TUPPER LAKE - When Tupper Lake officials went to Albany to find out why they weren't awarded grants last year to rehabilitate the village's housing, they didn't get all the answers they were looking for.
Phil Smith, a consultant from Avalon Associates, and village Mayor Paul Maroun said they spoke with some officials in Albany about the grants that were turned down and did get some good information.
In the past, Smith said he's always had access to detailed review sheets and score cards that explained why such an application was scored lower than others. That helps a municipality fix things so it has a better chance of getting money the next time.
Tupper Lake Mayor Paul Maroun
(Enterprise file photo)
But when Smith and Maroun asked for those documents this time, they were told they couldn't have that information.
Smith said he still hasn't gotten a clear answer as to why they couldn't access that information.
The village applied last year for a state Community Development Block Grant to fix housing in the Junction neighborhood and federal HOME Investment Partnerships Program money to go toward fixing up housing throughout the village, with hopes of winning at least one. It was turned down for both.
The village is planning to apply for housing rehabilitation money again this year, but Smith said the guidelines for applications haven't yet been released.
"These things are changing every day," Smith said.
Nevertheless, he ran a second hearing on the topic at Monday night's village board meeting.
Collaborate with town?
Smith said one suggestion he got out of the meeting with officials in Albany was the idea of collaborating with the town on housing grant applications. If the village and town go in on one application, the village could still likely submit another application, despite the fact that the different grant programs are most likely being combined, Smith said.
He told village officials it could "help you both win together."
"It sounds like it may make some sense," Maroun said.
If the town and village go in together on an application, one entity would need to be the official applicant and would be the one to administer the grant if it was successful.
Maroun said he would touch base with town Supervisor Roger Amell and find out if the town is interested.
Village Clerk Mary Casagrain said she had gotten some calls from people outside the village who were interested in housing rehabilitation money, and when she mentioned it to Amell, he seemed interested.
Contact Jessica Collier at 518-891-2600 ext. 25 or firstname.lastname@example.org.