Celoron To Apply For Waterfront Project Funding

CELORON – ”If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again,” is a famous quote and the attitude Celoron officials have in attempting to gain funding for a waterfront revitalization project.

Last year, the village of Celoron applied for funding from the state’s Western New York Regional Economic Development Council. Village officials were told in February by state Regional Council representatives they had came up just short on the list of projects that received funding. In fact, the village was two points short of qualifying, said Shirley Sanfilippo, Celoron clerk.

On Monday, the Celoron Village Board passed a resolution to once again apply for funding through the state’s consolidated-funding application program. Scott Schrecengost, Celoron mayor, said he is optimistic the village will qualify for funding this time.

”We’re really hoping it will go through this time. Plan on seeing some plans getting started,” Schrecengost said about the potential waterfront project.

The state program did award $52.8 million to 58 other projects in Western New York to improve local infrastructure and create jobs. Specific to Chautauqua County, more than $1.475 million was allocated during the second year of the Regional Economic Development Council program.

The economic development strategy was implemented for the first time in 2011. The plan created 10 regional councils, which were made up of area leaders who would determine which projects were the most vital for economic success. The councils then applied for state funding under a new consolidated funding formula, which made projects eligible for grant money and tax credits. The combined pool of funding totaled around $738 million for 2012. This year, $760 million is available.

The village’s revitalization implementation committee decided last year the first step in a waterfront plan should be to construct a boardwalk in the park, and for other park improvements. The waterfront revitalization plan stems from the $36,000 in state funding village officials received in January 2010. Since the announcement of the grant, village officials and residents have been working toward the development of the park along Chautauqua Lake. The grant was used toward a development plan for a waterfront project around Lucille Ball Memorial Park.