The village of Waverly plans to pursue a New York Main Street program grant to help revitalize a segment of the downtown business district with the assistance of the Tioga County Department of Economic Development and Planning.

Economic development specialist Teresa Saraceno visited village trustees at a recent board meeting to discuss progress with the beginning stages of the grant application and designate a target area for funding eligibility.

The matching grant program, offered by the state Office of Community Renewal, would provide funds to reimburse business owners for improvements to mixed-use buildings in a designated target district, promoting revitalization of the area, according to information from the office.

Trustees approved a resolution at an earlier meeting approving a four-block target district on Broad Street, but business owners outside the selected area - from Pennsylvania Avenue to Clark Street - expressed concerns. As a result, the proposed target area was expanded to include both sides of Broad Street from Pennsylvania Avenue to Pine Street, Saraceno said at Tuesday's meeting.

The expansion increases the proposed area from four blocks to seven and adds 22 properties, including several eligible businesses, Saraceno said.

The next steps, Saraceno said Tuesday, are to submit a letter of commitment showing the need for revitalization and to hold a public informational meeting for the owners of businesses to be potentially included in the program.

The village may also be able to use $15,000 of the $250,000 grant for streetscape enhancement in the target area, including park enhancements, tables, chairs, bicycle racks and planters, Saraceno said. The grant would reimburse those who take advantage of it for improvements made, she said.

The grants won't be announced until April and the application isn't due until July, but Saraceno said early preparation is an important part of the process. "We're way ahead of the game," she said.

Amanda Renko can be reached at (570) 888-9652; or email: arenko@thedailyreview.com.