HUDSON — The city will receive $10 million from the state to revitalize its downtown district, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday.
Cuomo made his announcement just after noon at Hudson Hall, the historic location of Hudson’s Opera House, before a theater of about 100 local officials, business owners and residents.
“People did not know about upstate — it was the untold story,” Cuomo said, touting his administration’s I Love NY initiative. “Now we know it is working. The unemployment in this area used to be 7.1 percent, now it is 4.2 percent. Twenty million tourists visit the region each year.”
Hudson is one of 10 locations throughout the state that received the $10 million first-place award through the second round of Downtown Revitalization Initiative grants.
The city submitted its plans for the downtown area to the state in June, which would mostly affect the second ward.
“This is something Hudson needed,” 2nd Ward Alderwoman Tiffany Garriga said. “We need to fix our sidewalks. We need ramps throughout downtown to make it [Americans with Disabilities Act] compliant.
“We need housing — even though that is not something this money will go toward — it is something we need. We are a small urban area competing with a lot of larger ones. I am proud of Hudson,” Garriga said.
Assemblywoman Didi Barrett, D-106, introduced the governor hailing the state’s grant.
“This exciting investment is just the boost the historic City of Hudson needs to channel the tremendous creativity, diversity and entrepreneurial energy that characterizes this community,” Barrett said. “This process will transform Hudson into a vital, sustainable and inclusive 21st century economy — a model for the region and the state.”
Second Ward Alderman Abdus Miah had good things to say about the grant.
“I think it is great for Hudson — it was a dream for Hudson,” Miah said. “We are fighting for the dream.”
After the announcement, Mayor Tiffany Martin Hamilton said she was tearing up with joy.
“Today, we celebrate the fruits of our labor. … We made it, Hudson,” she said to the crowd. “Now, we can create more access to jobs, grow local businesses, create vocational training and upgrade our infrastructure. This is our day, Hudson.”
U.S. Rep. John Faso, R-19, said Hudson is the second location in his district to receive a DRI grant.
“The issue is always how it is implemented. If the locals implement it well, in a way that promotes growth, I am for it,” Faso said. “The state is historically slow to pay out funds. So do not expect a speedy return.”
The city’s plan includes:
n Way-finding signage to provide destinations and parking to enhance community cohesiveness.
n Free citywide Wi-Fi up to 4MBs to provide data for basic usage, such as navigation.
n Develop a districtwide arts project to reflect the neighborhood.
n Establish the city as a trades and apprenticeship innovation hub.
n Green Hudson sustainability and transportation. This could include a short solar bus and charging stations.
n Furgary Shacks Park Development site improvements for public use.
n Promenade Hill Park Gateway — establish waterfront pedestrian connectivity routes and lights.
n Dunn Warehouse — adaptive reuse for year-round public/private usage, site development, curbing, sidewalks, lighting.
n Remove Kaz warehouse for redevelopment for mixed-uses.
n Build a public pier for recreation between boat slips for passive and active use.
n Waterfront pedestrian connectivity routes and lights.
“The Columbia Economic Development Corporation is proud to have partnered with the Hudson Development Corporation, and so many other partners and stakeholders, in developing Hudson’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative plan, and we are thrilled for the opportunity to continue partnering on implementing the proposed projects,” said F. Michael Tucker, president and CEO of CEDC.
Members of the Columbia County Board of Supervisors were also present at the announcement.
“This is a big shot in the arm for Hudson,” said Fourth Ward Hudson Supervisor William Hughes Jr. “People should be excited about this.”