Town seeks designation for village center

NEWFANE — If the state accepts the town's application, parts of Newfane could soon become a designated village center, bringing a variety of financial benefits.

Lynn Forrest, chair of the town's Planning Commission, presented Selectboard members with a brief overview of the Village Center Designation program at the May 15 Board meeting.

The program, administered by the Agency of Commerce and Community Development, “supports local revitalization efforts across the state by providing technical assistance and state funding to help designated municipalities build strong communities,” according to the Agency's website,

Generally, Forrest said, a town's Planning Commission prepares the Village Center Designation application and submits it to the Selectboard for approval. The Selectboard then sends it to the Agency of Commerce and Community Development.

Once the town receives approval and is a designated village center, buildings within the zone are eligible for tax credits for aesthetic, structural, code-related, and technological improvements, according to the Agency's website.

Towns are also given preferential treatment in grant applications from the ACCD, the Agency of Transportation, and the Agency of Natural Resources.

The proposed village center boundaries, Forrest said, are, for Newfane village, along Route 30 just north of Bruce Brook up to Cross Street.

In Williamsville, the designation goes along Dover Road from Depot Road, then west to Baker Brook Road.

In South Newfane, the area includes Dover Road from Parish Hill Road, then west to Auger Hole Road.

The boundaries are “definitely preliminary,” Forrest said.

Selectboard member Gary Delius recused himself from the discussion and vote because of a self-identified conflict of interest. The remaining Board members unanimously voted to approve the resolution and sign the associated papers to apply for Village Center Designation.

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