Sunday, January 22nd, 2017

New grants to revitalize Lyons Village

The Village of Lyons will receive a facelift and welcome new business to William Street this year.

With the awarding of two grants, from the New York State Home & Community Renewal a new business will come to the former J.J. Newberry building, which most recently housed a local Dollar and More Store.

Lyons Businessman Sean Dobbins, who currently owns the building, in cooperation with C.A.S.H. (Community Action in Self Help) has secured a $204,000 grant, with Dobbins providing 35% of that award in construction and renovations. The building will house a “Co-Op” of local fine arts, crafts, jewelry, food and products.

A panel will review artists’ work if they are interested in selling their wares. All artists, craftspeople, bakers, cheese and yogurt vendors must be based in Wayne County. Interested individuals can email photos of their work to They can also get up-to-date information and watch the status of the development project at, or on the C.A.S.H. Facebook page (Community Action in Self Help).

A cafe/coffee house will be run by Kurtis VonBurgon, who formerly worked at ZuZu’s Cafe in Seneca Falls. He will also manage of the Co-Op. The cafe will feature locally grown fresh salads and baked goods. A farm-to-table lunch will be offered.

With consolidated funding coming from R.A.R.P (Rural Area Revitalization Program and from a Main Street grant, C.A.S.H. will administer the grant, and after completion of the renovation and opening of the Co-Op, Wayne County Rural Development Corporation will be the tenant of record.

The Lyons Chamber of Commerce will help to solicit vendors of interest for the Co-Op of local products. 300 local artists/vendors have already expressed their interest in participating, according to C.A.S.H. representative Eileen Porto. Music may also be a part of the ambiance, with local bands performing at different times at the Co-Op.

In addition to the Renovation Grant, another $200,000 was recently awarded for use in repair and revitalization of Lyons Village commercial buildings. That “Main Street” grant will be administered by C.A.S.H., and the Lyons Main Street Design  will  select worthy projects for those funds.

The granting of the main street renovation funds will be the first order of business and should be commencing in early spring. With construction and insurance issues to be sorted out, the Co-Op plan will likely begin later in the Fall of this year.

The entire first floor of the J.J. Newberry Building (which is adjacent to Dobbins Drugs on William Street) will house the Co-Op and Cafe, with further plans for an Antique Co-op in the basement area, and a catering kitchen planned for holding local events and to showcase local musicians.