Early this afternoon, Lieutenant Governor of New York, Kathy Hochul made an appearance in Cortland for an update on the city's Downtown Revitalization Initiative improvements downtown.
As two years ago in 2017, the city of Cortland was awarded $10 million from New York State as the Central New York winner of the state's DRI.
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul met with Cortland Mayor Brian Tobin and several others at City Hall. From there, Mayor Tobin gave Hochul a tour of downtown on Main Street.
"I stopped in and saw that there has been progress made," said Hochul. "That is why I stopped here today and walked the streets with the Mayor and had him talk to me about each different building and their status.
Cortland was accepted to the State's second round DRI, meaning that the city had to spend almost a year to plan out projects and to find out which of them would be funded, according to Hochul.
"It's a lengthy process, so we don't have a hard stop of everything having to be done on a certain date," added Hochul. "I've been back to the year one communities and they're not done yet, but they have started to change the physical landscape of the community. Not only that but they have also changed the psychology of the community. That's what I am seeing here. I'm seeing that people are feeling upbeat and optimistic."
While walking through Main Street, Hochul also had a chance to talk to private building owners.
"What is exciting is that what we were really hoping would happen with the DRI is that not just projects funded by the state exclusively to lighten up, but also for private investors to begin catching up that a DRI community has a whole new lease on life," stated Hochul. "With that we are taking care of the infrastructure needs underground and above ground and reconfiguring the traffic flow to make it more pedestrian friendly. All of that goes to the atmosphere of a community on the rise.
Within five-years, Hochul expects the Cortland community to see more life and for buildings that have been abandoned to have new businesses and tenants in them.
For more information about Cortland's DRI award please check our our past article, "Big money: Cortland gets $10 million in state funding to revitalize downtown." and or Cortland's DRI plan.