By Hayleigh Gowans
The East Syracuse Village Board has recently approved a new five-year project schedule the village will focus on to apply for funds from the federally-funded Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, and has approved submitting the 2017 project of building a pavilion at Ellis Park for review.
Mayor Robert Tackman explained CDBG grants are small grants, usually around $50,000, where the funds are to be used to benefit low-income residents, including elderly and handicap residents. Though the funds come from the federal government, the program is administered and distributed locally by Onondaga County Community Development.
In 2016, the village submitted a project to improve Ellis Field road curbs and sidewalks, but it was not approved by Onondaga County Community Development.
In the past, East Syracuse has used the CDBG funds for Hanlon Pool reconstruction, installation of a handicap lift at the pool, sewer work on Worth and Allen streets, handicap access to sidewalks, Mosher Street drainage improvements, streetscaping and the Phelps Street pump station.
At the March 6 meeting of the village board, Tackman said the plan to diversify the five-year plan for projects for the CDBG program to add attention to Ellis Park, Hanlon Pool and Brownfield Opportunity Areas in the hopes of getting those smaller projects approved. Rather than focusing on streetscaping, drainage improvements and sewer projects, the new schedule of projects include building a park pavilion at Ellis Field, baseball and tennis court improvements at Ellis Field, Manlius Street lighting improvements, a walking path and parking at Ellis Field and a community garden project.
“We’re trying to stick to smaller projects. It’s a small grant program, around $50,000, and it’s difficult to find a project to do for these amounts,” said Tackman. “We’re always looking for ways to improve the village for our residents.”
The village board approved the new five-year project schedule and approved the village clerk to submit an application to get the 2017 project of building a permanent pavilion at Ellis Park.
I am a reporter for the Eagle Bulletin and Cazenovia Republican at Eagle News. I report on topics ranging from town and village government, business, news and features. I am a 2014 graduate of the Roy H. Park School of Communications and have a degree in Journalism and a minor in Psychology.