Millerton’s pool could be subject of North East’s grant application
NORTH EAST — Millerton Mayor John Scutieri made a concise presentation to the North East Town Board at its business meeting on Thursday, Sept. 8, on the subject of Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), something both municipalities typically apply for on an annual basis.This year, as in years past, the village is pursuing the $150,000 block grant for sidewalk work, specifically for sidewalk replacement on Main Street. Because it’s such a “big project in and of itself,” according to Scutieri, the village is hoping North East might use its application to address something both municipalities rely on — Denny Pool, located at Eddie Collins Field, in the village of Millerton. Because the village is located within the town, such an application would be perfectly acceptable, and technically the two municipalities would still be submitting two separate and independent grant applications.The idea makes sense, said the mayor, because this year the town of North East doesn’t have a specific idea in mind for a project of its own. And one thing that doesn’t make sense, Scutieri added, is to let the chance at winning a $150,000 grant award go to waste.“The town seems to be at odds over what projects it’s working on,” Scutieri said, adding the county awards block grants based on a priority list. “There are not a lot of projects the town has that will fall into that priority list — affordable housing, recreation, making places handicapped accessible; outside the village the town doesn’t have a whole lot to work on.”Additionally, the town hasn’t won a CDBG in years, the mayor said, adding that “kind of makes sense,” since the county wouldn’t award a municipality working solely on smaller projects.“That’s why I pitched the idea,” he said. “We’re all in the same community — the village and the town — why not work on a grant that would help everybody, but just be in the village? It seems to be the Town Board is willing to work on the idea.”The grant application deadline is Oct. 7, so Scutieri said this is an “11th hour” idea. To change the village’s CDBG application from sidewalks to pool repairs would be more difficult, he said, firstly because so much effort has gone into writing the sidewalk grant application and secondly because changing gears so late in the game doesn’t make much sense. Having the town start from scratch with a simpler, more basic application for pool repairs is the way to go, according to the mayor. The pool application can’t be too detailed, because that would take too much time to write, but it can focus on either repairing or reconditioning the pool. The village suspects there is a large crack on the bottom of the pool, or some other problem around the main drain. The pool is leaking water on a daily basis. The village also wants to bring the pool up to ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) standards. Ramps are planned for the pool, to allow for wheelchair use. Also, concrete pads around the pool need to be replaced, along with the pool’s apron. “It would be really nice for the work to be done at the pool,” Scutieri said. “But everything will add up and this will certainly be over $150,000.”Town Councilman Carl Stahovec said he thought the idea had merit and added he would be interested in meeting with engineers at the pool.“I wouldn’t mind seeing what we need to do and how much we should do for the next few years,” he said. “We really didn’t have any other project ideas.”Scutieri said an engineer was putting together a “punch list” as they spoke.Ultimately there is the goal of replacing the pool, but the Village Board understands that may be a number of years down the road.If the Town Board agrees to pursue the grant and it wins the CDBG, the end result will be enjoyed by village and town residents alike. As is currently the practice, those who live in both Millerton and North East will continue to pay a nominal gate fee for usage of the pool.