County Welcomes $2.5 Million in State Grants   

Monticello, NY – Five long-vacant historic properties will be rehabilitated and restored as a result of three Restore NY grants secured by the Village of Liberty, the Town of Liberty, and the Town of Rockland.

On Monday, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office announced the recipients of nearly $81 million from Round 5 of the Restore New York Communities Initiative. Of the 10 awarded funding in the seven-county Mid-Hudson Region, three are in Sullivan County.

The call for applications was released in October, when the Sullivan County Division of Planning and Community Development worked with eligible municipalities to identify projects. Program funds could be used to cover the costs of demolition, deconstruction, rehabilitation, or reconstruction of vacant or abandoned buildings in projects that would result in new businesses.

The Village of Liberty was awarded $1 million to support the continued restoration of the former Liberty Theater at the corner of South Main and John streets. An important anchor project in the revitalization of downtown Liberty’s historic core, the restored theater is expected to feature music and live performances, as well as feature films. Additional retail and commercial office space will also be integrated into the final project.

The Town of Liberty was awarded $500,000 which will be directed at revitalizing Main Street in Parksville. Plagued with vacancy since the State rerouted Route 17 around the hamlet over a decade ago, Parksville has recently seen positive development due to new investors seeking to create hospitality and artisanal food and beverage businesses there.

The Restore funding will help Randy Makiej complete development of a coffee roastery and gallery space at 32 Main Street, as well as a second project at 857 Parksville Road to launch a beer and sausage garden with partner Todd Perlmutter. The third component of the Parksville project is the rehabilitation of 19 Main Street by Sol Kleinberger for an inn and café.

Makiej, who has been actively advocating for the return of Parksville’s vibrant Main Street, stated, “We are humbled and beyond thrilled to receive this grant for Parksville which will help us continue the efforts already in motion to revitalize the hamlet, create jobs, and build community.”

On the receipt of the transformative grants for the Town and Village, Liberty Town Supervisor Brian Rourke said, “These grants mark the beginning of a new era for Liberty. For decades we have reflected on the glorious past, but with this new opportunity and other renewed energy, it is time to enthusiastically embrace our future. I cannot thank the Governor’s office, Senator John Bonacic, Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther and the Sullivan County Division of Planning enough for its belief and support of our community. To the great people of Liberty, this is a signal to come together, get to work and to begin to transform our town into the community that we all deserve.”

The Town of Rockland received $1 million which will go toward the continued restoration of the historic Antrim Lodge in Roscoe. Owners and developers Diane and David Beveridge have been working to restore the lodge to its original purpose after a fire in 2006 which destroyed most of the building. The new Antrim Lodge will feature 14 guest rooms, a 75-person dining room, as well as a bar on the ground floor.

“We are thrilled and honored to be chosen as a grant recipient and look forward to revitalizing the Antrim Lodge and attracting more people to beautiful Sullivan County,” remarked Diane Beveridge.

“The fact that we scored not one but three grants – covering five projects – is testament to the hard work and skill of our Planning Division,” noted Sullivan County Legislature Chairman Luis Alvarez. “This proves that if you have a dream that stands to benefit the County economy and citizenry, you need to contact our professional planners to tap into funding sources which can make that dream a solid reality. I particularly want to thank Governor Cuomo and the Restore NY team for recognizing the need in our corner of the Catskills.”

The Liberty Theater has long been a fixture of downtown Liberty and may once again define the business district’s aesthetic, thanks in part to a million-dollar grant from the Restore NY program – one of three such grants coming to Sullivan County.

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