On Monday, June 8, over 30 people representing Putnam’s towns and villages along with county legislators and planners attended a discussion led by Professor John Nolon of Pace University’s Land Use Law Center to prepare Putnam for the next round of Consolidated Funding Applications (CFA). The introduction by Deputy County Executive Bruce Walker, the County’s representative on the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council, laid out a two phase program for using this year’s CFA process for our best advantage.
Firstly, each of the municipalities would name and prioritize projects that are important for them – for example a multi-use community center, parking and/or streetscape enhancements. They could also include private projects that would combine well with municipal infrastructure improvements, the usual basis for CFA proposals. For this round, the County would combine the proposals from the towns and villages into an application for funding a comprehensive study that would emphasize tourism and improving the hamlets and commercial districts (a look into urbanization) which are specifically targeted aspects in this year’s competition. A joint application by the several municipalities would garner extra consideration in the selection process.
The second phase would be an application for the Upstate Revitalization Initiative which will provide significant funding over a five year period to facilitate implementation of the proposed projects. The reception of this two pronged “plan of attack” was well received by the group in attendance on Monday night. Quick follow-up by each of the municipalities to submit their “wish lists”, along with their show of support, is needed to pull the planned applications together in the short timespan allotted.
If assurances can be made that the entire county will be planning together for a better base from which to grow our economy, then the business community should be supportive of this initiative. This is a strategic approach to make the best use of the available funding processes. And the collaborative effort is a great demonstration for Putnam’s future.
– Jennifer Maher, Chairwoman, the Putnam County Chambers of Commerce