Saranac Lake competes for $10M downtown revitalization grant

SARANAC LAKE, N.Y. (WCAX) For the third year, the state of New York is offering $10 million grants to update and rebuild downtowns around the state.

Saranac Lake hopes to cash in on that program and has been planning for months.

"We really want to make sure that visitors have the same experience as residents do," said Jamie Konkoski, the Saranac Lake Community Development director.

This is the second year the village of Saranac Lake will put its name in the running for Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Downtown Revitalization Initiative Grant.

"With the award comes approximately $10 million and a lot of assistance from the state in planning and implementing projects and coming up with strategic investment plan for how the grant fund will leverage private investment in downtown," Konkoski said.

Village leaders have already come up with an outline and plan on ways to spruce up the historic downtown.

"More businesses, fill vacant storefronts," Konkoski said. "But then there's also the public realm, so the public spaces, our streets, our parks and our streetscapes and making sure that it's an inviting place."

A lot of the initiative came from the reopening of the Hotel Saranac at the beginning of the year.

"That's something that's really caused a lot of excitement. There's sort of a new spirit of hopefulness in the village because of that and a lot of really great new projects that are underway," said Amy Catania of Historic Saranac Lake, a nonprofit organization.

Historic Saranac Lake also has a few new projects in mind. They hope to use some of the grant money to expand their laboratory museum. The museum focuses on Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau and his work with tuberculosis. The building they hope to buy and expand in was Trudeau's home right next-door.

"We have a need for more space for museum exhibits, a better retail store, more museum collections," Catania said.

The village has until June 1 to submit their application.