Up until yesterday, motorists couldn't drive on Garden Street in the city of Poughkeepsie, keeping a critical link closed between Main Street and the financial parking deck, adding to traffic congestion. Those days are now over, thanks to a community development project in the City of Poughkeepsie, funded in part by Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation. Garden Street is open to vehicles for the first time since 1973 and improves access between Main Street and adjacent parking.

According to Central Hudson, the project was awarded $250,000 as part of their Main Street Revitalization Program. A total of five community development initiatives, including the Garden Street project, qualified for matching grants by the utility’s Main Street Revitalization program. The awards are leveraged by private, federal and/or state grants, and are offered on a partial, in-kind match of at least 25 percent.

Other qualifying grants through the Main Street Revitalization Program include the Newburgh Community Land Bank for the Broadway Corridor Enhancement Project; a joint project by the Ulster Performing Arts Center, Rural Ulster Preservation Corp., and the City of Kingston to enhance these building and Cornell Street; Hudson River Housing for a building rehabilitation project in Poughkeepsie; and the County Players Theater and Hudson Valley Housing Development Fund for building and streetscape enhancements in the Village of Wappingers Falls.

Central Hudson offers various programs and incentives to promote economic development in the Mid-Hudson Valley. These are now bolstered by a $5 million Community Benefit Fund provided by Fortis Inc., parent company of Central Hudson; the Main Street Revitalization Program was created through this fund.