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Joint Public Statement Regarding NYS Governor’s NY Forward Grant Award

On Tuesday, February 21, 2023, the Town of Cornwall and Village of Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York were notified by the Governor’s Office that our community was to be awarded a $4.5 million grant -- part of the NY Forward program. With the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University in White Plains, NY as the backdrop, the supervisor and mayor were presented with a “check” that represents New York State’s commitment to the Hudson Valley region.

Beginning in early Fall of 2022, the town and village became aware of the opportunity to receive considerable state funding to help move our communities forward and improve resident and visitor experiences alike. Both of our elected bodies immediately collaborated throughout an extensive application process that involved a delicate rendering of Cornwall’s quaint, historically-significant firmament, while recognizing the ever-evolving growth and progress in our community.

Governor Hochul announced the establishment of the NY Forward program with the intent to “invigorate and enliven downtowns in New York’s smaller and rural communities – the type of downtowns found in villages, hamlets and other small, neighborhood-scale municipal centers.” This program was tailormade for Cornwall and Cornwall-on-Hudson. With this in mind, Steven Jones (visionary chair of the Cornwall Economic Development Advisory Committee) and Jason Burnham (longtime Cornwallian and master polling/survey instrument guru) were conscripted to fashion a workable plan to ignite interest and determine the community’s “pulse” as to how/where funds should best be expended if we were lucky enough to be awarded the grant. This project would never have achieved success without the energy, enthusiasm, and drive of both Steve and Jason.

No grant application has a chance to achieve success without an experienced application oversight team. Steve Densmore and his accomplished corps of experts in the public relations and grant-writing realm at Choice Words were indeed a portion of the margin of victory. The tiny financial “seed money” investment made by the village and the town for their services paid off big in blessed dividends here.

A final deserved, public “thank you” is owed to our loyal, local elected leaders and community stakeholders. Awards from New York State do not happen without support from elected officials. Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney, State Senator James Skoufis, Assemblyman Colin J. Schmitt, and Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus all proved their mettle and commitment to our community. In addition, words cannot appropriately express our appreciation to Matt Decker of the Open Space Institute, the Orange County Arts Council, Montefiore St. Luke’s Cornwall, the Hudson Highlands Nature Museum, the Greater Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, the Cornwall Public Library, the Cornwall Central School District, and the Storm King Art Center. Also, we would be remiss in not expressing our gratitude to the Regional Economic Development Council for their support for our application.

The supervisor and mayor would also like to publicly express appreciation to their respective boards. Without their advisements and collegiality, projects like this never, ever come to fruition.

There exists plenty of hard work ahead. Cornwall and Cornwall-on-Hudson leadership will continue their commitment to further collaborate as one greater Cornwall community, as we envision potential projects to make best use of this windfall. Stay tuned. The best – we promise you -- is yet to come.

Joshua Wojehowski                                                                                                      James A. Gagliano
Town Supervisor                                                                                                           Village Mayor


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