Nassau County Executive Laura Curran has announced a funding initiative for transit-oriented development (TOD) projects for qualified municipalities across the county.
The funding comes as part of the federal Community Development Block Grant program received by the county each year, according to a news release from Curran’s office, and is meant to “support project costs and promote development that maximizes the amount of residential, business, and public open space within walking distance of public transportation.”
“Several villages have already championed and embraced our model of Nassau County as a place to ‘live, work, play’ with revitalized, walkable downtowns near transit that draw our young people and ultimately grows our tax base,” Curran said in the release. “This funding may also be used to address growing pains of recent TOD development – from parking concerns, to traffic issues, to improvements to pedestrian safety.”
Nassau County has allocated $1 million for the initiative, the release says, intending to fund at least three projects with the maximum award for a municipality totaling $400,000.
The county executive’s office has said that funding may be awarded for renovations like public facilities improvements, commercial rehabilitation, property acquisition and disposition, economic development, demolition and rehabilitations of acquired properties.
Due to its federal funding source, all submitted projects must meet the low-to-moderate income national objective on either an areawide basis or through the creation of jobs. Submissions must also be able to reach completion in two years.
Villages can submit applications for funding until Oct. 18, with all submissions being reviewed by the county’s Office of Community Development. The release from Curran’s office adds that the office will “determine whether the proposed activity will lead to development that increases public transport ridership and promotes sustainable growth.”
The fund’s creation was met with approval from Eric Alexander, director of Vision Long Island, which has helped communities on the island revitalize their downtown areas.
“The growth of our Main Street business districts comes with the need for pedestrian amenities and placemaking opportunities that improve the experience of living, working and shopping downtown,” Alexander said. “The good news is that there are now many villages and unincorporated hamlets in Nassau County that have robust downtown revitalization and TOD programs that can take advantage of this funding opportunity with successful projects that will be well worth the investment.”