Massena town to function as lead agency in environmental review for block grant program
BY ANDY GARDNER
North Country This Week
MASSENA -- The Town Council named the town the lead agency for environmental review process required for the Community Development Block Grant program.
Massena Business Development Corporation Director Jim Murphy said the grant program gives out small business grants of up to $35,000 each. The cash can be used “for pretty much any valid business purpose, except anything that would be considered construction … or create an environmental issue.”“Buying equipment, or furniture, or working capital doesn’t really affect the building,” Murphy said.
He said had the town not named themselves the environmental review agent, “every little person we see getting a grant would have to have an environmental impact study done.”
He said there is “great interest in the program” among Massena businesses, with more than 20 having indicated interest.
“Now I fully expect to be hitting the streets starting … handing out applications,” Murphy said.
He said his job is to qualify applicants, and there are public hearing requirements.
“Hopefully those hearings can be held not by Zoom, but face to face,” Murphy said.
Each microenterprise must either be owned by a low- to moderate-income person or the project must result in the creation of at least one full-time equivalent position to benefit a low- to moderate-income person. NYS CDBG funds can fund up to 90% of a total project cost, according to New York State Homes and Community Renewal’s website.
Murphy made his comments during the June 17 Town Council meeting that was streamed online via Facebook Live.
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