OSWEGO – Mayor Billy Barlow announced today, Nov. 26, he is extending an offer to towns and villages in Oswego and Cayuga counties to assist with the administration and implementation of Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative projects recently announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
The $300 million REDI program was announced earlier this year by Governor Cuomo to assist municipalities along Lake Ontario who suffered damage from high water levels and flooding associated with the International Joint Commission’s Plan2014.
On October 31, Governor Cuomo announced $43 million for 31 projects in Oswego and Cayuga counties.
Now, local municipalities must administer the grant funding received.
Some elected officials of smaller municipalities have expressed concern over the work involved in grant administration and the lack of staff and resources required to properly administer the process.
As a result, Mayor Barlow is offering assistance through the Oswego Economic Development office, led by Justin Rudgick, through an inter-municipal agreement for any municipal in the Oswego/Cayuga REDI region who may need assistance.
The agreement would allow for the city of Oswego to complete any or all paperwork and permitting work for REDI projects, administer the implementation process on behalf of the municipality, if they need assistance.
The city of Oswego would charge a small fee for the assistance, approximately 1% of total grant funding allocated per project, capped at $25,000.
“The opportunity presented by Governor Cuomo, through the REDI funding, is a once in a lifetime opportunity for our region to improve our shoreline, prevent further damage from occurring, and capitalize on our waterfront. We must assist our neighbors, smaller municipalities, who simply do not have the staff, time and resources to devote to administering such a large program,” said Mayor Barlow. “The city of Oswego is prepared to extend a helping hand to assist our neighbors as we have an office capable of administering the process and assisting neighboring municipalities with any help they may need. I’m proud to work with our neighbors to ensure we, as a region, fully capitalize on this opportunity by better protecting our shoreline and position our community to better capitalize on our waterfront for years to come.”
Justin Rudgick, Director of Economic Development, said, “After years of administering and completing large grants, we understand how to navigate the sometimes difficult process. Mayor Barlow understands the challenges facing smaller municipalities with grant administration and we believe offering assistance can help move their projects along.”
“Thanks to Mayor Barlow’s leadership, we now have the option to work together to ensure these projects are completed and make the process less strenuous for municipalities who do not have grant writers, planners and staff,” he added.
The city would not make decisions on behalf of the municipality regarding the projects, but would simply submit information, complete documentation, navigate the permitting process and prepare the projects for construction after consultation with the awarded municipality.
If a municipality wishes to enter into an agreement with the city of Oswego, the fee paid to the city would count towards the municipalities 5% local match required for the REDI funding.
The city of Oswego will extend the offer until December 9.