Mineola wins $4.5M state grant for downtown revitalization

Mineola wins $4.5M state grant for downtown revitalization
The Village of Mineola will receive $4,500,000 from the state as part of the N.Y. Forward Program. (Photo courtesy of the Village of Mineola

The Village of Mineola will receive a $4,500,000 grant from the state government as part of the New York Forward Program, which helps fund revitalization efforts in smaller downtowns. 

Mineola is one of three winners, alongside Brookhaven and North Bellport, announced by Gov. Kathy Hochul in Kings Park Thursday morning. 

The grant will go toward ongoing plans to revitalize the downtown area in the village through pedestrian improvements and enhancing public spaces, among other things.

Hochul was at Kings Park High School to highlight funding in her proposed budget for Long Island including improvements to housing, business and mental health services–specifically for schools. 

Included in her budget are proposals to give eligible communities access to $650,000,000 in discretionary funding to encourage adding housing.

Hochul said municipalities that have so far expressed interest are Mineola, Port Washington North, Brookhaven, Greenport, the Village of Hempstead, Patchogue and Smithtown. 

Hochul in recent years has tried to address the state’s housing shortage, which was met with strong pushback from local officials from both sides of the aisle. 

“Through the Downtown Revitalization Initiative and NY Forward, we are investing in New York’s downtowns – the heartbeat of our communities,” Hochul said. “With this funding, Smithtown-Kings Park, Brookhaven-North Bellport and Mineola will have the tools they need to reimagine their downtowns to enhance the quality of life for residents, draw visitors, and spur economic opportunity throughout their communities.” 

The governor also added that the village is planning to upgrade its storefronts, increase greenspaces and lighting “to transform into a pro-housing community.”

Mayor Paul Pereira, who was elected in 2022, thanked Hochul and her staff and said the grant will help add to the village’s work in smart growth and revitalizing downtown. 

“Mineola has served as an example to other communities as to how you can both meet housing demands on Long Island while still protecting a suburban quality of life,” Pereira said. “This award not only validates the work that the cillage has been doing for the last 20 years, but it also prepares us for the next 20 years. It will help the village better prepare its infrastructure for the continued growth and development of our downtown.”

Pereira was joined by Deputy Mayor Janine Sartori, Trustee Paul Cusato and Community Development Coordinator Paul Savino, who alongside Clerk Bryan Rivera the mayor credited with putting together the village’s application. 

Pereira has made it a priority to make the village more attractive to both businesses and residents. In December 2022, the board created two business overlay districts on Jericho Turnpike and downtown to attract more diverse proposals for development–which the village was honored for by the Long Island Smart Growth Awards last year.

Since 2010, Mineola has created 1,400 housing units and has an additional 723 units projected with proposed developments that are planned or underway, according to the village’s application. 

The Downtown Revitalization Initiative, or DRI, was created in 2016 to spur investment in downtowns and neighborhoods and help them become centers of activity. Since beginning, the program has committed to investing $700,000,000 in 69 downtowns throughout ten regions in the state. 

The New York Forward Program works in conjunction with DRI and is more focused on smaller downtowns and rural areas throughout the state. 

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