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Rome using regional economic developement dollars to improve downtown

By Hilary Lane

ROME - The city of Rome will be using $250,000 of regional economic development money to improve the downtown area.

"We want to help the businesses to thrive here, we want to stimulate investment, we want to get some of the vacant buildings back into production, back on the tax roles and bring back downtown," said Christian Mercurio, Director of Community and Economic Development in Rome.

Mercurio said officials have been working to revive the downtown area for years and this money will help continue the process.

Some of the funds will go to green the area and improve sidewalks and outdoor lighting along East Dominick Street.

Also, local business owners are able to apply for their share of the grant money to make improvements.

"Rehabilitate interior and exterior of the properties," said Mercurio. "We want to bring modern, energy efficient livable units downtown and increase their capacity to do business for existing retail areas."

The ultimate goal is to create a thriving and vibrant downtown area.

Imropovement projects are expected to begin in 2013.

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