Fredonia Mayor announces projects from WNY Smart Growth Community Fund

Mayor Athanasia Landis has announced the projects chosen to be funded through the $2.5 million WNY Smart Growth Community Fund award.

The projects were selected by Empire State Development (ESD) and the WNY Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) based on the village’s 2018 Downtown Revitalization Initiative Proposal and are:

1) Downtown Placemaking – Project will include addition of crosswalk enhancements; underground relocation of overhead utilities; replacement of deteriorated sidewalks and curbs; new signage and lighting, additions of trees, benches and bicycle racks.

2) Improvements to the 1891 Opera House – Project will address interior and exterior issues in the historic building that could include restoration/replacement of doors and windows, renovations to the concession areas and the bathrooms, new seating, improvements to the lobby/entrance areas, as well as exterior enhancements like more lighting and a new marquee.

These projects were approved by the Empire State Development Board of Directors at their April meeting. Next steps include conceptual and schematic site planning and design work, followed by competitive bidding processes.

Construction should start later this year and be completed by the end of 2020.

Landis said, “Last fall, I was proud to announce that the village was the recipient of a $2.5 million-dollar grant through the WNY Smart Growth Community Fund. This award will build on the upgrades to Barker Common and set the stage for future downtown revitalization. The two projects will transform the heart of our business district and lay the groundwork for additional improvements. I thank New York State and out local and regional partners who helped make this possible.”

1891 Fredonia Opera House Executive Director Rick Davis said, “This project represents a tremendous opportunity for us and the whole community. It’s been 25 years since the Opera House opened following its restoration. The improvements this grant is helping to make, are not only needed, but will also help enhance the theatre’s visibility and broaden its appeal to those from outside our community making it a more enticing destination. It’s cultural tourism in action. We’re very grateful to the mayor for her work in securing the grant and to New York State for making the funds available.”