By Mark Reynolds
Last week the Marlborough Town Board approved a resolution to authorize Supervisor Scott Corcoran to sign the application and agreements required by the Empire State Development Corporation [ESDC] to receive grant funding under the Restore New York Communities Initiative Municipal Grant Program.
The New York State Website states that, “Restore New York supports municipal revitalization efforts across the state, helping to remove blight, reinvigorate downtowns, and generate economic opportunity in communities statewide. The program, administered by Empire State Development, is designed to help local governments revitalize their communities and encourage commercial investment, improve the local housing stock, put properties back on the tax rolls and increase the local tax base.”
Gov. Kathy Hochul said, “These Restore New York grants will help to re-imagine downtowns across our state and transform vacant, blighted and underutilized buildings into vibrant community anchors [while] ensuring that New York State continues to be a place where people come to live, work and raise their families.”
After considering several proposals, the Marlborough Town Board decided to name the Milton Restoration Initiative project in their grant application to the ESDC. The project has been proposed by developer Robert Pollock, owner of Buttermilk Falls, in a public/private partnership with the town and through the grant application process, the town is hoping to receive $2 million.
The objective of the Milton Restoration project is to revitalize Main Street by providing 8 commercial/retail spaces on the first floor and 32 one-bedroom apartments on the second floor at an estimated cost of $8 million. This is an 18 month construction schedule and will be built on the west side of Main Street from the Milton Post Office, south to Milton Turnpike.
Corcoran said this project aligns with Marlborough’s Economic Development strategies and with the town’s Comprehensive Plan. The approval resolution states that this project, “is consistent with all existing local plans, the proposed financing is appropriate for the project and will facilitate effective and efficient use of existing and future public resources, so as to promote both economic development and preservation of community resources. In addition, the [Milton] project develops and enhances infrastructure and/or other facilities in a manner that will attract, create and sustain employment opportunities in the Town of Marlborough.”
In answering a question from resident Mici Simonofsky, Corcoran said that if they receive the $2 million grant, “it comes through the town and it gets distributed to Mr. Pollock as the project proceeds, just like any other grant. They have to complete certain stages and then the money is released. There are also administrative costs that the town receives for doing that to pay for our time and our efforts.”
Corcoran said at 9 Dock Road Pollock also plans to restore a house barn to create housing, artist work spaces and garages for a total of 5,616 sq/ft at a projected cost of $500,000, with a 12 month construction phase. Presently, it is in the architectural planning stage.
Plans are also underway to restore and renovate the St James Church and Rectory/offices at 10 and 12 Main Street. The goal is to create a mixed use building for workforce housing, artists’ lofts and retail commercial space of 10,000 sq/ft, with a price tag of about $800,000. This is also in the architectural/engineering stage.
Corcoran said the Town Board believes theses efforts are, “a plus, plus for the community and a plus, plus for the Hamlet of Milton, so whatever we can do to help this project, we’re going to try to do.”