Lt. Governor Hochul Tours Cortland Downtown Revitalization

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VESTAL, NY (WSKG) – New York Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul was in Cortland on Wednesday to tour part of its downtown revitalization.

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul (left) walks with Cortland Mayor Brian Tobin (right) on tour of the city’s revitalization. (Gabe Altieri/WSKG)

Cortland won $10 million from the state in 2017 as part of New York’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative.

The money is to help communities fund infrastructure and boost the local economy.

As part of her tour, Hochul saw downtown buildings with classic, but fading facades. The city thinks restoring these buildings will make people want to live and start a business there.

Cortland Mayor Brian Tobin said part of the goal is to make sure downtown is affordable. While there will be market rate and student housing, the mayor promised there will be housing for low-to-middle income people as well.

Part of the money will also be used on infrastructure, like making high-speed internet available in all downtown buildings.

Hochul said the success of revitalization can be hard to measure early in the process. “We’ll be measuring over time, but we don’t have a hard stop that everything has to be done on a certain day,” she said.

Hochul added that residents should start feeling a tangible difference in their downtown within five years.

Cortland Mayor Brian Tobin said the revitalization money has been great for his city’s identity.

“Everybody should be proud of where they live and this is definitely helping us to continue to improve. Not just on the infrastructure but the perception that we have of ourselves,” he said.

Tobin thinks more communities should apply for the funding.

New York is in the fourth round of its Downtown Revitalization Initiative. So far, Oneonta, Elmira, Watkins Glen, Penn Yan and Owego are among the communities that have also won funding.