check-tannersville

By Jim Planck Columbia-Greene Media

TANNERSVILLE — Any municipality or nonprofit agency that has ever received a grant from New York State is well aware that in most cases there is a condition requiring a matching amount be supplied by the receiving entity.

If the grant is for $15,000, the receiver has to also put up their own $15,000, either in money or through in-kind services — the monetary value assigned to labor and materials — to get the state funds.

When the grant doesn’t permit the use of in-kind services, then raising that match can be especially hard if the grant is very large, and in some cases may even deter a group from even applying.

However, the Hunter Foundation, a nonprofit agency that works towards the improvement of buildings and infrastructure in the Town of Hunter, has stepped forward to help the Village of Tannersville with a grant match that is well beyond the norm.

Hunter Foundation Co-chairman Sean Mahoney and board member Daniel King presented Tannersville Mayor Lee McGunnigle with a check for $133,000 at the foundation’s office in Tannersville on Wednesday.

The money will be used as the funding match for a Local Waterfront Revitalization grant awarded by the state to the municipality to restore Rip Van Winkle Lake Park.

Hunter Foundation Executive Director Anne Jakubowski said Friday that the organization is pleased to be able to assist.

“They really needed a cash match,” said Jakubowski, “and we were really happy to be able to help, because it’s just going to make it wonderful for people, having all these improvements down by the lake.”

Those improvements are targeted to include a mobile band stage, a floating dock, shoreline work, and more recreational park equipment.

Jakubowski said that in separate projects, the foundation also has plans for two sites up by Main Street.

“We have the building next to Mama’s Boy Burgers,” she said, “which people may know as ‘The Village House.’”

“We have to do some interior demolition there,” she said, “to see what’s behind the walls and what can be done,” noting that will probably be performed next month.

Jakubowski said they are working with an architect on the project, who will design a plan for the building once the necessary areas are opened up, and that work could begin as early as the spring.

She said the hope is to have a number of separate uses within the building, with possibilities for retail, shared office space, multi-use seminar space, and even rehearsal space for the local theatrical troupe, The Green Room Players.

“We’ve had quite a few people interested in it,” she said. “It’s all on the wish list. We have to see what we can fit in there.”

Noting the building’s size, Jakubowski said that at one time it saw large-scale commercial recreational use.

“I’m sure we can fit a lot,” she said, “because it used to be the roller rink and everything else.”

Jakubowski said the foundation has been consistently doing this kind of work through the years.

“We’ve been in operation since 1997,” she said, “and, basically, we buy up blighted properties and rehab them and give them new life.”

“That’s how new business people have been able to come in,” Jakubowski said.

“We offer incentives of different sorts, to help people get started and up and running,” she said, “and it’s worked well, because it’s not a vacant building in the community any longer. It’s something that’s been beautified.”

Of the foundation’s recent achievements, Jakubowski said there are several.

“There’s the very successful Hudson-Chatham Winery,” she said, “and the [Wellness Rx] Pharmacy, which is doing amazing.”

Tannersville is an expansion location for both the winery and a new burger spot, and Jakubowski noted, “Mama’s Boy Burgers and Hudson-Chatham Winery have both told me they have exceeded their expectations for this location.”

Jakubowski said the foundation is also hoping to provide some open space nearby to Main Street.

“A project that’s coming up is the Bickleman property, which is behind the laundromat, by the creek,” she said. “We want to create a beautiful green space there.”

“We’ve just received a conceptual design,” she said, “which has been approved by the board.” She also said that the next step is to pursue open space funding.

Jakubowski said they will keep certain on-site items to incorporate the spot’s history, including a stone foundation.

“It will be so people can sit on it, and take in the beauty of the creek,” she said. “That’s going to be a beautiful park area.”

“Not a playground,” she added, “but an open green space.”

“And we’re hoping to do a little bridge across the creek,” Jakubowski said. “It’s a beautiful design the architect came up with.”

“There’s a lot of exciting things happening,” she said.

To reach reporter Jim Planck, call 518-943-2100, ext. 3324, or e-mail email hidden; JavaScript is required.