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Politics and Government

Cortland will get $10M to continue downtown transformation

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo, left, presents the city of Cortland officials with a check for $10 million to improve the downtown region.

The city of Cortland has won first place in central New York prize for the state's Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) competition. The award comes with $10 million to fund projects aimed at developing the city's downtown region. That will include investments in a new gathering space for community activities, additional housing and re-imagining the city's infrastructure for the 21st century.

Mayor Brian Tobin says it builds on work already underway with the Cortland Downtown Partnership that was initially formed a decade ago.

"We have seen and we are seeing development already, but our efforts combined with this DRI award, have placed Cortland on the verge of greater success," Tobin said. "And we recognize this award as a step - a giant step - but it is a step- and we are going to continue to take these steps to improve our community."

Howard Zemsky, director of the Empire State Development Corporation, noted those improvements at the ceremony. 

"You run the whole gamut and your plan will keep more young people and attract more young people back, which is really important," Zemsky said. 

Cortland's victory comes after losing out to Oswego in the competition last year.