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Upper Delaware Council Awards Four Technical Assistance Grants

Upper Delaware Council Awards Four Technical Assistance Grants

NARROWSBURG – The Upper Delaware Council (UDC) will award $23,377 to fund four projects through its Fiscal Year 2020 Technical Assistance Grants (TAG) program.

That brings the cumulative amount that the UDC has provided to its member municipalities and counties to $891,952 since 1988. In all, 257 projects have been funded.

Approved for FY 2020 (Oct. 1, 2019-Sept. 30, 2020) funding were:

Town of Tusten – $10,000 for a Phase I update of the 2007 Town of Tusten Comprehensive Plan;

Town of Tusten – $7,250 to finalize an update of the Town of Tusten Zoning Ordinance which has been underway by a Zoning Rewrite Committee for two years;

Town of Hancock – $5,000 to hire a consultant to conduct a Recreational Access Study along the Delaware River from the Village of Hancock in Delaware County to Long Eddy in Sullivan County to assess the feasibility of developing a walking trail and improving access to the river for fishing and boating; and

Town of Delaware – $1,127 to create and print 1,000 copies of a tri-fold “Guide to Permits” Brochure to provide information to the public on the town’s building permit requirements and answer frequently asked questions.

Mid-term progress reports for the FY 2020 grants will be due by Feb. 28, 2020. The deadline to complete their projects and submit documentation for reimbursement is Aug. 28, 2020.

The UDC board approved a resolution at the Oct. 3 UDC monthly meeting to award the grants. 2019 Chairperson Harold G. Roeder, Jr. signed it “under protest as NPS would not fund Berlin Township’s grant”.

His statement referred to a $710.00 grant for a website update project by Berlin Township that the Project Review Committee favored approving but the National Park Service (NPS) Northeast Region denied, contending that it did not conform to the goals and objectives of the 1986 River Management Plan (RMP) for the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River to justify an appropriate use of federal funds.

The decision came despite an appeal letter filed by the UDC on Sept. 25 noting that, “Our research reveals that, with active NPS participation in the TAG review process, the UDC has assisted in funding the development and updating of member municipality websites 10 times since 2001, at a total cost of $22,745 over that 18-year span. We are not aware of why this website update would require meeting any different or higher standard of TAG program acceptability.”

The letter cited two RMP goals and Principle B of the Land and Water Use Guidelines that the UDC believes the application addressed based on the intended content and utilization of the upgraded website.

NPS officials maintained in an Oct. 2 determination that the proposed project was not an allowable expense, noting that regulations aimed at promoting fiscal accountability have tightened over time.

Technical Assistance Grants are available on a competitive basis to the UDC’s eight member New York towns, five Pennsylvania townships, and their encompassing five river corridor counties.

Buckingham and Manchester Townships in Wayne County, PA would be eligible to receive this member benefit if they joined the UDC.

To access a directory of the UDC’s Technical Assistance Grants from 1988-2019, review program guidelines, and download forms, visit www.upperdelawarecouncil.org. Please contact UDC Resource Specialist Pete Golod at (845) 252-3022 or pete@upperdelawarecouncil.org with any questions about the TAG program.