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Funding is a waiting game

PENN YAN—Funding for projects, whether from state or federal sources, is a waiting game. During the Feb. 18 meeting of the Finger Lakes Economic Development Center (EDC) board, funding for several projects was discussed.
The Federal stimulus package contains money for shovel-ready projects and EDC director Steve Griffin said he has met with Yates County supervisors and mayors to share ideas about potential projects. Griffin said projects will be decided, "Mainly from the impact on the community, adding, Without some grant dollars, some of these projects would not be financially viable."
While the help from the stimulus package is expected to be received, funding for other projects have been delayed. Griffin said an agriculture project grant approved in October 2007 which would have brought $750,000 into the county has still not brought in a single dollar. Other grants, such as those from the Restore New York program are still in process. Griffin said these projects could possibly be for $2.5 million, if approved.
Funds for the Community Benefit program are still expected, according to Griffin. When the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) for the Empire Pipeline was approved, a community benefit program was established. This 15-year program is $250,000 per year for 15 years. Griffin said he is continuing to have conversations with supervisors in the three municipalities that the pipeline covers; Benton, Milo and Barrington, regarding possible uses for the funds. Payments are expected to start in September.
During the meeting, officers were elected. They are, Kevin Bailey, chairman; Taylor Fitch, vice-chairman; Jerry Hiller, treasurer and Craig Densmore, Secretary.

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