Amityville Village has submitted 18 projects to the state for consideration of nearly $10 million in funding as part of the state’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative.
The village was awarded the money in January and subsequently held a series of public meetings to review 40 possible projects. Those were whittled down by an 18-member Local Planning Committee of leaders and residents, which late last month voted on the final roster to be submitted to the state. The state’s decision is expected by October.
“I think it’s a good list,” said Mayor Dennis Siry, who is co-chair of the committee. “I wish we could have gotten all of the projects on there, but I feel good about what we have.”
The 18 projects, which represent a mix of village, business and community-sponsored endeavors, would require $12.4 million of Initiative funding. Siry said the village was told to make the request for more than the available $9.7 million, as the state will chisel the list down. The process, which included the hiring of consulting firms, has used up $300,000 of the award so far, Siry said.
To be selected, the proposals were evaluated based on six criteria: connectivity, business environment, Long Island Rail Road improvements, housing, underutilized properties and arts and culture. The projects also must be able to begin within two years.
The village-sponsored projects include a “complete streets” initiative for traffic calming, sidewalk improvements and the addition of smart parking; refurbishing Triangle Park; creating a plaza on Greene Avenue; creating a storefront improvements grant; and developing a marketing and branding strategy.
The business-related proposals are rehabilitating Losi’s Corner and Amityville’s Hook and Ladder Co. No. 1 for mixed-use retail and dining; adding rooftop dining space to Park Avenue Grill; installing an outdoor beer garden at Carney’s Irish Pub; creating a restaurant at 217 Broadway; developing a mixed-use building at 21 Greene Ave; renovating a commercial medical building at 137-157 Broadway; and renovating 140A Broadway into a mixed-use dining and office building.
Other propositions include revitalizing the LIRR station; expanding the Lauder Museum; installing public arts projects and outdoor galleries; refurbishing Amityville Lodge; restoring St. Mary’s Church parish hall; and renovating a commercial space into a shared studio for performing, theatre, and visual artists.
Some projects were cut from the list because they were outside the physical boundaries of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, Siry said. If a project is selected by the state and then falls through, that money cannot be reallocated to another project, he said.
“The state said if these projects get picked and then something else gets thrown off the list, what would you rather have, a project that’s going to be solid or a project that may end up not happening and then that money is lost,” Siry said.
The total cost of the 18 projects is $18.5 million. Siry said for its undertakings, the village may use grants to pay for the remaining costs. He said the state is also helping the village locate money for projects that didn’t make the cut.
“I really don’t want to have this costing us money, but that’s usually what happens with grants,” Siry said. “Luckily the village is in a better position where we have a nice fund balance, so we’ll be able to do it if we have to.”