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Village of Canton denied Main Street grant funding; may apply next year

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CANTON — The village of Canton was not selected to receive the $200,000 grant it was seeking from this year’s Main Street New York grant program.

The funds would have helped some downtown building owners create upper-level apartments and upgrade their facades.

Canton Economic Development Director Linda M. McQuinn said Friday she’s uncertain why the village’s application was denied by the state’s Homes and Community Renewal Office, but the village may seek the funding again next year. The village was successful in winning the funding in 2006.

She plans to participate in an exit conference presentation scheduled for February that may provide some insight about why Canton was not selected.

“We need to find out where this application was deficient,” Mrs. McQuinn said. “I certainly want to know how we can make this a stronger application. I was very hopeful we would get the grant, but we can apply again.”

The application submitted by the village called for the creation of 11 residential apartments in vacant second-story building spaces.

Four Canton businesses that expressed preliminary interest in receiving a portion of the grant were Nature’s Storehouse, Sergi’s Restaurant, Dave’s II and James M. Snell, owner of 7 Main St.

Mayor Mary Ann Ashley said as long as businesses are interested, the village will continue to pursue the grant funding.

“If the money is available and the village businesses are interested, we will accommodate their requests by continuing to apply,” she said.

This year, the state’s Regional Economic Development Councils were involved in selecting award finalists.

Neighboring village of Potsdam was selected to receive the $200,000 grant and is looking for businesses interested in participating. The grant funding is expected to be used to renovate at least four mixed-use or commercial buildings in the village.

“I can’t tell you why theirs was successful and ours was not,” Mrs. McQuinn said, referring to Potsdam. “It is very competitive. We’re competing against other St. Lawrence County communities and the rest of the state. We’ll learn more at the February debriefing.”

Businesses that are interested should contact Mrs. McQuinn at 386-2871.

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