Grant request for Freshtown sidewalk rejected by county


AMENIA - The town's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) application to fund the construction of a sidewalk from Freshtown Plaza on Route 22 to the hamlet has been rejected.

Grants writer Michael Hagerty told the Town Board Jan. 10 during its business meeting the town's application was not recommended by the county. The application was for $150,000.

"There are a lot of housing projects this year and it's been a competitive year," Hagerty said. "[The county] did recommend [the project] as an alternative, so it's a runner-up at least. There are other grant programs we can submit to."

Hagerty said the town could apply to grant programs like the state's "Safe Routes to School" grant program and other programs funded by the Department of Transportation, to get funds to construct a sidewalk.

"I think this is a needed project," town Supervisor Wayne Euvrard said. "When you see people walking on Route 22, something has to be done. Especially when you see children walking on it."

In a interview after the meeting, Councilwoman Vicki Doyle expressed her disappointment.

"It's a shame," Doyle said. "You see people walking down [Route 22] and struggling while they carry groceries. People use it on a regular basis and they do not drive. It's a real serious issue when it comes to affordable housing, especially for seniors because they need to get to a decent grocery store, even if it's for a couple of items."

Hagerty said, despite the rejection, that there is a possibility the project could be funded through grants.

"There are still many opportunities out there, and we can always reapply for the project next year," Hagerty said. "The county did tell me that they liked the project, but that's what happens in the [grants] business. It's like the lottery because if you don't try, you don't get anything."

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