OWEGO, N.Y. – The future of downtown Owego is starting to take shape.
About a year ago Governor Cuomo announced Owego was the recipient of $10M in Downtown Revitalization Initiative Funding.
And today Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul was in Owego detailing what the funding will be used for.
Seventeen projects were funded including major upgrades to Marvin Park, the creation of an art park with an interactive sculpture garden and amphitheater, and a mixed use building on North Ave that will feature a brewery, tap room, incubator, and residential space.
While the list of flashy projects goes on, Owego Mayor Mike Baratta says its the infrastructure upgrades that’s got him excited.
“Being the mayor I’m excited about the sewer line project that’s awesome. That’s the kind of stuff that nobody sees it’s below the street, but it’s stuff that we have to find a way to pay for that’s really tough as a small village,” Baratta said.
Other projects including improving access to the Susquehanna River, renovating local businesses, adding parking downtown, and helping local arts organizations such as the Tioga County Arts Council and the Ti-Ahwaga Theatre.
Hochul says she was impressed by how many projects Owego was able to include and that this is just the beginning.
“You’re never going to look back. This community is going to be permanetely transformed again because of your efforts, so never take that for granted. What a special time in your lives and the life of this community. You can say this is the day this is the year we just got started,” she said.
Mayor Baratta says after finding out they were selected for the funding, a fifteen person team of community leaders was assembled that spent eight months coming up with project ideas before submitting the final list to the state for approval.