City grant program now available

JOHNSTOWN – Downtown property owners will have until March 14 to apply for a piece of a $200,000 New York Main Street Program grant the city was awarded in December.

A tentative schedule indicates awards will be made by April 25, city officials said.

Details of the grant funding were made available at a public information meeting conducted by the city Monday night at City Hall. City Engineer Chandra Cotter and city grant writer Nicholas Zabawsky took about 17 potential applicants through the process.

Cotter said applications will be due to City Hall by March 14. The program will be operated along East and West Main streets, between City Hall and William Street.

Funding for the program is being provided by the state Division of Housing and Community Renewal. The program provides grants for property owners to fix facades, commercial spaces and residential units on upper floors of mixed-use buildings. City officials say the goal of the program is to revitalize traditional main streets – including historic preservation?- create a pedestrian-friendly environment and spur commercial and residential redevelopment.

The program may award up to $50,000 per building, with an additional $10,000 per residential unit that’s repaired. The maximum grant amount a property owner can receive is $100,000. Owners must provide a minimum of 25 percent of the costs.

“Building renovations include interior and exterior renovations,” Cotter said.

She said potential work a property owner can do through the grant includes: fire alarms, sprinklers, ramps, elevators, insulation, heating-ventilation-air conditioning and converting vacant upper stories.

Cotter said selection criteria will include: projects that are visually prominent, those with historic value, reduction of blight, and those that leverage the most amount of private investment.

Zabawsky told potential applicants if a project includes loose asbestos, it must be addressed as an “imminent hazard.”

The grant writer, who has administered similar projects in Gloversville and Amsterdam, urged those in attendance to “keep copies of every check you write” pertaining to the project.


The city of Johnstown was awarded a $200,000 New York Main Street Program grant in December.

A tentative schedule for awarding applicants includes:

Application deadline – March 14;

Common Council

review – April 15-21;

Notice of award – April 25.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at