Downtown grant program moves along

JOHNSTOWN – City officials recently met with property owners taking advantage of the city’s NY Main Street Program Grant funding.

Second Ward Councilwoman Kathi Iannotti reported that City Engineer Chandra Cotter and code enforcement personnel met with all applicants selected for the program.

The Common Council in April indicated seven downtown property owners will receive grant funding to make improvements.

Iannotti said funding recipients were provided a “written scope of work.”

The city in December was awarded $200,000 in state funding through the Mohawk Regional Economic Development Council. The purpose of the grant is to revitalize downtown via streetscape improvements and building renovations. The money helps owners of downtown mixed-use buildings to complete commercial and residential renovation projects.

Information on the individual downtown projects will now be sent to the state Division of Housing & Community Renewal, Iannotti said.

The grant pays 75 percent of streetscape improvements, up to $15,000, and the city matches 25 percent of the cost.

In addition, the grant pays for 75 percent of building renovations, and building owners match 25 percent of the cost. Selection criteria announced earlier for the projects includes ones that were visually prominent, have historic value, reduce blight, involve renovation of upper-story residential units, leverage the most private investment, create jobs, address code violations, and house businesses providing essential services to the community.

Elsewhere in the monthly Department of Public Works report, Iannotti said the recent spring citywide cleanup’s cost to the city was nearly $4,000 compared to about $2,100 last year. But it was reported participation was much higher this year, with neatly 50 tons of garbage collected.

Cotter is reviewing potential state Consolidated Highway Improvement Program projects. The city is working on certain requirements for CHIPs projects, which must be in compliance with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. Cotter may be reducing the amount of miles paved due to higher costs.

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