An enhanced village green, a renovated community arts facility, additional local housing options, and year-round Clinton Cider Mill donut availability are among several improvements and additions planned for the Village of Clinton and Town of Kirkland thanks to a recent $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) grant from New York State.

“The 11 projects selected seek to encourage an inclusive and accessible community by rebuilding key public spaces, develop affordable housing units in close proximity to downtown amenities and invest in key downtown institutions like the Kirkland Art Center,” according to Governor Kathy Hochul’s press release announcing the approved projects. “This new investment, coupled with past funding, will create a strong foundation for revitalizing downtowns. This includes the rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of historic buildings, along with infill development offering mixed-income housing options.”

Hamilton College has supported the village and town’s efforts to secure and implement the grant that was awarded to Clinton and Kirkland in March 2023. The Clinton Kirkland Improvement Corporation (CKIC) prepared the original grant proposal, while a Local Planning Committee (LPC) was later organized to collect ideas and feedback on how the funds should be invested. Nearly 50 proposals were received, and the committee hosted in-person and virtual open houses and public hearings for community members to provide feedback throughout the process. 

“The 11 projects selected by the governor to receive DRI funding were chosen from among 17 recommended by the Local Planning Committee as part of its Strategic Investment Plan. They are consistent with the goals that were outlined in the plan and shaped through community feedback,” said Mike Debraggio P’07, Hamilton’s executive writer and director of community relations, who serves as the CKIC president and was a member of the LPC. “Even before being formally recognized in December 2021, CKIC had been coalescing around a vision to promote economic development and an enhanced quality of life for the community. Receiving a DRI grant has validated that vision and energized our efforts; now it’s incumbent on us to sustain the momentum created by the state’s generous investment in Clinton and Kirkland.”

In addition to Debraggio, several people with Hamilton connections are involved with the CKIC or were members of the LPC. Gill King P’16, chief of staff and secretary to the Board of Trustees, Mike Klapmeyer, associate vice president for facilities and planning, and Steve Bellona P’03, former associate vice president for facilities and planning and former Clinton mayor, are members of the CKIC board. Lisa Magnarelli ’96, director of college events and scheduling, was an LPC member.

The DRI investments are part of the governor's ongoing efforts to revitalize the economy and create more opportunities in the Mohawk Valley and in each of New York’s other nine regions. The initiative is part of a total state commitment of $100 million in DRI funding and investments to help communities boost their economies by transforming downtowns into vibrant neighborhoods. The DRI is led by the Department of State, which provides technical assistance as each participating community develops a Strategic Investment Plan identifying specific projects which, together, realize a unique vision for the revitalization of the downtown area.

Rendering of improved wayfinding for the Clinton-Kirkland downtown area.
Rendering of improved wayfinding for the Clinton-Kirkland downtown area.
Establish the Clinton-Kirkland Small Project Fund ($600,000)

The Clinton-Kirkland Small Project Fund will be accessible for businesses and non-profit organizations to conduct building upgrades, such as facades or interior upgrades.

Placemaking through Branding, Marketing and Wayfinding ($192,000)

Enhance the visibility of the Clinton-Kirkland downtown area and small business community through a large-scale branding and marketing campaign and the installation of wayfinding signage.

Hamilton in the Community

Hamilton invests in the vitality of the community through direct contributions, voluntary support, and the economic impact of its students, employees, contractors, and visitors.

Gazebo in the Village of Clinton

Hamilton Town-Gown Fund Awards Nearly $110,000 in Grants

The Hamilton College Town-Gown Fund recently made grants totaling $109,600 to nine non-profit and public safety organizations serving the Town of Kirkland and the Village of Clinton. It marks the first time more than $100,000 in grants were awarded in a single year.

Charlotte Whiting (left), Thomas Meyers, Chief of EMS (center left), Sydney Tran (center right), and Madison Monroe (right) review their presentation on data organization for the Oneida County Volunteer Ambulance Corps

Comp. Sci. Seniors Lend Expertise to Area Nonprofits

From determining 911 hotspots for the Oneida County Volunteer Ambulance Corps to converting document images into searchable plain text for the Oneida County History Center, Hamilton’s computer science students give back to the local area in a unique and tangible way.

Help us provide an accessible education, offer innovative resources and programs, and foster intellectual exploration.

Site Search