Town of Massena seeking $20K grant to buy mower

The Massena Town Council is applying for a $20,000 grant to purchase a mower that can be used for both the town and the Massena Country Club. Christopher Lenney/Watertown Daily Times

MASSENA — The Massena Town Council will be seeking a $20,000 grant from the St. Lawrence River Valley Redevelopment Agency to purchase a mower that can be used by both the Massena Country Club and town.

“They have an opportunity once a year to apply for up to a $20,000 grant. We’ve been asked to submit a grant application for a loan for the country club. They are unable to apply for this grant by virtue of their status. They’re a corporation,” Town Supervisor Steven D. O’Shaughnessy said during the council’s latest meeting.

The deadline for submitting an application for the 2020 Community Development and Environmental Improvement Program had been April 16. But that was extended to May 15, giving the town time to apply before the deadline.

“The grant is specifically for a lawn mower that we would be buying. There would have to be some buy-in from the country club,” Mr. O’Shaughnessy said

That’s because, if the town is awarded a grant, it would cover $20,000 of the $27,000 cost of the mower. The country club would have to pick up the remaining $7,000.

“We will not be using any tax dollars. If we apply for it and get it, it will be something that both the town and golf course can use,” he said.

Mr. O’Shaughnessy said they had been talking with town of Louisville officials about applying for the grant, but Louisville is already submitting a grant application.

“We have not had any grant application,” he said.

Council member Susan Bellor said she was confused because the draft grant application that had been received by board members included partnerships with Louisville and the village of Massena.

“As far as I know, the village of Massena is not involved in this, so that should not even be in here,” she said.

In addition, she said, “I’m just wondering if it’s feasible putting Louisville in there if they’re already doing their own. I would suggest amending it to make it work.”

Mr. O’Shaughnessy said the information council members had received by email was a draft grant application that had been prepared by Business Development Corporation Executive Director James Murphy, who noted that he had not updated the original application.

He said Mr. Murphy planned on amending the document to its final form, a task that Mrs. Bellor agreed to assist with.

Council member Robert Elsner initially said he was confused about an applicant contribution of $7,000.

“I understand the application fee is $100, but there’s a $7,000 number on here that I’m not really sure,” he said.

“I interpret that the $7,000 is coming from (the country club),” Mrs. Bellor said.

She suggested that the application would carry more weight if both the towns of Massena and Louisville submitted it.

“Get Louisville in on this and you would get a higher score,” she said.

Mr. O’Shaughnessy noted that they were working with Louisville officials to make the Massena Country Club a municipal course rather than private ownership. They have envisioned that it would operate much like the Massena Town Beach, under the direction of the Massena Joint Recreation Commission.

Mrs. Bellor said they needed to work with Louisville officials to come up with a long-term plan.

“If there’s an inter-municipal agreement between Massena and Louisville, that kind of thing should be worked out,” she said.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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