PORT HENRY — Port Henry’s business district is in line for a makeover, thanks to PRIDE of Ticonderoga.
A $131,300 State Office of Community Renewal grant will be distributed by PRIDE — a nonprofit rural-preservation company — to improve several buildings in downtown Port Henry.
PRIDE Executive Director Sharon Reynolds said the grant money will be given to the property owners for repairs and improvements to their buildings.
The project requires they provide matching funds, which she said they’ve agreed to pay.
“I’m meeting with a few of the building owners next week. I am pulling together the grant and contract requirements, and I believe the project will begin rolling sometime in February or March.”
She said façade work will be done on the structures, but there will also be new furnaces and electrical systems installed to bring them up to modern building codes.
“These are wonderful old buildings, and this will keep them a vital part of the downtown area.”
Reynolds said the building improvements will range in cost from $5,000 to $50,000, with the work done by local contractors.
NEW PARK LIGHTS
Construction should be finished by fall, she said.
“Since there are only six buildings and a small streetscape project, I am hoping to complete the contract this year.”
The grant will also cover the purchase of two period-type lighting fixtures for Port Henry’s Main Street pocket park.
Moriah Economic Development Group (EDGe) Chair Timothy Garrison said the downtown project is very important to Port Henry’s future.
“This is an important step in our economic-development strategy,” he said by email. “This is really great news for the village, as it is a step in the right direction.
“I can’t thank Sharon Reynolds from PRIDE of Ticonderoga enough for staying with this and writing the grant again after being turned down the first year.”
Garrison said many projects are underway in Port Henry and Moriah.
“There is a lot of economic activity going on in the town, from the Velez marina to the old Knights of Columbus building to the waterfront, along with the building going in the Moriah industrial park.”
The Velez Marine marina is being rebuilt this year, the old Witherbee Mansion formerly used by the Port Henry Knights of Columbus is undergoing renovations, and a new building in the Moriah Business Park will tentatively house the High Peaks Hospice group and others.
“Things are looking up for 2014, and we are looking for more out of our Chamber of Commerce as they continue to expand their capabilities,” Garrison said.
Reynolds said PRIDE of Ticonderoga will be applying for more funding for Port Henry.
“Hopefully, we can get more grants in the future,” she said. “Ticonderoga has received three of these (Community Renewal) grants, and they’ve been a real boost to Ticonderoga’s economic revitalization.”
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