Sidney looks to relocate a third of homes

By Perry Russom

January 17, 2014 Updated Jan 17, 2014 at 7:16 PM EDT

Sidney, NY (WBNG Binghamton) As plans for how the Southern Tier will spend tens of millions of dollars to bring economic development, Sidney unveils their plan.

The Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) awarded Sidney millions of dollars this year.

"We put together the long term strategy and now we're going to implement it," said John Redente, co-chairman of the Community Rising program.

With the latest installment of funds from the REDC, Sidney is looking to revitalize their downtown.

"This community of Sidney was ahead of the game because they had already done a lot of work on their comprehensive plan," said James Seward, (R) 51st Senate.

A portion of the $3 million award will go toward making Main Street more attractive in hopes to draw in new business and push customers to shop local.

"It isn't one thing to fix something," said Redente. "It's a lot of different things so it gets a little bit hectic but it's definitely worth while."

The money won't stop at businesses, the village is looking to improve their flood landscape too.

Rather than rebuild homes and fight future flooding, Sidney is looking to move a third of their community.

"We've got to learn to turn that into a tourist area and we've got to learn to adopt it and enjoy it," said Redente.

Homes throughout the town are still damaged from the floods in 2011.

The planning board is looking to move them to Plankenhorn.

It's a plot of land a mile or two away in higher elevation.

As for a timeline when people can expect to see change, getting homeowners out of the flood zone is the first priority.

In 2-3 years they want to develop that community in Plankenhorn and then move homeowners up there.

As for how Sidney plans on paying for the potential move, they have applied for a grant in affordable housing to help people move from the flood zone area.

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