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Montour Falls gets $440,000 in federal funds
MONTOUR FALLS—The Montour Falls Getaway Landscaping Project was one of 59 projects that got federal stimulus money in the state budget.
The Montour Falls project was awarded $440,000, the amount requested for work. Kelsey Jones, director of Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development (SCOPED), said that was what SCOPED requested back in June of 2008. Montour Falls Mayor Donna Kelley said those funds from the Transportation Enhancement Program (TEP) was one of the few good parts of the state budget.
Jones said SCOPED originally applied for the funds on the village’s behalf. The project is for traffic improvements at the Main Street and Route 14 intersection.
“When people come from the north or south they don’t realize there’s more on Main Street with the falls at the end,” he said.
Austin Shafran, press secretary for the Majority Press Office, said half of the federal stimulus money must be contracted out within 120 days. The rest must be contracted out within one year. He added the transportation part of the state budget was geared to creating 86,000 new jobs in economic development and environmental conservation.
The total amount of funds the 59 projects will be getting is $81 million. According to Gov. David Paterson’s office, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will provide $34 million of those funds for 25 of the TEP projects. The improvement projects will be for roads, as well as walkways and even bicycle paths.
“We’re taxed to death now,” said Kelley about the rest of the budget. “That’s why businesses leave the state. It won’t generate any new businesses.”
Watkins Glen mayor Judith Phillips said the only part of the budget that will really affect Watkins will be the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (CHIPs) and Aid and Incentives for Municipalities (AIM). She said those funds should stay the same as last year.

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