It was back in April of 2008 that the first indication that the Town Board would not readily accept a $36,000 State brownstone grant that it had won after much hard work by three people who labored on the application for months.
Then Town Supervisor Mark Evers began the nonsense of creating phantom reasons to run from the grant beginning with a bizarre claim that because areas of Main Avenue are so severely contaminated that work
conducted under such a grant might identify the contamination. Once
identified, the contamination would be so severe as to pose a eminent
risk to public safety which would in his view, cause a “shutdown of Main
Avenue businesses”. One claim from the Board was that homes would have to be evacuated during remediation!
Of course no one had ever heard that there was such contamination anywhere so naturally when town residents were informed of the claim with some fliers outlining his claims, they came to a town board meeting to hear it for themselves. Al Spain and Lou Desso chimed in by writing the Attorney General asking him to investigate the flier. What? The flier??? That's right, rather than investigate Ever's bizarre claims, they wanted the flier investigated.
For years the the Town Board ignored the grant and the potential it offered to bring hundreds of thousands of dollars to the town that would remove any contamination if found and then improve Main Avenue itself with updates to the business district that would only enhance the visual appeal of the the area.
Just last year, Al Spain told seniors at their meeting that the reason for refusing the grant was because of "opposition from businesses" on Main Avenue. That proved to be untrue as the town as not a single letter on file expressing such opposition.
The out of nowhere, the Board voted 4-0 (Commissioner Desso was absent)to accept the grant and hire one of their favorite firms to guide it's implementation. No you can't make this stuff up. The claims of contamination all gone now, the refusal to accept a grant that people some on the board apparently just don't like, no longer a good enough reason to let it expire.
So without a mention of the people whose labor and investment of time got the grant from the Department of State, the Board voted to hire a firm to get the process started and use the initial seed money which hopefully gets more money to improve the Main Avenue business corridor, clean up any contamination found at no cost to the property owners and increase the property value as a result.
Thanks to former Councilman Richard Fennelly who spearheaded the long refused grant and to the current Board for finally putting aside the nonsense and putting people before politics.
You can use the search criteria "state grant" within this blog to read the past posts on this subject.