Missing out on $10 million

Dunkirk was on the sidelines for the second year in a row when it came to Western New York’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative.

This year’s winner, announced last Friday, was the city of Olean in Cattaraugus County. “People are not going to recognize Olean in a few years,” Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul said at the announcement, according to the Olean Times Herald. “It will transform downtown. It will help people rediscover the importance of downtown.”

Residents who have been to Olean lately understand the city is going through a minor rebirth. Its downtown still seems quite vibrant and the city still has some energy.

That’s exactly what Dunkirk needs now — especially with Brooks Memorial Hospital leaving its site at Sixth Street and Central Avenue in the coming years.

Last year, New York state awarded Jamestown the $10 million for its downtown. It almost seemed highly unlikely two cities from Chautauqua County would win in consecutive years.

That being said, from what we heard from area officials, Dunkirk’s plan was very competitive and included a piece that was connected with Fredonia. That’s a start toward better relations for the two municipalities.

Now, we wait to see if the county is the big $20 million winner on its regionalism initiative that it is in the running for with five other entities.

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