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Summary: Schuyler gets $17.7M in grants

    SCHUYLER COUNTY—Throughout 2011, $17,705,449 in grants were given to municipalities and organizations in Schuyler County for projects to better the area.
    The money was for streetscape, building, and infrastructure renovations, as well as development and engineering plans. With all of the projects and grant money, there was also $32,727,942 in local shares leveraged to get the funds.
    “In fact, we have less state and federal grants out there than there used to be,” said Kelsey Jones, executive director of Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development. However, he added that SCOPED has looked for alternate grant opportunities.
    The largest grant amount was $8,300,000 from various agencies for a water and sewer system in the town of Dix. Jones said this project was to expand the water and sewer systems up to the Watkins Glen International track and the county’s designated business park.
    Other large amounts were $1 million for the county business park from the U.S. Economic Development Administration; $924,000 for apartments at the former Rural Urban Center from Restore New York and Main Street grants; $850,000 for Schuyler County redevelopment from Empire State Development, $850,000 for U.S. Salt from the state Dorm Authority; and $850,000 for the Montour House renovation from Empire State Development.
The grant for the former Rural Urban Center, now called Flats on Broadway, was given for the redevelopment of the former school building into eight apartments and a daycare center. Construction began in fall of 2010 and is close to completion, with a rededication scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 5.
    The New York State Department of Transportation awarded Montour Falls with $440,000 for what the village is calling its Gateway Project. Improvements will be made to the Main Street and Route 14 intersection to create more of a gateway into Montour Fall’s business district. Work will include new crosswalks, benches, an information kiosk, and landscaping. Construction is expected to start in 2012.
    SCOPED also obtained a $465,000 grant for Montour Falls property owners to make first floor, upper-floor apartment, and facade improvements. In addition to the Montour House, three commercial properties, the Montour Falls Library and She-Qua-Ga Falls Park received funding.
    Infrastructure projects included Finger Lakes Railway, which received $349,680 from the Federal Railroad Administration. The money was used to improve rail safety and efficiency of the track from U.S. Salt to Cargill. Improvements were made this year.
    The town of Reading received $150,000 from the Appalachian Regional Commission for a water district expansion. The total project cost is $300,000. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has been selected to administer the funding to Reading.
    Some funds went to doing studies for future work. The village of Watkins Glen received $37,000 to develop a lakefront management and development strategy. Laberge Group, working with Synthesis Design, held several public workshops to develop recommendations and strategies to guide local communities and agencies with future development of the Seneca Lake waterfront.
    One $15,000 grant was for used to identify opportunities for addressing key wastewater issues in Schuyler County. According to SCOPED, the final report will have recommendations to be used to guide the county in future infrastructure development. Another $15,000 grant was used to develop and gather community input on commercial district improvement strategies for Odessa and Burdett. SCOPED is now working with the two villages to implement some of the recommended items.


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