Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Galvan, the Armory, and the Senior Center

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."

1 comment:

  1. I do have to appreciate Scalera's ,Eddie Haskle- like explanation, about not wanting to answer to the State for reimbursement on Senior Center construction costs

    I do not believe that the citizens of Hudson are nearly as dense as this seemingly rag tag outfit may think they are.
    I do think citizens are just plain worn out and overwhelmed by this NYC org. & it's local associates'. continuing it's A.D.D.-esque behaviors ; 3 card monte maneuvers: their plans and or the lack there of; and
    their land purchases du jour.
    People working ,with lives and families, don't have time to keep up with all these shenanigans that have been going on for many years now., unless they are on the payroll.
    And I do not think that any of this mayhem is by accident.