GLENS FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – On a windy Thursday, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer stopped at a still scaffold-covered City Hall, to do something he does every year. The Majority Leader Senator visits every county in New York every year. On Thursday, it was Glens Falls’ turn, and he came bearing good news.

Schumer announced a total of over $2 million in new Federal aid heading to communities in Warren, Washington and Essex counties, honing in on Glens Falls, Fort Edward and Ticonderoga. The list led off with $439,000 for the aging Glens Falls City Hall.

“This is a beautiful building, as you know,” said Schumer, standing in front of the building which was surrounded by scaffolding from some ongoing roof work. “It’s a gorgous building.”

That money means a lot for City Hall. The building was built in 1900 – when Glens Falls was still a village. Departments of civic affairs began to call it home after Glens Falls was incorportaed as a city in 1908, and over 100 years of use means there’s plenty to upgrade. The money will supplement the ongoing roof work, and will also replace the gas-fired boiler heating system, turning the three-story building “net-zero” in terms of carbon emissions.

Thursday was Schumer’s first chance to meet Glens Falls Mayor Bill Collins, who stepped into office at the start of the year. Collins, previously a city councilman, knew exactly how much there was to celebrate in the news.

“And to the City Hall staff, thank you,” Collins said with a smile. “We don’t have to open our windows in the middle of winter anymore. We are really going to take advantage of this, and move Glens Falls forward.”

That’s not the only thing moving forward. Schumer also announced $950,000 going to the former General Electric dewatering site in Fort Edward, the home of a former plant that led to decades of PCBs deposited into the Hudson River. The site where the facility once stood is set to be transformed into the Canalside Energy Park, bu the Warren/Washington Counties Industrial Development Agency (IDA).

The funding will be used to replace a temporary bridge leading to the park, complete wastewater management construction, install a natural gas line, improve water, storm and road infrastructure, and upgrade electrical supply. The IDA’s plan is to invite new busineses to set up shop in the new park, to offset a loss of industrial manufacturing in the region over the last decade.

Another $205,000 aims at a need that has only grown – all across New York State, and the country at large – since the COVID-19 pandemic. That money will be used for recruitment, training and business development in childcare in Warren County. The intention is for the funds to cover state licensing, training and startup costs for new childcare businesses.

Finally, Schumer looked north, past the county line to the northern end of Lake George. $500,000 is going toward restoration efforts at Fort Ticonderoga. The almost 250-year-old historic site has seen decades of gradual damage to its exterior walls, through weather and age. Schumer pointed out that the fort is a popular site for visitors – many of whom pass through places like Glens Falls. He told a story from his own life.

“As a tourist, I took my daughters there. We had such a great time, we went back again,” he said. “Now they’re grown up and my grandson is 3, with another on the way. I hope to take them to Fort Ticonderoga, because we had such a great time.”

For Glens Falls, Schumer’s visit is a reminder of growth ongoing all across town. Mayor Collins says sales tax funds were up in 2021, despite the changes brought on by another year of coronavirus. Last summer, the city awarded a total of $235,000 to a list of new or expanding businesses. As of Thursday, many of those changes were evident in the city, from a new restaurant on Warren Street to more for sale at Abby’s Cookie Jar at Centennial Circle. Collins said news on more DRI funding would be coming within the next 30 days.

“I think businesses are happy to be open and running as usual,” Collins said. “We’re hoping for another banner year this year. People are dying to get out. Friday night, you can’t find a parking spot in Glens Falls, and we couldn’t be happier about it.”