An architect's sketch of the Bear Fountain intersection in Geneseo includes a sidewalk café area to the west, reinforced curbs to the east and improved crosswalks.
Village of Geneseo
Village announces Main Street grant winners
The winners of a 75-25 New York State matching grant program administered by the Livingston County Office of Economic Development for Geneseo’s Main Street were revealed at Monday’s village board meeting.
The grant committee comprised of Ben Gajewski, David Woods, Rosanne Mayo, Bonnie Swanson and Tom Wilson reviewed and evaluated applications totaling $706,000 in requests. Proposals were scored based upon visual impact, owner’s investment, potential for job creation, modesty (that is, under $5,000 in cost — to spread the funding around) and early interest in the program (which assisted Geneseo in securing the grant).
The 12 winners, who will share the $344,500 available for the private component of the project, were announced Monday:
• 109 Main Street (Greg O’Connell, owner ), The Cuttery, Cycle Craze, Quinlan’s Medical Supply.
• 114 Main Street (Rocco Dragani, owner), Stage Coach Florist, University Hots and 1 residential unit.
• 116 Main Street (Rocco Dragani, owner), US Marine Corps, Livingston County Democrats and 3 residential units.
• 118 Main Street (Rocco Dragani, owner), Kerry’s Cut Above, B&D Art & Framing and 1 residential unit.
• 127 Main Street (Marcia Podhorecki, owner) NOT DOT Shop, Office Products, Shear FX and 2 residential units.
• 4 Center Street (Dawn Aprile, owner) Rivera Theater and 2 residential units, improvements include asbestos abatement and new roof.
• 4 South Street (William Wadsworth, owner) Wadsworth Homestead, improvements include repairs to plaster and moldings, conversion of space for bathrooms, enclosing east porch for storage, upgrade of bathhouse to include restrooms.
• 53 Main Street (Eric Rasmussen, owners) Muddy Waters Cafe.
• 65 Main Street (Angela Kaplan, owner) Touch of Grayce.
• 82 Main Street (Sharon Miceli, owner) Miceli’s Deli.
• 90 Main Street (Neal Moynihan, owner) Geneseo Store and 2 residential units.
• 97 Main Street (Mark Scoville, owner) Art Nook, Family Barber and 2 residential units.
The commercial building improvements relate to awnings, flower boxes, facade modification and repair, windows, eavestroughs, roofs, furnaces, interior remodeling, lighting, and signs. The maximum allowed grant contribution is $50,000 per individual facade and $25,000 per residential unit.
The proposal awards have received approval of the grant committee, village board and village code office, but still await approval by the Village of Geneseo Planning Board and State Office of Historic Preservation. The improvements have been reviewed to meet standards for renovation outlined in the official village manual (which, for example, forbids use of vinyl siding as inappropriate to historic restoration.)
Costs for any new construction and all sales tax must be borne 100 percent by the property owners. There are a total of 10 facade improvements and 11 residential unit improvements awarded out of a respective 25 and 15 application requests.
As the projects get underway — probably beginning sometime in August — they will be monitored by Julie Marshall of the Livingston County IDA for compliance with historic and construction standards.
Similar projects have been accomplished in the villages of Mount Morris, Lima and Dansvillle and another is about to get underway in Avon.
Another $44,000 from the same grant program has been made available to the Village of Geneseo for public improvements to the streetscape. This is full funding, not the 75-25 match provided for private owners.
Architect Dave Matthews, at the direction of the village board, has sketched a proposal for concentrating the improvements in the heart of the downtown commercial district, surrounding the Bear Fountain.
The most prominent feature in Matthews’ plan is widened sidewalks facing three sides of the fountain. The expanded sidewalk in front of the Bank Street Cafe and Grill, Aunt Cookies and Miceli’s Deli will allow room for outdoor tables and chairs.
Matthews’ plan further enhances the fountain neighborhood with brick or stamped concrete crosswalks, freestanding planters, benches, an information kiosk with map and MP3 tour downloading, bicycle racks, period lamp posts, street sign replacements and building murals.
Everything is probably not accomplishable within the $44,000 funding, but principal features, including the widened sidewalks, could be built. The remaining features would persist in a longer term plan.
There is no loss of permanent parking places in the plan. Trustee Bob Wilcox advised that the cafe tables and chairs be of quality construction and appearance and “not cheap plastic.”