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Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Announces Green Streetscape Enhancements to Revitalize Canandaigua's Downtown Business District

(May 29, 2012)

Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Announces Green Streetscape Enhancements to Revitalize Canandaigua's Downtown Business District

The Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council and Matthew Driscoll, President and CEO of the Environmental Facilities Corporation today joined Canandaigua officials to tour a three-block downtown area in the city’s business district and review design plans for the site, which will be transformed through green streetscape enhancements.

“This is great news for the City of Canandaigua and its businesses,” said Danny Wegman, CEO of Wegmans Food Markets and Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Co-chair. “By addressing much-needed infrastructure improvements and creating a more visually inviting business district the area will see more visitors, and customers, to provide a boost to the local economy.”

“The ‘Green Grant’ program will help Canandaigua’s business district get an environmentally friendly facelift that will increase economic activity and visitors to the city,” said Joel Seligman, President of the University of Rochester and Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Co-chair. “When businesses are doing better, our communities are the biggest winner as there are more job and economic opportunities that improve the quality of life for residents.”

Canandaigua’s Main Street Improvement project will utilize green infrastructure practices, including the installation of permeable concrete pavers and the planting of bio-retention gardens and 40 street trees, to rehabilitate and re-landscape South Main Street.

After touring the proposed site and reviewing design plans, EFC President Driscoll presented City of Canandaigua Mayor Ellen Polimeni with a ceremonial check for $385,000 on behalf of the FLREDC and EFC. Last year, a total of $785 million, including $20 million in “Green Innovation Grants,” was awarded statewide through Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s regional economic development initiative.

Mayor Ellen Polimeni said, “Canandaigua is indeed fortunate to be the recipient of EFC’s generous grant. This is definitely a win-win project for our city. EFC’s Green Innovation Grant Program will help us address our infrastructure needs and enhance the beauty of our central business district. With the help of EFC, this will be a quality project which will support our ‘greening initiatives’ and enhance our business district.”

The project, upon completion, will not only improve the aesthetic appeal of Canandaigua’s city center, but will assist in protecting the Canandaigua Lake Watershed, and ultimately Canandaigua Lake, from stormwater runoff.

Canandaigua was one of 27 communities selected for a “Green Grant” as part of the Regional Economic Development Initiative created by Governor Cuomo. The $385,000 grant for Canandaigua comes from EFC’s Green Innovation Grant Program, an award-winning incubator program that provides grants on a competitive basis to projects that improve water quality and demonstrate green infrastructure in New York State.

“Today’s grant from the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council represents an important investment in Canandaigua’s downtown business district,” said President Driscoll. “The city, by utilizing this form of sustainable infrastructure, will not only revitalize and beautify the area but encourage business investment and growth in the area.”

Canandaigua previously received a $38,000 green grant to support the rehabilitation of the Antis Street Parking Lot. Thanks to GIGP funding, the City was able to integrate bio-retention areas and improve stormwater drainage, providing substantial water quality treatment to the existing 0.8 acre municipal parking lot and 1.1 acres of surrounding drainage area.

The city will also replace an existing clay storm sewer pipe that is in poor condition and located directly below a portion of the proposed project, eliminating current infiltration and inflow caused by sediments entering the pipe and discharging into the lake. The replacement of the clay storm sewer will be done in conjunction with the overall Main Street Improvement project but will not be financed with funding from outside contributors.

Project construction is anticipated to begin in the spring of 2013 and is expected to be completed in the fall of that year. Total project costs include an investment of $200,000 from the city. Plans for the Main Street improvements can be seen here.

Governor Cuomo recently announced that up to $750 million in economic development resources will be awarded through a second round of the Regional Economic Development Council initiative to support economic development projects, strategic plan implementation and job creation across the state. The second round will focus on implementation of each region's strategic plan and identifying and investing in locally significant priority projects.

To learn more about each regional council and their economic development plans, visit