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State increases available grant by $300K

SCHUYLER COUNTY—The New York Main Street grant that has helped fund projects in Watkins Glen and Montour Falls has undergone some changes.
Brian Kennedy, with Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development, said the new rules will apply to the next round of funding which should be accepting applications next year.  Gov. David Paterson’s office said the differences include raising the funds available for a project from $200,000 to $500,000 and allowing municipalities to apply again.  Kennedy added agencies seeking grants will now also get administrative money to cover the cost of applying.  Kennedy said when SCOPED helped Schuyler applications the agency used their own funds to cover the cost, but if they got the Restore NY grant again that would be covered.
He added allowing municipalities to apply for the grant was something the state played with in the 2008 round of funding.  Kennedy said that was when SCOPED help apply for funds for the Montour House and West Main Street project in Montour Falls.  He explained each cycle of the funding is a little different from the last.  Only not-for-profit groups could apply originally.  Which is why Community Progress helped Watkins Glen apply for, and get, the finds that improved building facades on Franklin Street in 2006.
Kennedy said a month ago the state announced the winning applications for the 2009 round of Main Street funding and the second Watkins Glen facade project was not one of them.
“It might be a good thing,” he said.
Kennedy explained the application for the project would be submitted next spring in the next round of applications.  He said it gives more time for the project to be honed and possibly include creating/refurbishing apartments.
Kennedy said, “$200,000 doesn’t go far with apartments.”  If the proposal is submitted again, it would be with a chance for more funds; the $500,000.  He added by then Schuyler County might have two Main Street grant projects completed.
He explained the project would need to be reworked some because there was no anchor building.  Kennedy said adding apartments to the next Watkins project could improve their chances because the Main Street grant is given through the N.Y. State Division of Housing and Community Renewal.
Kennedy said Watkins Glen could be the entity next year to apply, but only if they wanted.  He said SCOPED, who has written the grants for Schuyler County, would ask them next year if they wanted to be.  If not, he said Community Renewal could do it again.

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