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After several attempts, Fulton wins $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative

Tom Magnarelli
WRVO Public Media
Fulton's DRI "dream team," as they affectionately refer to themselves.

After four years of trying, the city of Fulton has finally won $10 million in funding from the state’s annual Downtown Revitalization Initiative competition. Fulton’s application seeks to use the funding to create jobs, strengthen infrastructure and enhance its waterfront and cultural experiences.

The excitement was palpable at Fulton City Hall when Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the city as one of the winners.

Dave Mankiewicz, one of Fulton's DRI team members, said the funding leverages with private investment on projects already underway.

"The state expects you to come up with projects ready to go, which means they're looking for those that have a lot of financing already in place, but is looking for that last piece that will put them over the top," Mankiewicz said. 

Fulton’s DRI team said they built on previous applications in years past, made changes and adjusted for this year. And local officials credit a two-minute testimonial video in their application for helping them win.


Projects featured in the video include expanding the library and a local urgent care center, a new coffee shop, brewpub, and continuing a multi-use trail along the Oswego River. Mankiewicz said the video distinguished themselves from other cities.

“And that was able to show the diversity of the projects and the diversity of the entrepreneurs very quickly,” Mankiewicz said. 

Other projects include upgrades to the marina, fiber-optic and WiFi and investments with manufacturers like Huhtamaki and the former Nestle's site.

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York.