Dunkirk DRI planners want public input

OBSERVER Photo by M.J. Stafford Dunkirk Planning and Development Director Vince DeJoy gave updates on the city’s $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative Monday.

What should Dunkirk do with $10 million? Officials will ask the public in the next few days, as efforts get underway to plan projects using the state’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) award.

Thursday’s season-opening Music on the Pier event will feature a tent where people can go to scrawl down ideas. There will be a more formal public input meeting Tuesday, June 13 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Dunkirk High School cafeteria.

Dunkirk Planning and Development Director Vince DeJoy offered an update about the city’s DRI plans Monday during a meeting of the city Common Council’s Economic Development Committee.

DeJoy said there will be six meetings on the Dunkirk DRI, run by the project’s state-assigned consultant. Three of the meetings — the first of which was Thursday — are discussions among the project’s new committee and don’t really allow for public interaction, he said, although they are open to anyone to attend.

However, the other three meetings, starting with Tuesday’s, are specifically for the public and their comments about what Dunkirk should do with the $10 million of DRI funds.

“We’re really going to be looking for more robust community input,” DeJoy said.

He continued that it will be about a “four to five month planning process” before the state gets proposed projects. Once Dunkirk’s DRI committee submits a strategic investment plan, officials in Albany will decide who gets the $10 million. Project announcements are expected from the state in the first quarter of 2024.

DeJoy also announced that Dunkirk’s DRI effort now has its own informational website, dunkirkdri.com.

As for the public input sessions that start Tuesday, he expects “a good slice of the community coming out and letting their thoughts be known.”


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