal parking lot and the municipal parking lot on South 1st Street.
  • Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce ($58,000.00): Create a pedestrian walkway in the Terry Street parking lot to connect Roe Walkway to Art Space.
  • Port Jefferson Business Improvement District ($49,000.00): Upgrade public restrooms adjacent to the village tennis courts and children’s park to be ADA compliant with the addition of three new restrooms.
  • The Greater Westhampton Chamber of Commerce ($100,000.00): Installation of energy efficient LED decorative street lights along Main St. between Potunk Lane and Beach Road.
  • Association Town of Riverhead ($40,093.07): Installation of new LED street lights along Main Street in Jamesport.

Danford’s Port Jeff.
Photo credit: Danford’s Hotel & Marina

The Downtown Revitalization Citizens Advisory Panel uses a point system to evaluate each application to ensure projects that receive funding will make the greatest contribution to the long-term improvement of local downtowns and have a positive economic impact on Suffolk County.

Theresa Ward, Deputy County Executive and Commissioner, Economic Development and Planning, said: “The long history of the Downtown Revitalization grant program shows that by supporting these projects and encouraging applicants to leverage outside funding we are having an important and sustainable impact on creating vibrant downtowns and business districts.

Featured photo of Danford’s Port Jeff courtesy of Danford’s Hotel & Marina.

Learn more about the Suffolk County Downtown Revitalization initiative.

Future applications and guidelines can be found here.

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