IDA seeks 'old' grant
Story by Dan Hust
MONTICELLO June 14, 2013 The county’s Industrial Development Agency (IDA) Board agreed unanimously on Tuesday to reapply for a $50,000 grant the Liberty red meat processing plant supposedly already had.
“So is this starting from scratch, in effect?” asked board member Suzanne Rhulen-Loughlin.
“Yes,” replied IDA Attorney Walter Garigliano.
The long-delayed project still retains the bulk of the state and federal grants required to build the $1.7 million facility, but this $50,000 the smallest of the grants is needed as a condition of the other grants.
The funding originally was applied for and won by the Agriculture Local Development Corporation, which was folded into the IDA last year.
But the grantor, the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, dithered over transferring the promised funds to the IDA.
“The bottom line is they’ve never had a policy of monies being transferred, and they didn’t want to set a precedent,” explained IDA Board Chair Ira Steingart.
So rather than continuing to wrestle over the issue, the IDA chose instead to simply apply for the $50,000 itself.
It should know by mid-summer whether the funds will be re-awarded. Assuming they are, however, the county will likely still be required to provide $20,000 in in-kind services.
Though some legislators are concerned about how the cash- and staff-strapped county will accommodate, Steingart a legislator himself promised his colleagues will do what it takes.
“After 7-8 years [of planning]… we certainly don’t want to lose going forward with this,” he affirmed. “But we hope to work around it.”