The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

March 14, 2013

Village considers grant options

By Jim Krencik
Medina Journal-Register

Medina Journal-Register — ALBION — The village intends to submit applications for multiple community improvement projects to the state’s consolidated funding process after having well-received proposals denied the past two years.

The Albion Village Board began the process of pursuing grant funding Wednesday with the discussion of potential projects with Senior Planner Ed Flynn of Stuart I. Brown Associates.

Among the initial ideas for state-funded projects are a Community Development Block Grant application for a $600,000 upgrade to the village’s sanitary sewers and the re-submittal of a Bullard Park improvement plan for a Environmental Protection Fund grant.

Flynn said projects like the Bullard plan will likely be more successful in winning funding than the infrastructure improvements. Last year, only seven public infrastructure projects were awarded in the four Regional Economic Development Councils west of Syracuse.

He encouraged resubmitting the Bullard plan with only slight tweaks to incorporate more “green infrastructure” pieces.

“The folks at the (New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation) loved the Bullard plan, they ranked it as the second best project (last year),” Flynn said. “We need to get it on the regional council’s radar.”

But Flynn also told the board that going for both projects would not hurt either’s chances.

While a public hearing designed to draw in project ideas from residents is being planned, Mayor Dean Theodorakos said the village needed to get a jump on the process to ensure the best proposal is brought forward.

“We’ve been told we need to be formulate good projects and be ready early on,” said Theodorakos, who earlier in the meeting noted the village’s failure to secure REDC funding. “We’ve had two experiences with (the council system). Both those applications were turned down.”

The exact schedule for the statewide funding process has not been finalized by the state, but Flynn said he anticipates an early summer deadline for applications and an awarding of funds in the fall.

• Theodorakos said Wednesday that his communications with the New York State Department of Transportation indicate that the Main Street and Brown Street canal bridges will not receive long-term repairs this year.

Theodorakos said NYSDOT has applied for funding to make long-term repairs to the Main Street Bridge, although that work would not begin until 2016. Temporary repairs were made to the bridge in November.

No temporary repairs are being planned for the Brown Street Bridge, which NYSDOT closed to automobile traffic in July. Any long-term repairs to that bridge would not come until 2016 at the earliest.

• The village board will hold a special meeting at 6 p.m. March 20 for a full-board review of the budgets for the public works, water and sewer departments. Other department budgets will be reviewed in committee.