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River Agency grants up for grabs

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LOUSIVILLE - The St. Lawrence River Valley Redevelopment Agency is now accepting applications for its 2014 community development and environmental improvement projects.

The River Agency received $16 million in funding from the New York Power Authority in 2010. Each year, the River Agency Board and St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency’s Local Development Corporatio review applications and award up to 5 percent of the funds for economic development within the county.

In 2013, St. Lawrence River Valley Redevelopment Agency and Industrial Development Agency members approved loans and grants totaling $538,092 for 11 community projects aimed at economic development.

The projects ranged from St. Lawrence County trail updates to partially funding the construction of the county’s new fire training facility.

The River Agency will spend up to $506,330 this year on community development and environmental improvement projects. That amount is down $50,000 from 2013.

Applications last year were measured on a 30-point scale, with the number of jobs created scoring the highest points. Last year, the agency focused on leveraging grants or using a grant to facilitate a grant from another source.

“Every year they review the program and the process and the intent is to improve each year and make it more efficient and try to find ways to create the greatest community and environmental impact,” St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency CEO Patrick Kelly said Tuesday. “It is not a major overhaul; it is a continued tweaking of the process.”

For the fourth year of awarding the grants, board members did a “revamping of the project guidelines” to streamline the application process, Mr. Kelly said.

Applications will be due March 1. The awards will be awarded and allocated in May.

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