Albany rings bell for Restore NY, round five

Tunnel at the end of the blight: Albany's Restore NY Communities Initiative offers local governments financial assistance for redevelopment efforts.

Hempstead will host an informational meeting for Long Island municipalities craving a slice of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s latest competitive-funding pie.

With $80 million up for grabs in Round 5 of the Restore NY Communities Initiative, the Empire State Development Corp. – Albany’s main economic-development engine – has scheduled three workshops around the state to educate would-be applicants on the urban-revitalization program.

All three informational workshops, including a Sept. 29 meeting at Hofstra University, are scheduled for late September. Round 5 officially opens Sept. 15, when applications and related materials will become available on the Restore NY Communities Initiative website.

The “intent to apply” deadline is Oct. 13 and final Round 5 applications are due to Empire State Development by Dec. 15.

Municipalities interested in submitting Round 5 applications are encouraged to attend one of the regional workshops. The Sept. 29 workshop is slated to begin at 10 a.m. in Hofstra University’s David S. Mack Student Center.

Sessions are also scheduled for Sept. 25 in Schenectady and Sept. 26 in Rochester.

The Restore NY Communities Initiative provides local governments with financial assistance to support economic-development and neighborhood-revitalization efforts. Through four funding rounds, more than $300 million has been allocated to 200-plus projects around the state, according to Cuomo’s office, with a “strong emphasis” on economically distressed communities.

In January, three Long Island projects received a total of about $1.45 million through Round 4 of the Restore NY program, which spread roughly $40 million around the state. The Town of Riverhead and the Village of Port Jefferson each received $500,000 for renewal projects, while the Town of Hempstead was awarded $458,470 to help redevelop deteriorated properties along Grand Avenue.

Funded communities are “making strategic investments to help grow our local economies,” noted the governor, who encouraged town and village governments to apply for revitalization funding.

“Through this latest round of Restore NY, our most vulnerable areas will receive the support needed to reenergize and develop,” Cuomo said Thursday. “[Funding] supports the demolition and rehabilitation of blighted properties to improve our neighborhoods, entice new investment and support a stronger, more prosperous New York for all.”