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January 16, 2014

Cooperstown wins state funding for project

Staff Report
Cooperstown Crier

---- — Cooperstown’s downtown and Oneonta’s Neahwa Park will see improvements, thanks to state funding announced Wednesday. 

More than $2 million total has been awarded by the state to the two projects in Otsego County in funding to enhance bicycle, pedestrian and path projects, a media release from the governor’s office said.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that about $67 million for 63 projects will encourage tourism and economic development opportunities across the state. The projects include the addition of accessible sidewalks, improved pedestrian access to public transportation services, construction of bicycle and pedestrian facilities and the preservation and conversion of abandoned railroad corridors for trail use, the release said.

The Cooperstown Downtown Streetscape and Pedestrian Improvements project was awarded $1,761,200, and the Neahwa Park Entrance Improvements project was awarded $227,692, the release said. The Otsego County projects were among five awards totaling about $4 million in the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council area.

Project funds are made available to the state through the Federal Highway Administration and are administered by the state Department of Transportation. The funds cover 80 percent of the cost of each project, with the remaining 20 percent coming from the project sponsor.

With the local match, the projects will support a total investment of $96.5 million, the release said. Projects were selected through a competitive process and rated on established criteria, such as environmental enhancement for transportation systems, impact on local or regional economies, availability of matching funds and level of community support.

“We are modernizing New York state’s transportation system while making it safer,” Cuomo said in his release. “These projects will provide new tourism and recreational opportunities for New Yorkers and visitors. We will continue to upgrade New York’s infrastructure to expand tourism and economic development while improving our communities.”