Two weeks to the day after learning that over half a million dollars in public and private investments would be put toward the revitalization of Minoa, Mayor Bill Brazill received word from Onondaga County’s community development office that, on second thought, the grand total would end up being closer to a full million.
Not wanting the other applicants for funding to feel left out, County Executive Ryan McMahon and company crunched the numbers and pulled another $359,460 from the American Rescue Plan to award to five additional business ventures in the village.
As announced during the late morning press conference at Trappers II Pizza Pub on Oct. 26, more than $600,000 would already have gone toward the revitalization of the village’s Main Street and a handful of businesses lining the commercial corridor.
“I’m not one to be lost for words, but the joy and happiness I’m feeling today is overwhelming,” Brazill said at the podium that day, adding that he had been smiling nonstop since hearing the news over the phone the prior Friday. “This village has got a shot in the arm now.”
Back in 2019, as part of the first phase of Onondaga County’s Main Street initiative, the villages of Fayetteville and Manlius received $275,000 and $298,000 respectively to bring various outlined enhancements to fruition. Meanwhile, Minoa was situated at a different starting point, having been awarded $30,000 to craft a set of engineering specifications.
“I told Mayor Brazill that if you put together a plan, and you do the work, we’ll come back, and that’s what he’s done,” said McMahon. “Overall, this village is going to look profoundly different.”
Involving the use of over $22,000, one component of the entire endeavor deals with the municipal side, which encompasses the introduction of a village clock and ornamental street lamps to Minoa’s Main Street, the conversion of the sign for village announcements from manual to digital, and the addition of pavilions, lighting and barbecue stations in Lewis Park.
The second part of the initiative concerns improvements to specific businesses with the use of funding provided by the American Rescue Plan.
Over $200,000 will be invested in brand new windows, doors, patios, landscaping and front fencing for Trappers II, the eatery located at 101 N. Main St.
With $132,000 altogether, the owner of Trappers II, Jen Wood, and her business partner Greg Rinaldi will focus on the future building of the yet-to-be named tavern at the spot where The 19th Hole presently stands, thus transforming an “eyesore” into an “asset,” as McMahon put it.
Additionally, the recently opened Spill the Tea Café and Infusion Yoga will have around $207,000 invested into its property at 208 N. Main Street to account for new masonry, a stamped concrete patio, new windows and a roof replacement.
On the other side of the railroad tracks, Charlie’s Tavern, the oldest active business in Minoa, will undergo an approximately $88,000 makeover arranged to include a sign revamping, wall repairs, the construction of a patio, new windows throughout and other facade refurbishments.
“Coming back from COVID, it’s been a slow crawl to dig out of the hole we all got in, so this means a lot,” said Nicole Stoffel, the owner of Charlie’s. “I couldn’t have afforded all of that work without this grant.”
The extra grant money added on in early November will be going toward Pave the Way Day Care, Scotty’s Automotive, Tim McIntosh’s property at 112 Willard St., Empire Management of CNY President David Muraco’s plaza on the corner of Hulbert Street and Costello Parkway, and Muraco’s other property on Main Street next to Minoa Elementary.
The plaza owned by Muraco that sits across from Lewis Park contains Happy Wok Chinese Restaurant, Sunshine Minoa Food Mart, Parkway Liquors, and Kindred Souls Vintage Lovelies.
McIntosh’s property, which used to be a library, would be remodeled and made into a space for different offices, while Muraco’s Main Street property would likely be turned into a strip plaza with four stores. His current plaza and the other businesses chosen would see their facades freshened up alongside other structural work.
Three-fourths of the $916,272 total will be taken care of by the county, with the rest paid for by the Village of Minoa and the assisted business owners.
Though he does not hesitate to call current-day Minoa the “shining light” in the northern part of the Town of Manlius, Brazill said the projects will add “vibrancy” to the village while helping to build the county from the bottom up along the way.
Supplementing the 5K runs, car shows and concerts in the park that have taken place in the village over the years, Brazill said this initiative is also the next step that will turn Minoa into more of a destination for residents across Onondaga County.