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Plan to move Metro Rail track near DLW terminal among winners of state awards

Improvements to Niagara Street in Buffalo, along with renovations to a plaza in downtown Jamestown and upgrades to a sewer treatment plant in Lackawanna were the region’s top winners of funding through the state’s regional economic development council program.

In all, Western New York is getting $62 million in state funding for a projects backed by the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council. Those projects also include $1 million for a dairy farm expansion in Cattaraugus County, the rehabilitation of the Burrous Building in Wellsville, a medical simulation center on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and upgrades to the area around the Metro Rail on lower Main Street.

The state announced the funding Thursday afternoon at an event in Albany, culminating the annual competition for funding among the state’s 10 regional economic development councils. Each of the regions from across the state submitted “wish lists” of projects.

The Western New York council’s proposal had identified 32 “priority projects” from the region, along with dozens of others that ranked on the council’s priority list. The state ultimately approved funding for 105 projects across Western New York.

The $62 million in funding includes money from Empire State Development, as well as money from other state agencies and programs.

Among the projects getting at least $1 million in funding were:

*Niagara Street Gateway: $4.24 million to rebuild Niagara Street from Porter Avenue to Ontario Street, incorporating green infrastructure with a cycle track, plantings, new street furniture and improved signage.

*Tracy Plaza Green Renovations: $1.48 million to use green infrastructure to renovate Tracy Plaza in downtown Jamestown. The project will install planters, a large-scale green roof system and a cistern to collect rainfall that will be used to wash fire trucks and fill their tanks, as well as for watering the green roof during dry periods.

*Lackawanna Wastewater Treatment Plant: $1.48 million to design and build improvements to the plant’s disinfection systems to meet residual chlorine limits and reduce chlorine flowing into Smokes Creek and then Lake Erie.

*Burrous Building Stabilization and Redevelopment: $1 million to stabilize and restore the historic Burrous Building into a mixed-use commercial, retail and housing project in downtown Wellsville.

*Lower Main Street renovations around Metro Rail: $1 million to move the Metro Rail track to the front of the Metro Rail Yards and Shops facility at the foot of Main Street to allow a return to two-way traffic on that part of Main Street and pave the way for the redevelopment of the DLW Terminal.

*Edelweiss Dairy expansion: $1 million for an expansion at Edelweiss Dairy Fram in Freedom to replace its existing milking facility with a new, 2,400-cow facility with high-efficiency lighting and equipment.

*Jacobs School of Medicine Simulation Innovation Center: $1 million to buy new operating stations and equipment for a center that allows students to participate in surgical simulations.

The 12 projects getting the most state money

  • Niagara Street reconstruction, Buffalo, $4.24 million
  • Tracy Plaza Green renovations, Jamestown, $1.48 million
  • Lackawanna wastewater treatment plant upgrades, Lackawanna, $1.48 million
  • Burrous Building redevelopment, Wellsville, $1 million
  • Edelweiss Dairy expansion, Freedom, $1 million
  • Main Street Multi-modal access project, Buffalo, $1 million
  • Jacobs School of Medicine Simulation Innovation Center, Buffalo, $1 million
  • 7th Niagara Street renovation, Niagara Falls, $750,000
  • Erie County food waste composting site, Alden, $694,390
  • National Comedy Center gap funding, Jamestown, $600,000
  • Ellicottville Brewing Co. expansion, Little Valley, $600,000
  • Allen Street streetscape improvements, Buffalo, $600,000



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