PUTNAM POSTING: Latest CFA Process Stresses Downtown Development, Community Involvement

Jennifer Maher | May 2016

Jennifer-Maher_squareThrough the New York State Consolidated Funding Application (CFA), a single application for multiple sources of state funding, New York State is soliciting grant applications for projects that advance the priorities of the Regional Economic Development Councils (REDC). Governor Andrew Cuomo has emphasized infrastructure in his budget message and a CFA priority this year seems to be “downtown revitalization.”

As discussed in an earlier column, this approach may be problematic for Putnam County because we lack a significantly definable “downtown” and we don’t have the basic infrastructure to propose projects that will bring the necessary jobs to impress the selection committees. Some investors have “thoughts” of what could be done if we had waste treatment facilities and some other basic infrastructure in place (having gone beyond the approval process). Will the municipalities step forward and place projects through the CFA process that will lay the groundwork for long-term commercial/employment investment? It appears that we must also look beyond the CFA competition for other elements, some under local control, to foster the base for our economic development—reduction of DEP/DEC restrictions, a realistic SEQRA process, and an informed, forward-looking citizenry.

Now more than ever, we need to be fully involved in the process. Businesses—commercial and not-for-profit— and municipalities, working in joint venture projects where possible, need to take advantage of the CFA opportunities. As the saying goes, “You have to be in it to win it.”

There are scheduled CFA Workshops in the Mid-Hudson region on May 25 at Touro College, Middletown Campus and June 13 at Iona College’s Murphy Center in New Rochelle. Here in Putnam we will have an information session presented by Meghan Taylor, director of the Empire State Development Mid-Hudson Regional Office on Wednesday, May 18 from 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.at the Putnam County Training and Operations Center (TOC), Donald B. Smith Campus, 112 Old Route 6, Carmel. Attendees will be able to get the current criteria and direction to prepare a successful application for a project in this competitive process. There is no charge for this vital information session.

Jennifer Maher
Jennifer Maher is chairwoman of the Putnam County Business Council and currently serves as the vice president of the Hudson Valley Chapter of the New York State Commercial Association of Realtors.