Southern Tier 8 representatives and municipal leaders discussed the potential to apply for regional funding for local projects at Thursday’s County, City, Towns, Villages, Schools Advisory Board (CCTVS) Meeting.
Part of the discussion centered around municipalities and other companies, nonprofits, and boards in the county. Cortland County Planning Director Trisha Jesset used an Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) grant as an example of entities in the county not taking advantage of resources. ARC is a federal organization affiliated with Southern Tier 8, a regional economic development board of which Cortland County is a member.
“This past round of funding we only had one application from a county non-profit, and their application did not go through,” Jesset said. “To be completely honest, that is an underutilized opportunity. I don’t think we have had as many applications, as we could or should, come out of our area.”
According to Southern Tier 8 representative Dorothy Richer, there are projects being aided with funding secured through Southern Tier 8, including a project to expand manufacturing operations by JM Murray, and a project to expand YWCA facilities in the City of Cortland. Richer oversees grant administration.
“We really need to get the word out on this to our community,” County Legislative Chair Kevin Fitch (R-LD8) said at the meeting. He noted that the county pays dues to the organization to be able to help with funding for local projects.
Another segment of the discussion touched on an incoming grant deadline on May 26. Nonprofits, education entities, and municipalities can all apply for up to $250,000 to fund economic development projects. Applicants can request funding for a new or expanding program or project, Richer said. The matching portion of the grant is one-to-one, meaning ARC would contribute as much as the entity requesting the grant is willing to put in, she added.
“This is economic development, working with state, local and federal partners who make this happen,” Richer said. “Some other proposals we have do not necessarily interact with local governments as much.”
Applicants have anywhere from 12-18 months to complete a project, and the grant cannot go toward funding a project or program as it currently exists. Richer said it is called maintenance of effort, a practice not supported by Southern Tier 8.
“It takes three 'yeses’ to get approved, but it takes one ‘no’ to be discarded,” she said. “Southern Tier 8 works to prepare your project to be approved by our board and then the state and federal levels.”
Parties interested in applying for this grant can go here for more information.
The grant opportunity in its entirety can be watched here, starting at the 2-minute mark.