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Community members discuss DRI projects at downtown forum

Residents had a chance to get an update on the Downtown Revitalization Initiative projects at Tuesday night's Downtown Community Forum at the Veteran's Outreach Center in Utica.

Posted: Feb 11, 2020 11:28 PM
Updated: Feb 12, 2020 2:04 PM

UTICA, N.Y. - Residents had a chance to get an update on the Downtown Revitalization Initiative projects at Tuesday night's Downtown Community Forum at the Veteran's Outreach Center in Utica.

In the past three months, since the announcement was made that Utica won the DRI grant, several meetings have been held to get public input and feedback on different projects.

Now that there is an understanding of the range of possibilities that could emerge from this process, the Local Planning Committee can start assessing which combinations of projects will make the best impacts. Right now, there are over 50 projects submitted for DRI funding.

"There's private projects, there are non-profit projects, and there's also city sponsored or public projects so for instance there's a project to redesign Genesee and Broad Streets, sustainable streetscapes, we also have a project to do a facade on the parking garage that you see, the Utica place parking garage, there's a public art project that the city would be hosting and sponsoring," Derek Crossman, community development specialist with the city of Utica said.

Steve Keblish, the facilitator for the Downtown Community Forums explains why discussing the DRI funding and staying informed with the process is important.

“Now we have an understanding of what’s possible and this is when the process will start whittling down to a few projects,” Keblish said. “I felt that it is important to pay attention the whole way and help make sure that members of the downtown community have a clear understanding of what’s going on as best as possible, it can be frustrating for some people but with a little patients we’re making it through it.”

The Local Planning Committee will meet March 2 and April 8 to determine final priority projects. The committee will submit 1$5 million worth of projects to the state in April. The state will then choose $10 million worth of the projects submitted.

You can find more on the proposed projects here.

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