A little art, a little education, and a lot of fire and rescue.
That’s how supervisors’ Flood Committee decided to divvy up $273,000 in 2023 NYPA Relicensing grants Thursday.
All but three of the requests—most from fire departments and rescue squads, but also from Marathon for a Better Life and a couple of churches—received at least partial funding.
(SEE RELATED STORY IN THIS WEEK'S PAPER T-J FOR THE REST OF THE AWARD S)
Typically, the grants have gone to fire and rescue and all of those requests for the 2023 money were funded up to $15,000.
For the last couple of years, though, the Flood Committee has discussed opening the grants up to non-profits.
In that category, Marathon will receive $5,000, the Schoharie County Historical Society, $4,265.25; and the Schoharie Mohawk Initiative for Science & Technology, $1,310.
Also, two county agencies will share $20,911 with $13,383 going to Schoharie County Search & Rescue for a UTV and $7,528 to the Sheriff’s Office for an enclosed trailer.
Middleburgh Supervisor John Youmans, new to the Flood Committee, questioned opening the door to the non-profits when traditionally the NYPA grants have gone to fire and rescue.
“Yes, we’re a bit out of our lane,” said Flood Committee chair Don Airey of Blenheim, but the NYPA agreement doesn’t specify how the money is to be spent and they’ve given to SEEC and others in the past, he said.
The $4,265.25 to the SCHS will restore an 1884 portrait of DW Jenkins, the man behind the DW Hose Company in Central Bridge and a former Schoharie supervisor.
While the county owns the Old Stone Fort Museum, the SCHS owns its contents; Director Melinda McTaggart characterized the painting as “incredibly dirty, unframed, and on a stretcher” and as a chance to tie history to one of the county’s first first responders.
The SMIST money will go toward an early childhood robotics program, something Mr. Airey said will be a step into the future.
The awards are subject to full Board of Supervisors approval.