Village of Homer wins $10 million DRI grant (Video Included)

Village of Homer mayor Hal McCabe (middle), deputy mayor Pat Clune (right) and Board of Trustees member Ed Finkbeiner hold the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant (sixth round) awarded to the village by New York State on Tuesday at the Center for the Arts of Homer. (Photo via the Village of Homer, NY Facebook page).

Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez announced at the Center for the Arts of Homer on Tuesday the village of Homer won the sixth round of the $10 million New York State Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant.

Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez, speaking, announced Tuesday at the Center for the Arts that the Village of Homer is the recipient of $10 million grant from the sixth-round Downtown Revitalization Initiative. (Photo via Kevin L. Smith of The Cortland Voice).

“On behalf of The Village of Homer, I want to express how deeply we appreciate the decision to award the Downtown Revitalization Initiative for Central NY to Homer,” village mayor Hal McCabe said via a release. “This funding will ensure our beautiful, friendly, historic village remains prosperous and accessible for future generations. Some of the region’s most important historic structures will be preserved thanks to these monies, as well as creating new business and economic development opportunities for our current residents. As we prepare as a region for the arrival of Micron, the DRI will also aid local projects, which will position Homer as one of the premier communities the anticipated new employees and their families will call home. I cannot thank Governor (Kathy) Hochul and Secretary of State Rodriguez enough for this honor.”

Village of Homer Mayor Hal McCabe speaks after the village was awarded the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant on Tuesday at the Center for the Arts. (Photo via Kevin L. Smith of The Cortland Voice).

The release noted Homer will begin the process of developing a strategic investment plan. Plans will be completed sometime this year.

“A local planning committee made up of municipal representatives, community leaders and other stakeholders will lead the effort, supported by a team of private sector experts and state planners,” the release continued. “The strategic investment plan will examine local assets and opportunities to identify economic development, transportation, housing, and community projects that align with each community’s vision for downtown revitalization and that are poised for implementation.”

The release detailed Homer’s forward-thinking plans for the village:

“Homer is quintessential Americana, with a broad Main Street that is lined by majestic trees and historic mansions that give way to a historic Village Green. Homer’s Center for the Arts has become a regional performing arts destination, buildings have been redeveloped with unique residential living units and new investment by private developers is driving momentum forward. The Village of Homer has identified a well-defined, walkable 270-acre section of the Village as its DRI investment area. This area includes the entirety of both the Old Homer National Register Historic District and the zoned Central Business District, including the Village Green, and encompasses a mix of residential, commercial, civic and religious structures. This area is the core of the Village, includes the primary gateways into the downtown area and provides great investment potential.    

Homer is seeking to leverage its historic buildings, cultural attractions, and the riverfront to create a downtown for the 21st century. To accomplish that goal, the Village has engaged its citizenry, non-profit organizations and the development community to establish a vision for the future that will reactivate the waterfront, restore historic buildings, expand on the village's cultural assets, create new job opportunities, increase sustainability, reimagine public spaces and attract new residents to call this central New York jewel, home.”

“The Village of Homer is a jewel of Central New York with its historic buildings, cultural attractions and scenic landscape,” Rodriguez said. “This Downtown Revitalization Initiative funding will allow Homer to reactivate its waterfront and create a downtown for the 21st Century, making this historic village an ideal destination for visitors from all across the region and state.”

Below is a video of Rodriguez announcing the village of Homer as the winner of the $10 million DRI grant. Mayor McCabe followed up the Secretary of State’s speech with his reaction to the award.