Sullivan County Democrat
Callicoon, New York
March 10, 2009 Issue
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Dan Hust | Democrat

THE VILLAGE OF Woodridge just hired a grantwriter, and at Monday's board meeting, he idenitifed several projects for which he could obtain state and federal funding.

Woodridge looking for filtering funds

By Dan Hust
WOODRIDGE — The Village of Woodridge just hired a grantwriter, and at Monday’s board meeting, he identified several projects for which he could obtain state and federal funding.
Mark Blauer of the Pennsylvania-based firm Blauer Associates asked village officials to list issues that would be expensive to fix, ones that would qualify for a maximum $600,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG).
“We have plenty of needs,” remarked Mayor Ivan Katz.
A need for higher water pressure at fire hydrants, improved sidewalks and pollution issues with a section of the sewer system were discussed, but what eventually topped the list was the desire for filtration of the village’s sulfurous drinking water.
“There’s times when your whole house smells of it,” Trustee Joan Collins said, referencing an ongoing stream of complaints from residents.
“Those complaints are violent when they come in,” added Katz, not referring to physical violence but verbal batterings.
The sulfur, said Katz, became noticeable when the village’s two new wells came online. Though not harmful to drink, the taste and smell are often likened to rotten eggs.
Blauer appeared confident that the village had a good chance of gaining the necessary funding to filter out the sulfur, both because the project is fairly unique and the fact that 57 percent of Woodridge’s population is of low to moderate income.
“You not only have to be eligible, you have to be competitive,” he explained, speaking of the grant approval process.
Though the other ideas are legitimate, Blauer told the board their chances of getting a grant were better if they focus on one project, so – once village engineers determine the cost and design of a filtration system – he’s planning to write a grant proposal.
Blauer also works for the Town of Fallsburg, and his price for this task, already agreed to by the board, is $2,000.
CDBG regulations require two public hearings on the proposal, the first of which is set for March 17, the next village board meeting, at 7:15 p.m. at the village hall, just prior to the village board meeting.
Village adds property
Developer Jerry Probst left Monday’s meeting a happy man, having witnessed the village board’s unanimous approval to annex land that would include his entire development within village boundaries.
All 58 acres of his proposed 149-unit seasonal housing development now sit inside Woodridge proper, and the zoning has been changed to allow a higher density.
A public hearing on Monday turned up not a shred of comment on either the annexation or the zoning change, perhaps due to the fact that Woodridge stands to gain much-needed tax revenue.
Fallsburg’s town board has already signed off on the change, though Probst still has to navigate through the village planning board to gain necessary construction approvals.
Probst, however, was confident all would turn out well, thanking the village board for its help over the past two years.

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