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Village mulls joining grant program

The Village of Fredonia is considering taking part in the New York State Housing Trust Fund Corporation's Main Street Project grant, it was learned at Monday night's Village Board meeting.

Trustee Susan Mackay is spearheading the idea. Monday night, the board heard a presentation by Michael Yerico of Chautauqua Opportunities Inc. (COI), a local community action agency, regarding a proposal to allow COI to write and perhaps administer the grant if it is successful. There would be no cost to the village.

Building owners in the business district would be canvassed to see who would commit their own money to renovate their buildings. When that total is determined, the village would apply for matching funds via the grant, up to a limit of $200,000. So if a building owner committed $10,000 to make improvements, via the grant the owner would get $20,000 to complete the work.

COI, Yerico told the board, has a 90 percent success rate in securing grants. The agency recently helped the Village of Silver Creek write a successful downtown improvement grant.

The Main Street Project grant deadline is next March. Mackay said she would continue her research into which business owners were willing to invest in improving their buildings. The board made no decision on whether to have COI write the grant application.

In other business, the board rescinded a motion made at last week's meeting to begin regular meetings at 6:30 p.m. with no workshop sessions preceding them. The board voted to return to holding a workshop session at 6:30 p.m., followed by a regular meeting at 7:30.

It was decided the workshop sessions for the next two months will begin at 5:30 p.m., instead of the usual 6:30. The dates for these workshops are next Monday, July 23 and Aug. 13 and 27. The regular 7:30 p.m. board meeting follows in Village Hall.

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