Last April, the Common Council voted to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the Galvan Initiatives Foundation for the development of a senior center at the armory. The MOU contained this statement: "City shall make a good faith effort to facilitate the transfer of project financing previously allocated for the purpose of developing a Senior Center, including the $400,000 grant from New York State Office of Community Renewal (OCR) and the $100,000 grant from Hudson Community Development Planning Agency (HCDPA)."
Over the next eight months, the City made a "good faith effort," petitioning the Office of Community Renewal to permit the $400,000 grant, originally awarded in 2010, to be applied to the new plan for the senior center. During that time, whenever questions arose about the status of the project, the answer was typically that Galvan was waiting for the financing to be in place.
Finally, in January, the financing was in place. Word came that OCR had approved using the $400,000 for the renovating and repurposing of the Officers' Hall at the armory as a senior center. The Register-Star explained at the time: "To receive reinbursement from the CDBG grant for work done, Galvan will submit invoices to the HCDPA, where they will be evaluated as to 'compliance with CDBG award guidelines and rules, including all state and federal rules and regulations,' and forwarded to the state."
Today, the Register-Star reports that Galvan doesn't want the $400,000 after all: "Galvan rejects $400,000 in state funding for senior center project." The reason given is "the myriad long-term administrative and compliance requirements associate with using government funding in private developments." The article further quotes this comment from the press release: "Galvan's relationship with the Hudson City Council is insufficiently defined to support such an undertaking on an extended basis."
On the topic of "the myriad long-term administrative and compliance requirements," Rick Scalera, mayor for two decades and now special adviser to Galvan, is quoted as saying, "With state funds, there are a ton of regulations you have to follow. With the Armory Building, we could only work on the senior center and would have to hold off on any other development until it was completed. There could be no other construction in building concurrent with the senior center's." One wonders why they couldn't have figured this out sooner.
The article also reports this surprising development: "[T. Eric] Galloway recently stepped down from his role as CEO of Lantern Organization to devote more time and attention to the work of Galvan Foundation. He said his decision was based on the fact that 'Galvan Foundation is in the process of planning and developing numerous 2014 initiatives.' These initiatives include conversion of the armory into the library and senior center, development of a home for the Alternative Learning Program, reassembling 900 Columbia St. and renovation of its Warren Street holdings."
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