Village of Marathon plans to apply for NY Forward grant

The downtown area of the village of Marathon. (Photo via the village of Marathon).

The village of Marathon is planning to apply for a second-round NY Forward grant with the hope of using funds to give the main business district a major facelift.

The NY Forward program was created “to invigorate and enliven downtowns in New York’s smaller and rural communities, the type of downtowns found in villages, hamlets and other small, neighborhood-scale municipal centers,” according to the state’s website.

NY Forward was formed off the success of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI). The state allocated $100 million for the first round of the NY Forward program.

The NY Forward program awards either $2.25 million or $4.5 million to selected municipalities.

Marathon mayor Scott Chamberlin said the village was inspired by the villages of Homer and Moravia winning respective DRI and NY Forward grants. Homer was awarded $10 million, while Moravia received $2.25 million.

“It’s worth taking a shot,” Chamberlin said, noting the attention needed for businesses and buildings in the main business district of the village.

The village will form a NY Forward committee, which will consist of business-minded individuals and those interested in joining. So far, a couple of village board members, and former mayor Bill McGovern, are joining the committee.

Chamberlin noted on Wednesday that the committee’s first meeting will be in the last week of March. Eric Mulvihill of the Cortland County Business Development Corporation (BDC) will conduct a presentation at the end-of-the-month meeting.

“We should have a good turnout for our first meeting,” Chamberlin said.

Details on proposed projects through the NY Forward program and who will handle the grant-writing process remain to be seen.