Spa seeks projects for NY grant


By Patsy Nicosia

A call for projects for a piece of the Village of Sharon Springs’ $2.25 million in New York Forward monies opened Tuesday.
Applications for eligible “catalytic projects in the downtown to spur revitalization” will be accepted through 5pm Wednesday, August 2.
Information on what’s eligible—and what’s not—is available on the NY Forward website,
They’ll also be explained at an open house-style public workshop, Thursday, July 13, 4-8pm, at the Village Hall/Library Community Room with virtual and in-person help available from the Laberge Group July 12-26.
Laberge’s Rob Holzman ran through the process for the members of the NY Forward Local Planning Committee—and about a dozen members of the public—at the LPC’s second meeting since the village was awarded the money in March.
It’s important to remember that NY Forward is a reimbursable program, Mr. Holzman said; the money for approved projects must be spent before the state checks go out.
Grants can’t go to individuals, he said, and the state “wants these project to go quickly…two years until they break ground.”
The village included a list of possible projects in its September 2022 NY Forward application.
Now, the call for projects is opening the application process up to the public.
In the fall, the LPC will forward its list—the Sharon Springs Strategic Investment Plan—to the state, which will decide which projects to fund.
Even just being on the list will give projects a better shot at other grants, Laberge representatives have said.
Just as important as meeting the “hard” criteria for NY Forward funding is how projects fit in with the village’s vision for itself and what it becomes—something LPC members also worked on Tuesday. (See related story.)
What’s eligible?
Public improvement projects, such as parks, signage and public art.
Branding and marketing for downtown—one-time expenses like signs, but not a downtown manager or maintaining a website.
New development rehabilitation of existing buildings—projects with a “visible and functional impact…that will provide employment opportunities, housing choices, and services…”
There will also be a small project fund, matching monies managed locally for things like façade enhancements or new windows.
What’s not eligible?
Planning activities, operations and maintenance, pre-award costs, property acquisition, and training.