Applications for the 2023 Round of the Suffolk County Downtown Revitalization Grant Program are now available. In total, $500,000 are available for partial funding of capital projects located in, or adjacent to, downtown areas on municipally-owned property.
The Suffolk County Downtown Revitalization Citizens Advisory Panel will select the award recipients following what officials are calling a competitive application process.
This year marks the 21st year of the program, which has provided funding to 300 projects supporting revitalization efforts in communities across Suffolk County since 1997. In total, over $12.5 million in funds have been granted to Downtown Revitalization initiatives.
Applications for this year’s program are due by 4:00pm on Wednesday, May 17,.
“Over the years, the Downtown Revitalization Program has paved the way for transformational change in our region’s downtowns,” County Executive Steve Bellone said in a statement.
“As it enters its third decade, the Downtown Revitalization continues to be a central program of our Connect Long Island plan by supporting placemaking, walkability and beautification of our central business districts,” he added.
Eligible applicants are organizations that represent a downtown area and that partner with their local municipality. Organizations that represent downtown areas including business improvement districts, chambers of commerce, civic associations, historical societies, beautification societies, and local development corporations are eligible applicants. Towns or villages that partner with a community organization are required to pass resolutions supporting the project on which the two entities partner. Projects must be capital in nature and have a significant and sustainable impact that enhances economic activity.
Projects eligible for grants include public parking facilities, curb and sidewalk construction, pedestrian walkways, street lighting, public restrooms, disabled accessibility, renovations to existing structures and cultural facilities. The criteria for eligible projects include that the project must be a capital improvement project, funding request must be at least $10,000, the organization must partner with a municipality and be located on municipally-owned property in or adjacent to a downtown and the project lifespan must be at least 15 years.
In 2022, Suffolk awarded $500,000 in funding to 15 organizations for such projects as streetscape improvements, pedestrian enhancements, way-finding signage, downtown lighting and a historic clock. A pool of $500,000 was made available to partially fund qualified capital projects.
The Downtown Revitalization Citizens Advisory Panel incorporates a point system to evaluate each application to ensure projects that receive funding will make the greatest contribution to the long-term improvement of local downtowns and have a positive economic impact on Suffolk County as a whole. The application and guidelines can be found on the Suffolk County Downtown Revitalization website.