Just a day after announcing it will receive $2.2 million in state money to help with water and wastewater projects, the City of Kingston got more welcome news from Albany on Thursday, Dec. 19 — various projects won more than $4.7 million in grants under the New York’s Consolidated Funding Application program.
The money will go towards improvements at Dietz Stadium, a major sewer project and a downtown rail trail. Another portion of the funding will offset costs associated with the merger between city and county bus systems. The 2019 package is Kingston’s largest award yet under the CFA process.
“[The grants] will dovetail with other grant funding the city has secured for some of these large scale projects,” said Mayor Steve Noble in a press release. “Each of the projects will have a direct impact on the growth, stability and well-being of our community members and for our city as a whole.”
The CFA funding is allotted based on a competitive vetting process run by the Regional Economic Development Council, appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Municipalities, nonprofits and private business ventures submit applications to the council seeking funding from various state agencies. The council assigns scores to the applications based on how well they align with the region’s economic development goals. The applications are then passed on to state economic development officials who make a final decision. This year, the state allocated $761 million in CFA funding in 10 regions. In the Mid-Hudson Region, which includes Kingston, 105 projects received $65.8 million.
The largest chunk of Kingston’s award is $2.5 million for improvements at Dietz Stadium. The money will complement funds received from another grant — the Downtown Revitalization Initiative — to overhaul the aging facility. The new funding comes through the state Environmental Facilities Corporation’s “green innovation” program and the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s Climate Smart Communities program. The project includes repaving and redesigning the parking lot at the stadium using environmentally friendly techniques to minimize stormwater runoff. The project will also install more efficient traffic circulation plans, bike parking and electric car charging stations.
Another $1,611,200 from the DEC’s Water Quality Improvement program will go towards the second phase of the Hasbrouck Avenue sewer improvement project. The project will create separate lines for sewage and stormwater which currently flow through a single pipe. The upgrade is expected to reduce sewage overflows into the Rondout Creek during heavy rains and reduce water treatment costs.
The project was separately awarded another $717,450 from the Environmental Facilities Corporation earlier this month. That EFC grant also included $586,441 to replace sections of a 100-year-old sewer line on Henry Street and $900,000 for water transmission projects to the Kingston Water Department.
Some $400,000 from the state Department of State’s Local Government Efficiency Program will offset expenses to city taxpayers from the recent Citibus/UCAT merger. Under the terms of the merger agreement Kingston must pay Ulster County $225,000 annually for the next five years to pay for the combined system. The CFA grant will cover that expense.
Another $250,000 from the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation will fund the second phase of the Kingston Point Rail Trail. The project calls for paving a 10-to-12-foot-wide path for pedestrians and bicyclists that will run behind the New York State Trolley Museum and connect to a small trailhead at East Strand Street.