What Clayton is planning to do with $10 million from New York State


CLAYTON, New York (WWNY) – New York is poised for another round of its economic competition. Municipalities try to make a lot of money to improve their inner cities. Clayton wants the money and we learn what’s on the wish list for the village on the St. Lawrence River.

Improvements big and small could be on the horizon for Clayton. Officials at the village’s Local Development Corporation say they hope to win a Downtown Revitalization Initiative or New York Forward grant, which could mean up to $10 million in state funding to help with $18 million worth of renovations -dollars to help.

“We have reached out to all of our owners and business owners. We asked what projects they would have if they received this funding,” said Kristi Dippel, Executive Director, Clayton LDC.

Costs for the so-called “transformation opportunities” range from $4.5 million for the Antique Boat Museum expansion to $75,000 for improving village signage. And there is enough in between.

“You will contribute to our quality of life. Clayton is a great place to live. Good place to work. We want to bring more people here. More businesses, more people to live in and more to visit,” said Dippel.

One proposal would provide $350,000 for the Thousand Islands Land Trust Discovery Center. The proposed addition would transform TILT’s existing lobby into a museum dedicated to northern nature.

“The idea is that they come to visit. Get off the Clayton River Walk and be inspired to get outside, get on land and connect,” said Terra Bach, Director of Development and Communications at TILT.

Leslie Rowland of the Thousand Islands Arts Center says they’re running out of space despite having several buildings in Clayton. The DRI money could change that.

“It should be a bit bigger. Being able to accommodate more students and more programs. And, more importantly, you have a permanent textile exhibition at all times,” she said.

While nothing is set in stone, business owners have expressed cautious optimism.

According to the LDC, Clayton should have a response to the grant by the end of the year.


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