Fewer Smart Growth grants to be awarded

ELIZABETHTOWN - The state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)will be handing out fewer Adirondack Smart Growth grants this year than it did during the first round of grants in 2007 because the line item in the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) has been cut in half.

Municipalities in the Adirondack Park have until March 18 to apply for the second round of Adirondack Park Community Smart Growth Planning Grants, administered by the DEC.

In October 2010, the DEC announced that about $500,000 from the EPF will be available to fund new projects in the Adirondack Park, which are required to be consistent with "smart growth" principles. In 2007, $1 million from the EPF was available for Adirondack Smart Growth planning projects.

Due to the overwhelming response from municipalities during the first round, DEC officials decided to go ahead with a second round. In all, 50 applications were filed in 2007, requesting $3 million, and 18 projects were awarded funding.

"It's clear there was a need to serve more communities in the Adirondacks," said David Winchell, Citizen Participation Specialist for DEC Region 5 in Ray Brook.

This time, knowing they have less money to work with, Smart Growth grant administrators lowered the maximum award amount so they could serve as many municipalities as possible, according to DEC Environmental Program Specialist Dylan Walrath, administrator of the Adirondack Smart Growth grants. The DEC lowered the maximum award amount for Smart Growth grants in all categories: local, $40,000 (down from $50,000); regional, $80,000 (down from $100,000); and parkwide, $190,000 (down from $200,000).

For more information, call Dylan Walrath at (518) 402-9405. Applications are available online at www.dec.ny.gov/lands/50029.html.

Some of the communities that were awarded Smart Growth Grants from the 2007 program include:

Local projects

-Town of Brighton ($46,400), Brighton Smart Growth Assessment Project

-Town of Stony Creek ($25,000), Revitalization Study for the Hamlet of Stony Creek

-Town of Ausable ($26,000), Town of Ausable Comprehensive Plan

-Town of Bolton ($50,000), Sustainability Plan for the Hamlet of Bolton Landing

-Town of Chester ($35,000), Town of Chester Community Housing Plan

-Town of Newcomb ($50,000), Northern Forest Conservation Education and Leadership Training Institute

-Town of Long Lake ($11,600), Common Ground Alliance "Blueprint for the Blue Line"

-Town of Indian Lake ($42,600), Indian Lake Theater

-Town of Horicon ($23,585), Town of Horicon Community Development Strategic Plan

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