Little Falls, NY — The City of Little Falls has announced its intent to submit an application for Governor Cuomo’s upcoming Round Five Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) approved for continuation in the 2021 New York State budget.

While the exact deadline for this year’s application has not been announced due to concerns about the Coronavirus, planners and grant writers have initiated the process of identifying projects, establishing DRI boundaries, and completing initial application requirements based on previous years.

According to the City’s Mayor, Mark Blask, “The DRI grant would be a real game-changer for the City and catapult us forward with a much-needed infusion of capital for projects that have been percolating for several years.”

The proposed DRI application will reconnect the Downtown Waterfront District from Main Street to Canal Place with infrastructure, public/private, and arts & cultural projects. The theme of the DRI application is “Rethink, Rebuild, and Reconnect the Heart of the City.”

“We’re in the preliminary stages of the grant application process. Once the state sets the deadline, the City’s pace of activities, including public input on identified projects, will ramp up dramatically,” added Blask.

The completed application will go through a review process with the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council (MVREC) to select one application from the region to be submitted to the state. Past DRI winners from the Mohawk Valley region include Utica in Round Four, Amsterdam in Round Three, Rome in Round Two, and Oneonta in Round One.

Small cities across the state have also been chosen as DRI winners since the program’s inception including Watkins Glen in Round Two with a population of 2,149, Penn Yan in Round Three with a population of 5,219, Oswego in Round Three with a population of 3,911, and Saranac Lake, also in Round Three, with a population of 5,406.

The DRI program invests $100 million into ten downtown neighborhoods across the state. Participating communities are nominated by the state’s ten Regional Economic Development Councils (REDCs) based on the downtown’s potential for transformation, and each community is awarded $10 million to develop a downtown strategic investment plan and implement key catalytic projects that advance the community’s vision for revitalization. More information about the DRI program is available at www.littlefallsdri.com.

About Little Falls, NY

The City of Little Falls was incorporated in 1895 and is currently the only City in Herkimer County, New York. With a population just under 5,000, the City offers many amenities typically found in larger cities, including a hospital, full-time police and fire departments, movie theater, lodging, restaurants, shopping, and waterfront recreational activities. The picturesque Mohawk River, with its 45 feet drop in less than a mile, forms numerous cascades through the center of the City. The Erie Canal runs parallel to the river, with its famous Lock 17 and Canal Harbor recreational area. Other visitor attractions include rock climbing at Moss Island, bicycle tours along the Empire State Trail, and numerous festivals, bringing thousands of visitors to the City each year for the Cheese Festival, Garlic Festival, Canal Celebration, and Bluegrass Festival. For more information about Little Falls, visit www.thisislittlefalls.com.