I welcome this opportunity to set the record straight with regard to the City of Kingston grant process during my 10-year administration. A recent story appeared in your publication that contained several examples of misleading, misguided and misinformation on the subject. While I can appreciate the frustration of any individual not familiar with the complicated and confusing process of obtaining state and federal grants, the truth will ultimately prevail when records of these grants are examined, especially as it concerns two people who were members of my administration. To state it as simply as possible, the accusations made against Steve Noble are malicious and without any foundation of fact. That they are being made by someone who should know better is especially reprehensible.
The grant process requires understanding, patience and skill to complete the requirements demanded of those who would use federal or state funding to complete worthy projects beyond the financial means of a municipality. I am proud of the number of grants and infrastructure projects completed during my tenure as mayor, many of which addressed critical underground sewer replacement undertakings that had been long neglected by past administrators. With valuable assistance from Steve Noble, Steve Finkle and others in various departments, we were able to secure many valuable and instituted many important projects. Below is a partial listing of the grants secured with Steve Noble’s help:
- Single Stream recycling bins and vehicles — $233,000
- Walkway along the Rondout Creek
- Kirkland Hotel
- New bulkhead along Rondout Creek
- Treatment plant upgrades — $500,000
- New parking lot for the TrolleyMuseum
- Carnegie Library
- Wilbur Avenue pump station
- Wilbur Avenue siphon line
- Sewer work: Lucas Avenue, Washington Avenue, Clinton Avenue, Greenkill Avenue, Abeel Street, Montrepose Avenue, Pine Grove Avenue, Main Street, Pearl Street, Linderman Avenue and O’Neil Street, just to name a few.
- NYS Parks and Recreation grant, zoo — $15,000
- Clean Air, Cool Planet community catalyst fund — $2,250
- Ulster County Youth Bureau, educational programs — $13,000
- NYS Estuary Grant, storm water — $60,000
- NYS DEC recycling education — $43,472
- NYS watershed management for Rondout Creek — $126,908
- NYSERDA energy management grant — $52,4560
I could mention many more to make the point that was misrepresented in the article. The important thing to know about the list I have presented is that they are all real projects that have made our community a better place. These capital endeavors were made possible through the hard work of city staff, with great leadership demonstrated by Steve Noble.
James M. Sottile, Kingston
(Editor’s note: The writer served as mayor of Kingston from 2002-2011.)