Transformational investments in physical and human capital within the City of Troy to support lasting, long-term, and citywide growth
TROY N.Y. (Nov. 30, 2021) – The City of Troy has announced the proposal of $13.6 million to support a variety of City projects and initiatives via the American Rescue Plan Act, the third round of funding through the Troy Now Initiative.
These Troy Now investments will support significant investments in revitalizing the City’s parks and recreational infrastructure, business and workforce development efforts, increasing home ownership, expanding youth programming, fostering tourism, and invigorating public art projects.
The funding appropriations are recommended by the ARPA Steering Committee and are pending approval by the City Council on Dec. 2, 2021.
“The latest round of stimulus funds from the American Rescue Plan will help build a new foundation for our City’s economic recovery,” said Troy Mayor Patrick Madden. “Over $13 million in neighborhood-level projects will be funded through the ‘Troy Now’ program for upgrades to our parks, pools, city facilities and emergency response capacity. These funds will also support existing human service programs like childcare, youth services, food access, education, homeownership assistance, and other community development initiatives. We are excited to partner with Hudson Valley Community College, TRIP, the Troy Housing Authority, the Troy Community Land Bank, and Habitat for Humanity on these vital projects, and extend our continued thanks to President Biden, Senate Majority Leader Schumer, Senator Gillibrand, Congressman Tonko and our federal partners for approving this transformative economic recovery program that will help communities like Troy build back better.”
“As I’ve stated many times, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for our City. Residents have mentioned to me the desire to use these federal funds to improve our neighborhoods, parks, infrastructure, youth programs and other initiatives while building a foundation for growth and opportunity,” said Troy City Council President Carmella Mantello. “I’m particularly excited about working with our residents and stakeholders implementing these proposed neighborhood transformational projects such as; the Knickerbacker Pool in Lansingburgh, North Central Community Center, City-Wide Home Improvement Program for facades, sidewalks, HVAC and other renovations, Parks Capital Improvements, and a Business Assistance Program. Additionally, these funds will address our immediate ambulance and firefighter staffing issues while seeking a long-term permanent solution. This is all about building a foundation for future generations, and I look forward to working with our residents and businesses on additional recommendations for specific Troy Now projects.”
“This investment of tens of millions of dollars into our City’s neighborhoods, infrastructure, and economy is the single most impactful effort that I have ever had the pleasure of participating in,” said Ken Zalewski, Troy City Council President Pro Tempore. “These funds are allowing us to move forward on a variety of projects that we have been talking about for years, including a community center in the North Central neighborhood, a state-of-the-art pool in the Knickerbacker Park, a restoration and reuse of the American Theater, and home improvement and home ownership programs throughout the entire city. While I will be moving on to serve on the County Legislature next year, I am honored to be able to lay the groundwork for these allocations, and I thank Mayor Madden for giving me the opportunity to participate in this exciting and transformational endeavor.”
The ARPA Steering Committee is currently comprised of Mayor Madden, City Council President Mantello, Council President Pro Tempore Ken Zalewski, Deputy Mayor Monica Kurzejeski, and City Comptroller Andrew Piotrowski.
The funding appropriations include the following:
o Coordination with CHA, Knickerbacker Association, Planning, Parks and Engineering will coordinate the final construction documents. Anticipate bidding early 2022 with construction to start summer of 2022. Remaining $6,000,000 will be allocated in the second tranche in early 2022 to complete the project.
o Coordination with CHA, Knickerbacker Association, Planning, Parks and Engineering will coordinate the final construction documents and start construction in the spring of 2022. Additional funding to complete more projects on plan put forward by the Planning Department in the fall of 2021. A second round of funding will be allocated in early 2022 with the second tranche.
o In conjunction with Hudson Valley Community College, this funding will set up an education fund to assist Troy residents in seeking education and betterment opportunities. In those conversations it was highlighted that some of the obstacles to education aren’t necessarily the tuition costs, but other situational costs such as living expenses while going to school full time, certification costs, daycare costs, books and transportation. It is desired to have this fund be able to assist residents in these types of costs based on need in addition to any tuition costs that aren’t covered through other scholarship opportunities.
o Economic Development: $1,000,000
The first is a citywide business investment program including preferred investment initiatives in Lansingburgh, South Troy and the Hillside neighborhoods. This investment would be focused on investing in capital improvements to buildings and rental spaces instead of on operational or equipment costs. Not only would this bring needed investment and improvement in these “tipping point” neighborhoods but it would ensure that the investment stayed in the neighborhoods by bettering the buildings versus the equipment or operational needs of the business itself. The investment could outlast the tenant.
It is anticipated that this committee would consist of the Troy Local Development Corporation, the Rensselaer County Chamber, the Black and Latino Chamber of Commerce, Troy Business Collaborative, the Downtown Troy BID and Council members within the targeted districts. This is a program that will have tremendous community outreach to our business and entrepreneurial community through targeted marketing and community surveys.
o American Theatre: $1,000,000
The last funding program is to cover the lost funding for the American Theatre project by Proctors Collaborative in downtown. This has been a long coming project for the City of Troy that results in an economic ripple through sales tax, employment, tourism and an additional cultural amenity for the residents and visitors to the city.
o The City is working on the North Central Community Investment Project; a partnership with Troy Community Land Bank and Habitat for Humanity. The larger plan for North Central includes coordination with Troy Housing Authority; but for the purposes of funding through ARPA, the PILOT program is being developed with our Land Bank and Habitat for Humanity. This initiative is focused on affordable homeownership opportunities through Habitat for Humanity but also focuses on BIPOC contractors, workforce development and neighborhood improvement through the Legacy City program. There are two blocks of funding for this program over the two years – the first being for the North Central Community and the second for another location either in Lansingburgh or South Troy.
o Expansion of Lansingburgh Strong Initiative – $500,000
The City is seeking to work with TRIP on their current initiative in Lansingburgh to expand that program offering to offer more neighborhood investment.
o Home/Property Investment – $1,000,000
This program will need community outreach to determine what exactly the community wants to invest in. These funds would be allocated to be used by the residents before the end of 2024. TRIP was selected as an administrator so that residents of all economic groups could benefit from the funding.
o Recreational Sports are integral to a healthy neighborhood. Their work is often overlooked in providing balance to families but also to what the city has to offer its families and neighborhoods as amenities. Being able to provide additional funding to our VRYOT programs for capital improvements or to cover registration fees for youth will provide much needed funding for improving the quality of these organizations and our youth. ($110,000)
o The city is committed to providing a large sum of funding toward the development of a community center in North Central. Ideally this center will be owned and operated by a third party and serve the needs of the families and youth of this integral neighborhood. Community outreach in this district will be critical. Making sure that the residents are heard from that would utilize this facility is imperative to determine where, what and how that is completed. An advisory group consisting of Youth Bureau, third-party administrator, City Council member from this district, school district representatives, two youth and two parents from this district will be created. ($1,000,000)
o Youth/Family Programming initiatives will be augmented over a four year period with funding set aside for family/youth trips; community outreach to build programming; recreation clubs; parent groups and other programming that might be desired. An advisory group made up of our Youth Program Specialists, Parks Supervisor, Outside Youth Programs (for collaboration), city youth, parents, and the school districts will be created to make sure that the best opportunities are presented that doesn’t conflict or overlap with existing programs. ($200,000)
o As the pandemic has shown, the results have created havoc with the school attendance and day care systems due to testing requirements, remote work changes and education changes. Whether less daycare offerings, a need for flexible care options or a need for existing daycares to offset losses due to the pandemic, this funding allocation can be used for incentivizing new centers and to create more flexible options to allow for changes in work or education schedules. This is another program that will need outreach through our marketing efforts and collaboration among the existing providers as well as our business and education community to provide challenges and work on solutions.
o Food deserts are a known issue in Troy. It is something that is actively being worked on through various means including a change in the zoning to create more food access opportunities throughout our neighborhoods. This allocation of this funding begins to address those issues at the street level through corner store initiatives, food delivery options, a Produce Project for Lansingburgh and through expansion of our Capital Roots partner home site and the addition of Bargain Grocery store into a neighborhood that has been in need of this service for decades.
o Funding to complete a review of the TFD operations to make recommendations on the best way forward to operate the department. ($300,000)
o Fire Department Overtime costs to provide a dedicated Ambulance unit to the city of Troy for 10 hours per day, seven days a week for up to a year. Evaluation of the services and call volume will be completed throughout the funding period. ($536,000)
o The relocation of the Lansingburgh Firehouse has been under consideration as of late. This funding will provide monies to purchase a possible alternative site and the funds necessary to complete the construction documents to begin work on the house. ($1,000,000)
o The Troy Local Development Corporation owns the site of the “Alamo”. The city is looking to purchase this site from the LDC and make infrastructure improvements so that the resource and recycling center can operate optimally as it continues to grow in use. ($250,000)
o The Comptroller’s Office has requested GASB funding for the asset plan for the city for several years. This is often noted in our budget and audit reviews and needs to be completed for accounting purposes. ($250,000)
o It is no secret that Troy loves its art whether it is through sculptures, murals, lighting or street painting. To ensure that all neighborhoods are represented in receiving this cultural amenity funding is proposed through ARPA that will be educational, a workforce development opportunity, enhance neighborhoods and also provide a cultural amenity in our neighborhoods.
o The City is fortunate to have a local partner in the Arts Center that has partnered with us to create a Master Public Art Plan to ensure that art is looked at holistically, inclusively and creatively to afford the best experience. The funding allocations provide monies to the Arts Center for that work. ($100,000 – first round)
o As the largest public art project in the city, The Uniting Line is just finishing its first phase of the project which was the painting of the piers. The second and third phase of the project will include lighting and place making for the site. Funding will be provided to ensure that these remaining phases are completed as intended as this is a major connectivity project for our neighborhoods. ($150,000 – first round)
o Tourism not only provides an opportunity to Enjoy Troy for visitors but also for our residents. It creates an additional revenue source for the city and employment opportunities for our residents. Sometimes it is in creating an atmosphere to showcase our community; providing events for our residents and visitors; and providing opportunity through new adventures like the film industry and others. This programming will be done through partnerships with the Rensselaer County Chamber, Troy Local Development Corporation, the Downtown Troy BID, the Knickerbacker Association and others that will be identified. ($320,000)
o Our cultural institutions are integral to the city of Troy. It is well known that they suffered greatly through the pandemic with loss of grant funding, revenues, programming and of course donor support. While many of them took advantage of the business programs that were providing relief during COVID, some of the education and capital program funding that was lost we’d like to provide funding opportunities to replace that lost funding. Exposure to arts and culture is imperative to create a well-rounded community and provide opportunity to arts and culture for everyone. ($500,000)
For more information and updates about the Troy Now Initiative, visit troynow.org.