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Auburn Downtown Revitalization Imitative study area

A map outlining the boundaries for where Downtown Revitalization Initiative projects can be placed in Auburn. 

AUBURN — Two city-backed Downtown Revitalization Initiative projects await their official support by Auburn's city council before the projects' plans are delivered to the state in the DRI Strategic Investment Plan. 

Once received, the state will review the investment plan, ultimately trimming from $13.5 million to just under $10 million. This means that all of the 18 DRI projects are up for review. Some will have to be cut. 

Next week, council will vote to support creating a State Street event plaza and a shared public services facility. The event plaza, a project requesting $1 million in DRI funds, and the public services facility, which is requesting $1.2 million, are still seeking additional funding to cover their overall costs. 

In a memo sent March 7 to the council by Christina Selvek, Auburn's director of capital projects and grants, said a resolution passed by the council would "reaffirm the city's need and request for NYS aid to complete these projects."

If completed, the State Street event plaza would convert a vacant lot into a public common area to host community activities. The public services facility, which would be placed near the corner of Nelson and Seminary streets, would house Auburn's fire department, an emergency operations center and an emergency management office. 

Also among the 18 DRI project proposals is a plan to create a $600,000 small project grant fund. Selvek said Thursday at a council meeting that she believes the Auburn Local Development Corporation will be the project's lead agency.

Pipeline projects — projects that requested DRI funding but fell short of the trip to Albany — could apply for funding through the small grant fund if they are small enough. 

Selvek said the state's final list of DRI projects could be announced as soon as June and no later than July. 

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Staff writer Dan Orzechowski can be reached at (315) 282-2239 or dan.orzechowski@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @OrzechowskiDan.

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City government reporter