CORNWALL — The Town of Cornwall has received $200,000 in state grant funding under the State and Municipalities Funding Program to immediately repair the Bridge Street, install new sidewalks, landscaping, and to pave the downtown area.
This represents about half of a total of $440,000 in grant funding from the state, county, and feds for the town to make improvements. The money has come in at an extremely advantageous time since the state and many municipalities are facing an imminent budget crisis following the COVID-19 pandemic, it is likely these funds could not have been awarded had they not already been secured years earlier.
Town of Cornwall Supervisor Richard Randazzo said the town feels very lucky to have secured the funding now. “The funding came in at the right time. The projects are all coming together, so we’re fortunate because we’re heading into some really tough fiscal times for the government,” said Randazzo.
Randazzo added the hope is for the downtown economy to come back better than it was before the COVID shutdowns. “The ideal outcome is that it will attract people to Main Street to come and visit the restaurants and the stores that we have, and spend some time on Main Street- trying to make it more inviting and just have the whole atmosphere of it be friendly and outgoing. We think this is a good combination. We think it’s a winning combination for Cornwall.”
Senator James Skoufis (D-Cornwall), who was instrumental in securing the state funding during his time in the Assembly and is also from the town, echoed Randazzo’s sentiment and said these projects will create a boost in morale, as well as economy, for the business community and residents alike, while also showing visitors it’s a town on an upswing following a difficult time.
“The first thing that people who visit Cornwall see is downtown Cornwall and you want it to leave a positive impression,” said Skoufis. “You want it to be warm and welcoming and these projects are going to go a long way in doing that,” he said.
The bridge street will be reopened in October of 2020, along with a majority of the state-funded aspects of the upgrades being done in the coming weeks: landscaping and curb cutting. The other aspects, including the paving, are projected to be finished by the summer of 2021.