OWEGO, NY – New York’s Lieutenant Governor visited our region today to talk about reinvigoration efforts in Owego and elsewhere.
Kathy Hochul went from Watkins Glen to Norwich today, making a stop at the Coburn Free Library on Main Street in Owego to check on the Downtown Revitalization Initiative projects there.
The library itself has been in existence for about 110 years, and is getting an addition to make it handicap accessible for the first time.
It is installing an elevator in the back of the property, plus accessible bathrooms.
Hochul says a healthy downtown is vital to a community’s overall economic health.
“A lot of small businesses were hurt by this pandemic. As we come off of Small Business Saturday, a lot of people are realizing that if we don’t have these small businesses, we don’t have the same charm in the identity of our current downtowns. We have to fight to save them. That means buying gift certificates, or coming out socially distanced in the stores, but still supporting them,” says Hochul.
Coburn Free Library Director Meredith Gallaro says she and the library’s staff were excited to have Hochul visit them.
She says the library has been working to provide a top tier service for the community.
“We do that by offering educational resources, we offer lots of books, we have a lot of different resources for finding jobs online, we have free computer usages and wifi. There are a lot of resources here at the library that support our community,” says Gallaro.
Commonly referred to as D-R-I’s, the economic development competition is meant to provide a boost to aging downtowns across the state.
It was announced that D-R-I projects in Watkins Glen were finished, featuring the new Seneca Legacy building, where visitors can register for tours and boat rides along Seneca Lake.
Watch Hochul’s full interview below