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No grant for Lumberland

Attending members of the Lumberland Town Board at their December 11 meeting are, from the left, Councilmen James Akt and Joe Carr, Supervisor Nadia Rajsz and Councilman Ron Thiele. Councilman David Leamon, whose council term ends this month, did not attend. His successor, Jenny Mellan, will take her oath of office at the board’s year-end meeting on December 30.
TRR photo by David Hulse

By David Hulse
December 18, 2013

The state grant for the visitor center didn’t materialize, but Lumberland isn’t giving up.

In August, Supervisor Nadia Rajsz announced that Lumberland had applied for $325,000 through a New York State Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) grant. The money would partially fund the purchase of a 2.3-acre parcel on Route 97, adjoining the National Park Service Ranger Station south of Barryville.

The property, which has an existing apartment building known as the “Coop,” is proposed for a visitor center to be jointly managed with the National Park Service (NPS).

An infuriated Supervisor Nadia Rajsz announced last Wednesday that the answer was no.

She said she was infuriated because of the time that the town’s grant specialist Frank Schwarz had to spend on the application, when she felt that decisions on grant recipients had already been made. “Anytime you deal with the state, it is the most cumbersome system,” Rajsz said.

She was infuriated about the larger amounts awarded to neighboring communities and counties for economic development. She read a list of approved grants.

“People in Albany need to hear us.” She said the visitor center grant would have had “a huge economic impact for Lumberland. This is sad—very sad.”

“We’re going to keep pursuing this,” she said.

Resident Joan Rosenfelt of Pond Eddy suggested a letter and volunteered to help Rajsz write it.

In other town business, the board:

• Approved $751 for the replacement of a broken basketball backboard at Circle Park;

• Appointed Sue Gregg and Michael Marcasciano to planning board vacancies;

• Appointed Cheri Bodnaruik as chair of the board of assessment review;

• Approved an amended funding resolution for the highway department’s purchase of two truck bodies;

• Approved a resolution to make the semi-circular town cemetery road one-way, from its shed to the other Low Road exit, and agreed to petition the county for a reduced speed limit on the road;

• Approved up to $2,000 cost for annual training of elected officials Rajsz and incoming Councilwoman Jenny Mellan;

• Tabled finalization of the $190,000 fire department contract, pending approval of the department membership.