Johnson City awarded $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative funding
The Village of Johnson City will receive several million dollars from New York state to revitalize its downtown, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Wednesday.
Hochul made the surprise announcement during a presentation of her state budget proposal, in which she also announced several million dollars in funding for the villages of Waverly and Montour Falls.
The $10 million comes from the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, giving local leaders a chance to designate funding for projects proposed by various businesses, organizations and the village itself.
Hochul said she hopes it will help leverage new opportunities posed by the promise of lithium ion battery manufacturing in the region as well as the expansion of Binghamton University’s health sciences campus in Johnson City.
"You're positioned in such a great place to take advantage of the new investments that are coming to this area and continuing to transition from a working class, low-tech manufacturing community to high-tech manufacturing,” Hochul said. “There's so many possibilities here and you have the space and you have the desire and the citizenry. You have really informed and engaged citizens who live in this community who really care a lot."
Over the next few months a committee will be assembled to review proposals from the community, which will ultimately go to final approval from the state.
While in Broome County, Hochul also stopped at Just Breathe, the first legal retail marijuana dispensary in New York outside Manhattan, which opened in Binghamton earlier this month.
Visited Just Breathe in Binghamton, the first legal cannabis dispensary in the Southern Tier!— Governor Kathy Hochul (@GovKathyHochul) February 22, 2023
I’m proud that New York is building the nation's most equitable and inclusive cannabis industry, and we’ll keep working in communities across the state to help it grow. pic.twitter.com/y9OoB3uan0
Hochul was asked by WSKG if she would be supporting the new local business.
"Not today, I've got other purchases to make, but I'm going to drop by and I just want them to be successful," Hochul said. "There are other shops that pop up that are not selling legal products. There's a big difference in terms of safety and quality and that's a message that we can use getting out as well."
Officials at the state level and in some municipalities are making an effort to crack down on stores that are selling marijuana products without a license.
New York legalized adult-use recreational marijuana sales in early 2021, but the process of administering licenses to retailers has only happened over the past few months. Lawsuits are also keeping new stores open in some regions of the state.