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No grant for the CanTEEN

Rupprecht was quick to point out that the town board's decision had nothing to do with its support for the teen center.

"The town of Clay is an initial and continuing financial sponsor in the Cicero Youth Bureau and the CanTeen," he said. "We've increased our support this year by 20 percent, and we expect to continue to be a financial supporter of the program."

The board's decision not to take action on the grant proposal, Rupprecht said, was made in the interest of fiscal prudence.

"It's better to plan than to react," he said.

Though Cicero Supervisor Chet Dudzinski did not return calls to the Liverpool Review, it appears that Cicero's reasons for not approving application for the grant are similar to Clay's.

"Cicero was very leery of it," said Salina Second Ward Councilor David Stott. "They weren't comfortable with it and compared it to the Cicero Commons project."

Better luck next time?

Salina officials were thoroughly disappointed in their fellow town board members for their failure to act on the proposal.

"I think it's awful," Iavarone said. "We had a good proposal. We spent a lot of time and money getting ready to present it. I was going to drive to Albany myself and drop it off."

Stott went a step further.

"It really turns my stomach," he said. "They didn't do their job, plain and simple. They said they needed more information, but no one asked any questions."

Stott pointed out that this was not the first time that the area faced a last-minute decision on a grant proposal. His father Ron was the mayor of the village of North Syracuse in 1970, when a HUD grant became available to construct senior housing at what is now Centerville Court.

"North Syracuse was the last to apply," Stott said. "They made a quick decision and they did it. My father drove to New York City to make sure the grant was signed. But that didn't happen here. [Clay and Cicero] had no sense of urgency whatsoever. We took every excuse out of the hands of the two towns and they did not jump on board. Government needs to work for the people."

But all hope is not lost. Iavarone said that the grant could become available again next year and agreed with Rupprecht that the executives from all five municipalities should meet in the near future to discuss what will happen to the teen center.

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