What the heck is CACDA?

What the heck is CACDA?

Cazenovia's best kept secret flies under radar while getting things done

By Willie Kiernan


After the Cazenovia Area Planning Project filed a report back in 2002, it sat on a shelf destined to collect dust.

"After the CAPP plan, no one was pursuing what the communities wanted," said Tom Clarke, CACDA Board Member.

What was needed was a catalyst, a mechanism to clear off the dust and get things moving.

"A catalyst takes things from the idea stage to a flow chart to a task list to maybe grants and an action item," said Dave Lucas, CACDA Board Member.

In 2005, the Cazenovia Area Community Development Association was formed to enhance economic vitality in the area while preserving the rural, historic character through education, consensus-building and implementation. In just three short years of existence, CACDA has compiled an impressive list of accomplishments, with little or no recognition from the community it has benefited.

"I think it's important for the community to understand what this organization has done for the area," said Barbara Henderson, CACDA Director.

What the heck is CACDA? It's an independent organization formed to offer full-time assistance and facilitation for local governments, organizations and residents. The 15-member board pursues grants, protects lands and waterways and acts as a catalyst for projects that require either expertise or, less delicately, a push.

"We're involved in so many things occurring that never would have been done before," Lucas said.

In three years, CACDA has leveraged about $2.8 million for the area through grants, funding and support for projects.

"That's a pretty significant amount for this community from a start-up organization," Henderson said.

They've gotten money for the Comprehensive Plan, for farmland preservation, for shoreline ressurection, for visiting speakers and for various research studies. Yet people are still wondering

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