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DIFFERENCE MAKER: Development director helping Dunkirk change

Rebecca Yanus

City of Dunkirk Director of Development and Planning Rebecca Yanus has succeeded in changing the landscape of Dunkirk since she stepped into the role in September 2016. She hit the ground running within the first two weeks applying for two different grants

Under her leadership, the city has received several grants such as the $2.5 million in Smart Growth funding for pier and bike path improvements and the “Central Connection,” which will bring together the city, SUNY Fredonia and the village of Fredonia and a $50,000 grant from the New York State Department of Transportation to create a more pedestrian-friendly crosswalk at the intersection of Central Avenue and Lake Shore Drive.

Yanus was instrumental in bringing about the Wright Park Improvements Project at the Lakeside Pavilion, which included the splash pad, pickleball courts, futsal courts, improved basketball courts and additional amenities provided at the newly renovated pavilion.

And she hasn’t slowed down yet. Just this year Yanus was involved in helping the city gain $49,500 from the Department of Environmental Conservation for the city-wide tree inventory, which will provide funding for the city to conduct an assessment of public trees and to create a community forestry management plan. She also helped land $100,000 from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets for the purchase of the building next to the future dog park on Main Street. That facility will not only be a vast improvement to the current one, but will also be able to hold more animals and possibly aid neighboring municipalities.

Right now Yanus has been working to put a new Comprehensive Plan together for the city, gearing up for the redesign of the city’s pier as well as serving on the Brooks Reuse Committee and revitalizing the Dunkirk Local Development Corporation.

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