FULTON – The Local Planning Committee for the Fulton Downtown Revitalization Initiative met Thursday, Nov. 21 to discuss the steps moving forward in determining which projects will receive funding to revamp the city’s downtown area.
Sarah Oral, part of the Cameron Engineering consultant team, debriefed the LPC with what happened at the first public meeting Nov. 7. Oral said the comments over 100 people gave were very positive and respectful. She said most of the positive comments had to do with Case Lee House, CNY Arts Center and the Fulton Public Library.
“For the most part, the comments were so positive. Even if they did not support the project per se, ‘This is a great idea, but not a high priority,’” Oral said. “I don’t think I’ve ever dealt with the public in a way where the input is so respectful.”
The specific feedback the attendants gave at that meeting will not be made available to the public and is just for the LPC.
The LPC discussed their thoughts on how much of a match private, public/municipal and non-profit projects will receive if they are granted DRI funding. By the end of the discussion, the committee agreed to have an up to 20% match for all projects with the option of requesting more in a case by case basis.
“If you’re asking for more than the goal, justify why you need more than the goal and why it’s worth it,” Oral said. “Why this project is so transformative that it’s worth the extra money to get this going.”
Oral said out of the 16 new projects that were submitted to the open call, most of them requested 40 to 60% of the project total cost to be paid for using DRI funding. The LPC now has 42 projects to consider for funding, much of them being private projects for local businesses.
The Case Lee house had been removed from the potential projects list due to an issue with control over the property. Joe Fiumara, executive director of the Fulton Community Development Agency, said the property is moving toward being foreclosed and the city would not be able to take control of it until June, after the projects are chosen.
LPC member Dave Mankiewicz urged Oral to keep the historical building on the list of potential projects. She agreed to keep it on the list until they know more about the situation.
Oral said she and other LPC members will be visiting seniors at Towpath Towers in December as well as other members of the Fulton community. The LPC will also do more advertising throughout the city to keep community members informed of meeting times and general updates.
It was also determined during the meeting there will be subcommittees in which the LPC members will split up private, public/municipal and non-profit projects. The members will be able to request their subcommittee preference in an online survey they will be taking.
When choosing these projects, the committee refined their goals and the strategies to get to there. The projects that best align those goals and strategies are more likely to be chosen. The goals included job growth, infrastructure, the waterfront and aesthetics of the downtown area.
The next LPC meeting will be held Dec. 19 from 3 to 5 p.m. in the community room of the Fulton Municipal Building. All meeting times and more information can be found on the Fulton DRI website.