Following final approval of DRI projects, Homer officials wait for next steps

A redevelopment of the historic Little White Church is one of 11 projects that was green lit by the state through the village of Homer's DRI funding. (Photo provided by New York State).

The village of Homer recently received final approval of funding for over 10 projects through the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI). Now, village officials anticipate the next steps.

“I’m waiting for the state to kind of get in touch with us, but I think the projects that are shovel-ready just have to start moving forward,” said village mayor Hal McCabe at Tuesday’s board of trustees meeting.

Gov. Kathy Hochul made the announcement last Wednesday (May 22) that Homer got the green light to use $9.7 million of the $10 million DRI funding to start the work on 11 projects. The village was awarded the funding during a ceremony in February of last year.

Renderings of Homer’s upcoming DRI projects can be seen here. A breakdown of all 11 projects can be viewed here.

McCabe said on Tuesday the DRI funding is all reimbursement, noting the funding “has to get laid out first.” Out of the 11 DRI projects, McCabe noted a “challenge” with the $1.42 million festival grounds project.

“I thought (the state) indicated to us that we would be able to utilize the funding in other places,” McCabe said. He added that there needs to be a version of the festival grounds project, or the funding goes back in.

“We’re picking around some ideas of different things we can do,” McCabe said.

McCabe also mentioned that the basketball courts “will not move 10 feet for $700,000.”

“That much I can tell you,” McCabe said.

The biggest public concern, McCabe added, is parking in the village. The mayor noted the village is looking into acquiring a specific undisclosed lot that will be used for public parking.

McCabe said parking is an issue that the village is facing, whether “there’s DRI funding or not.”