Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks in Geneva

“Congratulations — You won $10 million dollars.”Those were the words spoken by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo as he announced that Geneva was a $10 million grant winner in his Downtown Revitalization initiative. Geneva City Manager Matt Horn said that this announcement was the culmination of “several small steps,” which he said blossomed into something major. More than 100 plans for downtown revitalization were put forward, with Geneva emerging as one of the chosen locations for the $10 million prize associated with it. Cuomo’s $100 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative was what his administration called a comprehensive approach to transform communities ripe for development into vibrant neighborhoods where growth would be fostered.Both Horn and Cuomo said that a priority was eliminating the barriers between downtown Geneva and Seneca Lake. “You have such a beautiful spot here. I hope you remember it and never take it for granted,” Cuomo said to the packed room.The winners were selected by New York’s Regional Economic Development Councils, who worked closely with the the Geneva City Council. Horn and Cuomo said that if it were not for the dedication and efforts of City Council that the plan today wouldn’t exist, and this funding would not be possible for the City of Geneva.“It takes money to make money,” explained Cuomo. He talked about the gap that existed for years between Downstate and Upstate New York, which some believe still exists today. Cuomo said that without a partner in Albany, funding opportunities like this were not possible in Upstate New York. He says that this is a start when it comes to mending broken trust and a system that had historically not done the region justice.Geneva’s 4th Ward City Councilor Ken Camera told FingerLakes1.com after the event that “This was a team effort that has been in the making for many years, but was recently coordinated under the leadership of Matt Horn with the assistant of key business and community leaders and regular residents of the City of Geneva.”He went on to point out that, “I think that our multi-cultural community and the quality of our application were very big pluses in the competition for these funds. The Governor and his advisers are smart people and in the end they put their money on the best horse in upstate — Geneva, New York.”Cuomo closed his remarks by pointing out that contests like this are derived to get municipalities, counties, and entire regions working together. Senator Nozzolio backed up that sentiment pointing out that the entire region benefits from communities and people that work together.Check out the entire event, which was held at the Geneva Lakefront Events Center.

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