BINGHAMTON - It was like Christmas Day for the three mayors of the Triple Cities today as they each found out which of their proposed projects are receiving money through the Greater Binghamton Fund.
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul came to Binghamton to announce almost $20 million in state funds to be spent in the Innovation Districts or iDistricts located in Binghamton, Johnson City and Endicott.
The money comes from the half-billion dollar so-called Hunger Games award won by the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council back in 2015.
For Binghamton Mayor Rich David, joy and relief as his priority project, an Art DECO District downtown was approved for $1.7 million.
The city plans to add another nearly $2 million of its own money as it focuses on infrastructure and beautification efforts in the area around the Forum Theatre and the nearby State Street art galleries and restaurants.
"There has never been an arts district ever in the City of Binghamton. So, this is the first time that's going to happen. This is something that is unprecedented. It's going to be very exciting, not only for the arts community, but for the community at large that will continue to make downtown Binghamton a focus and a destination," Mayor David said.
In each instance, Greater Binghamton Fund allocations form roughly twenty percent of the overall cost with private or other public funding sources providing the rest.
Other Binghamton projects include half a million dollars to get a proposed mixed-use commercial and residential building at the corner of Court and State Streets finally off the ground.
The dilapidated Kenmore building is receiving half a million while The Club on Washington next door, former home of the Boys and Girls Club, is getting fifty thousand.
On State Street, the Armory Lofts is receiving $179,000 to put housing above Enviren.
And the Binghamton Housing Authority is getting half a million to build townhouse style public housing along Lisle Avenue.
There's also money for murals and the city plans to use half a million dollars worth of Art DECO funds to transform the Washington Street courtyard leading to the MetroCenter.
Major projects in Endicott and Johnson City include a new hotel to replace the Endicott Inn and conversion of an old railway line in JC into a Rail Trail.