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Town seeking grant to rehabilitate historic retail stores

WARRENSBURG - The town board has taken initial steps to rehabilitate a landmark building anchoring its uptown streetscape for more than a century.

The board voted April 8 to seek $260,000 in grant money under the state's "Restore New York" program to go towards the restoration of the former Art Brown Shoe Store/Tamarack Shoppe adjacent to the Floyd Bennett Memorial Bandstand.

The money could be in the form of a grant or loan to the new owner of the building on Main St., according to Jim Thatcher of the architectural firm Avalon Associates.

The money would be applied to rehabilitate the building, which the Avalon firm has described as an anchor of the Warrensburg hamlet and crucial to its revitalization.

The new owner, Glen Baumler, has spent $200,000 so far in rehabilitating the 7,000-square-feet building, which could host up to four separate retail or office spaces on the first floor, and three apartments in its second story, according to Avalon documents.

The building fell into disrepair in recent years.

But during the last 12 months or so, Baumler has been working on the building, rebuilding the interior and upgrading the facade.

When reconstructed, the building could host specialty stores, offices or a restaurant operation, according to the documents supporting the grant application.

At the board meeting, Geraghty announced that Performance Trailers, the new tenant at the town-sponsored industrial park, was now producing trailers.

"Despite the economy, they're up and running," he said.

In other announcements, Geraghty noted that 800 tulips were planted in the Fred Flynn Memorial Park, and that beginning Oct. 1, the town was forbidden by DEC to burn brush at the landfill. Geraghty said that since the state mandated the ban, he was going to ask the state to buy the town a chipper and pay for the extra labor involved with running the machine.

Geraghty also said that town employees were now flushing fire hydrants through April 23, and town residents can expect some intermittent discoloration of water.

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