Grants pay off for Schoharie County villages


By Patsy Nicosia

The Schoharie County Villages of Cobleskill, Middleburgh, Richmondville, and Sharon Springs were among the big winners in the fourth round of the state's Regional Economic Development Council awards, presented Thursday in Albany.
Others receiving funding locally in the Mohawk Valley Region were the Harva Company and Schoharie County.
Statewide, funding totaled about $790 million; the Mohawk Valley was awarded $59.6 million.
In Cobleskill, some $159,835 awarded to the Forever Generations Nick Iorio Park Project, will mean the pool will open next summer-something that had been in question.
"We're thrilled," said Mayor Linda Holmes, who wrote the grant request to replace the pool's outdated pump and filter building four times before being successful.
"This was my fourth and as far as I was concerned, final time," she said. "The building had already been condemned by the Health Department and Codes Office. We were looking at not having a pool."
The REDC award will cover 75 percent of the pool repairs.
Bids are expected to go out for the work after the first of the year.
The Village of Cobleskill was also awarded $500,000 from REDC for work to Lark Street.
The total project cost is just over $1 million and also includes $468,000 from Empire State Development.
When added to $3.2 from FEMA for reservoir work and $10,000 from Constitution Pipeline for handicapped accessible equipment for Nick Iorio Park, Mayor Holmes said the village's awards total $4.3 million.
"It was a matter of being persistent and not giving up," she added. "Of button-holing people and asking what we needed to do to be successful [writing grants]. I'm thrilled for all of our communities."
The Village of Middleburgh received $20,000 for a local waterfront revitalization project incorporating recommendations from the New York Rising Community Reconstruction Plan, and $15,200 for a map of its planned historical Breadbasket Heritage Trail.
The Village of Richmondville received $535,000 for water main replacements with a total cost of $563,000, including $28,000 in local funds.
"To be honest, we didn't think we got it," said Mayor Kevin Neary, "so when we realized we'd been funded, it came as a real surprise. It's fantastic news."
Richmondville has been working with Lamont Engineers to replace its water mains, which date back to 1956 or '58; the REDC grant will help fund the last piece of main from River Street to the water plant.
It will also replace a control panel at the wastewater treatment plant.
"They're necessary projects that will help us provide a reliable source of water," Mayor Neary said.
Finally, in Sharon Springs, the village received $30,000 to complete an engineering report to identify inflow and infiltration issues in the sewer systems.
Schoharie County received $37,500 for a broadband feasibility study, $15,000 to update its 2004 Long Range Economic Development Strategic Plan, and $149,876 to look at the feasibility of a Schoharie Creek trail from North Blenheim to Esperance as recommended by New York Rising.
In private funding, the Harva Company was awarded $67,905 to train 22 workers in International Organization for Standardization.