New York State released a list of grants awarded for 441 local projects across the state last week, but Peekskill’s projects were not approved for the funding.
“We are disappointed but it was a very competitive application,” said Peekskill Director of Economic Development. James Slaughter, who explained this is the first time the state has offered the consolidated funding application, through which the grants were applied for and awarded.
Peekskill submitted their applications by the due dates in October and November. Slaughter said there were about 9,000 applications submitted. A total of 441 projects were approved, with 61 approved in the Mid-Hudson region, which includes Westchester, Putnam, Ulster, Dutchess, Orange, Rockland and Sullivan counties.
Peekskill had asked for funding for its Charles Point Pier, Lower South Street and projects. (Read details of those projects below.) The city also put in a request bond financing for the Central Fire Station, but the state has not yet determined if they will get the financing, Slaughter said.
“State financing might give a better interest rate than what would be pursued locally (and privately),” Slaughter said.
George Liaskos, the man hoping to build a green Holiday Inn Express on John Walsh Blvd., also put in a bond financing request to the state but has yet to hear back, Slaughter said.
“We are still going to move forward. We will still look for funding sources. We will look with the state and for federal opportunities,” Slaughter said. “We are certainly getting ourselves prepared to apply next year when the funding is offered.”
To see the full list of projects approved for CPA funding from the state click on the PDF attached to this article.
Here are summaries of the grants that were applied for but denied. Provided by the Office of Economic Development:
Chauncey Depew Trail and Handball Court: The City of Peekskill is proposing to construct the Chauncey Depew Trail and handball court in historic Depew Park near Hudson Avenue in Peekskill. This is the City’s largest, most actively-used park, adjacent to residential neighborhoods and the CBD. The project involves the construction of a new 1,800 linear foot trail that will be located in a quiet, underutilized section of the park. The trail will be adorned with a sculpture garden, interpretive signage, wetland restoration/enhancement, pedestrian bridge, bird blind, historic statue restoration and native woodland plantings. The proposed trail will link a recently renovated playground with a proposed new handball court, and the new trail will connect to an extensive regional trail network.
This project will enhance economic development opportunities for the region by spurring tourism and enhancing the quality of life. It will benefit a large cross-section of the local and regional population, with a playground for children, a handball court for active sports, and the interpretive trail for anyone interested in a more passive and contemplative recreational activity. Construction documents and permits have been completed for the trail, and the project is shovel-ready.
Charles Point Park Pier: The City of Peekskill is proposing to demolish the existing pier and construct a new dock for recreational fishing and docking for debarkation/embarkation of tourism vessels. In addition, we are requesting funding to underwrite the construction of Spud Docks, which are sustainable. The Spud Dock design has a standing DEC approval. The City of Peekskill has many historically significant structures, vibrant museums such as the Peekskill Museum, Lincoln Depot, Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, which attract tourism groups and visitors. In addition, the city has undergone an artistic renaissance with many artists, (art, dance, design, music, performance) relocating to Peekskill and creating new commercial and retail opportunities. Tourism has become a significant economic development generator for Peekskill. The new Charles Point Pier will have a structural life for 50 years as the corresponding activities will contribute to the long-term viability for this municipality.
Lower South Street Drainage and Street Relocation: The City of Peekskill is proposing to construct a storm water drainage system for the Lower South Street totaling 54.3 acres. Currently, the runoff from the watershed flows towards the intersection of Lower South Street and Welcher Avenue. Eventually, the runoff seeps under the raised tracks of the Metro North Railroad and into the Hudson River. During moderate to heavy rains, substantial flooding occurs. In addition, there is need to widen Lower South Street to allow for redevelopment of the site. This initiative is an essential component for the redevelopment of 25 acres of former industrial parcels into a commercial/retail projects. The close proximity to Route 9 with exist providing ingress and egress, makes this site idea for commercial, (back office, technology general office) retail and institutional uses, which are job generators, estimated between 250 to 1000 new jobs. Lower South Street is consistent with state policy in revitalizing the urban core, reducing sprawl and creating job opportunities.
Requests for bond financing:
Central Fire Station: This application seeks bond financing for construction of the Central Fire Station. This facility will be constructed at the southwest corner of Main Street. The current facilities are inadequate; consequently the construction of a new central fire station will address or alleviate problems and concerns with the City of Peekskill’s four existing fire stations. Once the Central Fire Station is constructed and operational, the city will market four of the existing firehouses for redevelopment, consistent with our policies for adaptive reuse. The new fire station will create new redevelopment opportunities, employment at these sites.
Green Holiday Inn Express: A private developer will submit a gap financing application to complete a LEED Hotel in the City of Peekskill. The Green Holiday Inn Express is a 72-room facility that provides hotel accommodations for business and tourism clients. Tourism has become a significant economic development generator for the City of Peekskill. There are four cultural institutions, the Peekskill Museum, Lincoln Depot Museum, Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art and Paramount Theater who will benefit from this development. Currently, there is only one motel facility with fifty- three rooms, which cannot keep up with the demand for business travel, tourism and nightlife. The City of Peekskill is promoting itself as a stop for excursion boats along the Hudson River. This would be a multi-modal transportation option. The hotel will employ 25 individuals from the City of Peekskill and the owner has committed to work with local service agencies for hiring low and moderate individuals. This project has the potential to be a major economic driver for the City of Peekskill.
Editor's Note: The City of Peekskill did not ask for $800 million worth of funding, it submitted applications for underwriting from a fund of $785.0 million. The article has been changed to correct our original error. We regret the mistake.