The hearing, conducted by John Duchessi of TGW Consulting Group (The Grant Writers), was sparsely attended. Common Council President Don Moore was there, as were Third Ward Alderman Ellen Thurston, First Ward Alderman Sarah Sterling, Scott Baldinger, and Gossips.
|This computer-generated image of the |
proposed senior center by Matthew
Frederick appeared on his blog,
Four ideas for using CDBG funding were proposed last night--two by Thurston, and two by Sterling. Thurston's first suggestion was to use the money for housing rehabilitation--making the $400,000 available to low- and moderate-income homeowners in the City's historic districts. The plan would help homeowners deal with the costs of maintaining their historic homes and provide a means to preserve the economic diversity of neighborhoods.
Thurston's second suggestion was to seek $400,000 to make improvements to the plaza surrounding Washington Hose, providing handicapped access to Promenade Hill and upgrading the playground. Thurston explained that this would support the rehabilitation and reuse of Washington Hose and it was a project that was talked about in both the Vision Plan and the LWRP. Since Promenade Hill is Hudson's most historic open space, there was some concern about making changes before a historic landscape study was done that could inform the alterations.
Sterling's first idea also had to do with Washington Hose. She suggested that an addition be built at the back of the building to provide much needed public bathrooms. Such a public facility would certainly be useful to both residents and visitors, assuming that, unlike the current public bathrooms in Henry Hudson Riverfront Park, they could actually be unlocked and accessible on a regular basis.
Sterling also suggested that the City might apply to the CDBG program for help in building a parking garage at Fourth and Columbia streets, but Moore pointed out that the cost of such a garage has been estimated at between $3 and $4 million, and $400,000 represented an insignificant part of that cost.
|Photograph by Peter Frank|
The CDBG application is due on May 27, and before then there will be a second public hearing to present the project that the City is proposing for CDBG funding. It is not clear what the decision-making process is that will determine which of the ideas discussed last night will the proposal the City pursues, or if it will be something else altogether.