Saratoga County

Saratoga Springs panel makes 15 grant choices

A citizen advisory committee has recommended 15 projects or organizations for federal grants in the

A citizen advisory committee has recommended 15 projects or organizations for federal grants in the city’s Community Development Block Grant program for 2012.

A total of $346,816 in federal money is expected for this year’s block grants, said Bradley Birge, the city’s planning and economic development administrator.

Birge said this year’s federal funding is about the same as the 2011 allocation from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Last year’s funding was a significant reduction from the $400,000-plus received in 2010, according to city officials.

The 12-person citizen advisory committee held two public meetings on the requests for the federal money. They also held meetings to evaluate the applications using criteria required by the federal government.

The committee then recommended 15 projects or organizations to receive grants this year, Birge said.

The committee’s thinking is to “do the most good with the amount of money they have [to grant],” Birge said.

The City Council will hold a public hearing on the recommended grant awards at 6:55 p.m. March 20 in City Hall. The council will be asked to approve the grants on April 17.

Two organizations, out of the 15 recommended, are receiving funding for the first time this year. They are: Universal Preservation Hall, the historic building on Washington Street, is recommended for a $17,599 grant for building stabilization and preservation, and Literacy New York of the Greater Capital Region is recommended for a $4,000 grant for adult literacy tutoring.

The other grant recommendations include:

* $10,000 to the Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Center Emergency Shelter for a counselor for women and children.

* $10,000 to Catholic Charities Mentoring Program to continue the community-based prevention and diversion program.

* $8,000 to the Saratoga County Economic Opportunity Council’s multi-cultural services program.

* $8,000 to the Legal Aid Society’s Homelessness Prevention Project.

* $5,000 to the Mother Susan Anderson Emergency Shelter for program and utility costs.

* $75,000 for the citywide housing rehabilitation grant program that awards grants of up to $15,000 for housing and emergency repair projects.

* $47,418 for the city’s Senior Center for boiler and window replacement that will fund the installation of two new boilers and replace dining room windows.

* $36,969 to the Saratoga Springs Recreation Department for playground equipment at the city’s playground that serves tenants of the Jefferson and Vanderbilt terraces and the current Head Start program.

* $20,000 to the city Public Works Department for repair of curbs and sidewalks within eligible areas of the city.

* $15,000 for the Mother Susan Anderson Emergency Shelter for a rehabilitation project at the shelter for women and children.

* $14,830 to the Franklin Community Center for facility improvements.

* $10,000 to Rebuilding Together Rehabilitation Project, a volunteer-assisted housing rehabilitation program.

* $65,000 for the administration of the city’s Community Development program. This grant pays for the operating budget of the Community Development program to cover the costs of payroll, fringe benefits, and program and office expenses.

“In the event total available funding increases or is reduced, the committee has recommended proportionally adjusting individual activity funding levels based upon revised available funding,” Birge said in a memo to the City Council.

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