The Chautauqua County Partnership for Economic Growth (CCPEG) recently invited local municipalities to apply for downtown master planning funding. After reviewing several applications, CCPEG awarded technical assistant grants to the Village of Falconer and the Village of Westfield. Local leaders will work with CCPEG and the consultants Barton and Loguidice, to cultivate a vision for their respective downtowns, identify priority projects to enliven the downtown, and develop a master plan that sets the stage for a NY Forward, NYS Consolidated Funding Application (CFA), or other related economic development program application.

Like many small cities and villages in Chautauqua County, Falconer and Westfield have faced challenges with vacancies and disinvestment. However, today both municipalities have passionate leaders, a strong community fabric, a spirit of entrepreneurship, and thriving small businesses. These communities have private investment and potential investment from developers that could bring more mixed use, infill housing and reuse of historic buildings to their main street corridors. They are poised to re-energize and a clear and cohesive strategy for revitalization will ensure that new public and private projects complement the historic small town character that makes Chautauqua County unique.

Planning Coordinator Rebecca Wurster stated, “The Downtown Revitalization Master Planning Grants are tools that will advance economic prosperity for thriving and resilient municipalities, with benefits that spread throughout the entire County. The Villages of Falconer and Westfield are very unique communities, with charming downtown corridors. By providing technical assistance, we envision a master planning process that identifies projects which align with each community’s unique downtowns and strategically positions these municipalities for grant funding opportunities.”

Mayor Jaroszynski stated, “I can’t express how excited we are to be receiving this grant for the Village of Falconer.  This grant will allow the Village to pursue ideas for the development of our Main Street and business corridors.  We have already put in place a steering committee comprised of Village residents, business owners and government leaders to provide ideas and a vision to the consultant team.  Thank you to the Chautauqua County Partnership for Economic Growth for recognizing the potential for our small Village and for giving us this opportunity for revitalization.”

“The Village of Westfield wishes to thank CCPEG for the opportunity to work alongside of CCPEG and Barton and Loguidice, in cultivating vision driven projects and developing a master plan for our downtown areas,” stated Mayor Lutes.

CCPEG, through its economic development funding opportunity, has also awarded funding and assistance to the Village of Sherman, Findley Lake (Town of Mina), and Imagine Forestville, to complete planning efforts and support the implementation of downtown projects meant to enhance and revitalize downtowns and hamlets. CCPEG is also supporting several other communities with downtown revitalization and waterfront activation programs including: City of Dunkirk in their recent award of $10 million in Downtown Revitalization Initiative funding; the City of Jamestown with the Chadakoin River Activation Initiative; and the Village of Mayville with the Waterfront Activation Planning and Lakeside Park improvements.

“These efforts are all about building on the success we’ve seen in recent years in seeking resources to improve our downtowns, waterfronts, and community quality of life,” said Mark Geise, Partnership Co-Chair and CEO of the CCIDA. “We’ve seen how being proactive and engaging our partners and community early in the process has resulted in significant funding from New York State and other sources and we plan on continuing down that path and building on that momentum.”

About CCPEG – The Chautauqua County Partnership for Economic Growth serves as the main convener of economic development partners and resources to advance key projects that achieve economic prosperity in Chautauqua County. It also serves as the catalyst and broker of resources for advancing economic prosperity efforts and is the central coordinating entity for the formation, retention, development, and attraction of quality jobs and advancements to the quality of life. For more information, please visit chqpartnership.org.