Township to reconsider funding request for local waterfront revitalization program | St. Lawrence County


CANTON — A decision to consider resubmitting an application for a local Grasse River Recreational Waterfront Revitalization Program hit a snag at a joint meeting of Canton city and village councils on Wednesday evening.

At the previous joint meeting in April, it was decided to refer the matter to the Recreation and Economic Development Committees for reconsideration.

An application was made in 2021 through the Consolidated State Funding Application, but was denied.

Economic Development Director Leigh Rodriquez received feedback from the New York State Department, which administers the program, on how to improve a new app.

The economic development committee met and decided to support a new submission, but the recreation committee was not so enthusiastic.

“I understand the economic development committee supports the new submission,” said Township Supervisor Mary Ann Ashley. “The recreation committee met and we had questions about the app and left that we do not recommend it at this time, due to many nuances in the app.”

Deputy Mayor Carol S. Pynchon, a member of the economic development committee, pointed out that nuances of the request that bothered the rec committee might not make it into a new submission.

“I don’t know what shade you’re referring to,” Ms Pynchon said. “The thing is, that’s last year’s request. We did it at a completely different time.

Ms Ashley said that although the request was for $81,000, it was unclear how that money would be disbursed by the state and which entity – city or town – would administer it, which often requires l initial money which is then refunded and some sort of local match.

“We cannot recommend going ahead with this. There are still a lot of questions,” Ms Ashley said.

Village administrator Anna M. Sorensen, a member of the economic development committee, said she did not support continuing last year’s application.

“I was recommending, though, that we go ahead with an application, which would go towards some of the same goals, but we weren’t just going to resubmit that application,” she said.

“We have very clear indications that the public supports the improvement of recreational resources and we know this is important for economic development,” said Ms. Pynchon.

Mayor Michael E. Dalton said one of his concerns was how the money would be managed and whether municipalities had the capacity to manage it.

The purpose of the application is to obtain a recreation assessment, Ms Sorensen said.

“Take an inventory and an assessment and see what we can do with our spaces,” she said.

Ms Pynchon said resubmitting the request is part of the overall plan for the community.

“I think not going ahead with some recreation plans would be a disservice to our community. I think that would be short sighted and kicking a box that we kicked and kicked and kicked,” she said.

Ms Ashley said that before moving forward, it would have to be determined which government would be responsible.

“Does the village have the cash? she says. “We agreed last time the city would do it, and we’re at full capacity.”

It was decided that the committees would get more clarification from Ms. Rodriquez before making a decision on resubmitting the application.

In the end, Ms Ashley said the assessment seemed pointless.

“I just don’t see where we have to pay someone when we already know,” she said. ” I really do not know. We already know.”

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