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Downtown Improvement Coming

Hempstead to receive $3.4 million, chunk goes to Elmont

Elmont will receive $325,000 of the $3.4 million awarded to the Town of Hempstead for town-wide residential and downtown improvement projects, Nassau County officials revealed last week.

Every year, a pool of federal money dubbed Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) is made available to local municipalities in order to improve the lives of residents in both public and private spaces. Areas near Hempstead Turnpike in Elmont will be revitalized, totaling $250,000. Approximately $75,000 will be allocated for projects relating to “Community Corners.” Hempstead applied for these grants in early 2012.

The Hempstead Turnpike piece of the grant would be geared toward streetscape and area improvements near the Elmont corridor near Belmont Race Track, according to Hempstead officials. Work is currently ongoing, with paved walkways and possible façade work to ensue.

The community corner refers to the four corners of Hempstead Turnpike and Elmont Road. During the town’s formation of the Elmont Revitalization Plan, those four corners were designated as a prime piece of the puzzle.

Demolition costs, which is about $10,000, would be dedicated to expand business in the area. Relocation costs ($15,000) due to beautification work would be used to relocate apartment renters for periods of time while buildings in the area are refurbished, officials stated.

Nassau County reps said funds would be reimbursed as projects are completed, which should be over the course of the next three to four years. Approximately 80 percent of the county’s grant funds are distributed to participating local municipalities for revitalization projects, infrastructure improvements, public service initiatives, parks and playground enhancements, code enforcement and providing access to the disabled.

“From completing downtown beautification projects to building affordable homes, these community enhancement grants will help make our downtowns more economically vibrant and local neighborhoods more desirable,” Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray said.

Grant funds can also be used to rehabilitate eligible homes, and for anti-poverty housing initiatives. Communities, which are encouraged to develop their own programs, must promote the national CDBG objectives to give the highest funding priority to activities benefitting low/moderate income persons and the elimination or prevention of slums and blight.

“From commercial and residential revitalization efforts to improving public facilities throughout the Town of Hempstead, these Federal funds help strengthen our neighborhoods and improve our local economy,” said County Executive Edward P. Mangano.