By Fred Stabbert III
FERNDALE March 8, 2002 In what promises to be an even more exciting event than last year, 31 communities tossed their hat in the ring on Tuesday for this years Sullivan Renaissance Beautification grants.
The Callicoon Creek project was the first to walk into the door on Monday morning at the Gerry Foundation in Ferndale.
And at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Fran Gager of Forestburgh handed in the 31st and final application.
Twenty $1,000 grants will be handed out at Sullivan Firsts Spring Forum on March 21, but Renaissance Steering Committee Member Glenn Pontier is hoping to expand that number.
Last year we increased the number of grants and ended up awarding 30. We are still looking to increase the number of $1,000 grants, but that is really dependent on local corporations, he said.
It is really remarkable that more communities applied this year than we actually gave grants last year, Pontier said. This despite knowing how hard the work is.
Many communities, like Fallsburg and Monticello, have entered multiple projects. This year, for the first time, their will be three levels of competition.
The levels will depend on the size and scope of each project so that projects of comparable size compete with each other.
The quality of the applications was better [than last year], Pontier said, surmising that training workshops and experience have paid off.
This year Sullivan Renaissance will award first and second place awards in three categories.
The projects must be completed by August 12 with judging to be held on August 24-25 and the winners announced on August 25 at the Farmers Market.
In the biggest category the grand prize will be $20,000 and second place will be $10,000. In the middle category the top prize will be $7,500 and second $5,000 and in the third category the winning community will receive $3,000 and second place $1,500.
If a group did not submit an application you can still be part of Sullivan Renaissance, Pontier noted. Just give us a call at 295-2445 and we will hook you up with a group.
Pontier said this years projects look very interesting.
As communities come back for the second year the projects are more in-depth and have more scope, he said.