No grant for the CanTEEN

The Cicero CanTeen won't be getting a new home any time soon.

The town of Salina had hoped to help the teen center move from its current location at 8837 Brewerton Road, Brewerton, a run-down site where CanTeen staffers have to pump the septic tank themselves, to a new building near the Cicero-North Syracuse Junior High School. Salina Supervisor Charles Iavarone, himself a C-NS graduate and occasional participant in CanTeen activities in his high school days, had discovered a grant that would accomplish that purpose. The grant would require a 10 percent match from the municipalities involved and allowed applicants to ask for up to $800,000, meaning that the five municipalities involved would only need to come up with a total of $80,000.

Iavarone asked the Salina Town Board to approve his applying for the grant at the board's Oct. 10 meeting. In order to apply for the grant, the deadline for which was Oct. 23, Iavarone would need permission from the other four municipalities involved in running the CanTeen: the towns of Clay and Cicero, the village of North Syracuse and the Cicero-North Syracuse Central School District. The village and the school district were eager to help. Iavarone, Third Ward Councilor Mike Giarusso and CanTeen staffers approached the towns of Clay and Cicero to ask for their support.

However, both towns were reluctant to give that support. The town of Clay asserted that it needed more time to consider the potential ramifications of ownership of a new building and the long-term financial impact of the grant proposal.

"The board had long-range financial planning questions that needed to be addressed," said Clay Supervisor Mark Rupprecht. "The grant had no long-term plan for the ownership and operation of the building. The town of Clay was not going to make that kind of decision in one week."

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