Dansville’s downtown business district is one step closer to seeing renovation.


Livingston County Development  Group received just less than $1 million in requests from Dansville Main Street business owners by the  March 18 deadline. Each applicant hopes  to get a slice of the $355,000 available in New York Main Street Grant funds.

Dansville’s downtown business district is one step closer to seeing renovation.


Livingston County Development  Group received just less than $1 million in requests from Dansville Main Street business owners by the  March 18 deadline. Each applicant hopes  to get a slice of the $355,000 available in New York Main Street Grant funds.


Owners submitted 27 applications in all.


A selection committee made up of seven community members went over some of the applications March 24.


Livingston County Development deputy director Julie Marshall said the committee will be looking over the rest of the applications at a later date.


The committee developed a scoring criteria for the applications. Points are accrued based on the business’ visibility, investment and job growth, the number of residential units created or improved. Bonus points are awarded for requests less than $10,000 as well as to applicants who showed interest in the grant and signed onto the initial grant application.


Since the Village of Dansville was awarded the grant, it will be up to the village board to approve the committee’s recommendations on which businesses receive the grant funds.


Marshall said that recommendations are expected to go before the board as soon as April, with work expected to be in full swing this summer.


In addition to Dansville, Lima was awarded $293,000 in New York Main Street grants. Nunda, Geneseo and Mt. Morris are in the process of applying.


This is the second time Mt. Morris has applied for a Main Street grant. It was the first municipality in Livingston County to receive a grant, the results of which have transformed its downtown core.


Livingston County is awarding a sign and facade grant in addition to the Main Street grant. There have been 28 applications for this grant in five communities, which have requested a total of  $101,000.


There is $67,500 available through the county.


“We set a maximum of $750 on signs and $5,000 on facades, which is very small, but it can make a significant impact,” Marshall said.


Development director Patrick Rountree approached the Town of North Dansville, Village of Dansville, Dansville Central School District and Livingston County Board of Supervisors, asking them to approve a tax abatement for Dansville’s mixed use (business and apartment) businesses.


Rountree explained that a tax abatement is to offset the tax increase in property value that these improvements will make, and will help the building owners to not be “penalized” with a sudden jump in taxes.


The abatements, which have been approved by the taxing entities this month, will be 100 percent abated for the first eight years; 80 percent abated in year nine; 60 percent in year 10; 40 percent in year 11 and 20 percent in year 12.


Rountree said that with this abatement program, the businesses have a greater chance of success.