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Grant Process Begins For Town Of Richfield

After being awarded a state New York Forward grant this year, the Town of Richfield learned one important fact last week.


Everything starts over.


The people chosen for the Local Planning Committee to help decide on how the $4.5 million is used had their first meeting at Richfield Springs Public Library, joining the state consultants, their assigned consulting firm and about 25 members of the public.


The LPC will be co-chaired by Richfield Supervisor Larry Frigault and Carolyn Lewis, who helped with the same grant won the year before by the Village of Cooperstown. The committee has nine other local members.


Danny Lapin of Oneonta is with the Department of State and will serve as the town’s project manager.


Nicole Allen of Laberge Group, hired by the state as the town’s consulting firm, attended, as did other state agency representatives.


Lapin spoke at first about the Code of Conduct each committee member has to follow, emphasizing being transparent about any conflicts of interest.


He also advised that conversations not take place outside of the committee meetings.


“We are here to help the LPC,’’ Lapin said, “and provide input. Be honest, engage in discussions and attend the meetings.’’


Allen said the LPC will have six meetings, with a seventh one possible.


The committee’s public meetings will be from 5 to 7 p.m. on the third Thursday of the month, skipping July.


Even though the town won by submitting potential projects in its application, Lapin said all possible developers, even though in the application, have to reapply.


The committee will select projects for state approval based on a number of criteria, including revitalizing public spaces, housing, jobs, growing the tax base and energy efficiency.


Former Town Supervisor Dan Sullivan, who put together the winning application and presentation, reviewed some community development already underway.


Some of those projects - the Bank Loft development and Richfield Youth Sports - also had projects in the application.


Lapin said the committee will set a broad vision about what they want Richfield to be in 25 years.


The committee will finish evaluating and choosing projects by December. The list - which will ask for $9 to $11 million - will go to Gov. Kathy Hochul for approval.


Lapin said while the grant is $4.5 million the state wants choices if some should fall out, or other funding can be found.


Projects will be public opportunities for everyone to use, general renovations, small projects and branding and marketing.


The minimum cost of a project will be about $75,000, with those under that

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The full story is in this week's edition of the newspaper. 

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