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SPECIAL REPORT: Owego Gets $10M for Downtown Revitalization

From the Susquehanna River front to Lake Street to Marvin Park, the Village of Owego is set to get a major makeover … a $10M makeover. New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Thursday a list of 17 projects to be funded by the state’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative. Before a crowded auditorium at the Owego Elks Lodge, Hochul said the projects will be a game-changer for the village. As the projects are completed in coming months and years, Hochul predicted the new-look Owego will to be a place people, especially young people, will want to visit and live.

Listen to Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul

Owego Mayor Mike Baratta applauded the announcement, using several superlatives to describe the importance of these projects that reach across all segments of the village. He called it “amazing” and “monumental” to the future of the village. The local committee that drafted the application had to make hard decisions along the way to finally select projects with the great potential impact, added Baratta.

Listen to Mayor Mike Baratta

Among the largest projects are:

  • $1.77M for downtown streetscapes, including a redesign of Lake Street,
  • $1.43M to upgrade Marvin Park for recreational activities and reduce flooding,
  • $1.33M to support development and expansion of downtown Owego’s diverse businesses.

Last August, Owego’s proposal was announced as the winner of the third round of state grants for communities to fix up their downtowns. The next step is to get into the design and construction stages. In all, the state will award $100M in funding to help communities boost their economies by transforming their downtowns. Elmira and Oneonta were the first two winners in the Southern Tier.

Here is the village of Owego’s final presentation submitted to the state for approval.