ALBANY COUNTY — Chairman Sean E. Ward announced almost $110K in grant funding for 33 non-profit organizations during an event on Thursday, June 8, which was attended by youth groups, firefighters and military veterans.
Ward and legislators who sponsored the various grant requests from organizations in their districts throughout Albany County presented checks, ranging from $1,000 to $5,000, to leaders of those organizations during an evening ceremony held in the Harold L. Joyce Office Building at 112 State St.
The beneficiaries were selected from 46 submissions for grant funding; of the remaining 13, eight were denied and five were placed on “hold” for future consideration.
“The Legislature is pleased to again have funds in its part of the county budget to reward these very deserving community organizations that applied for much-needed funding,” said Ward.
Some grants were for public safety purchases: $5,000 was awarded for portable radios for the Verdoy Fire Department of Latham; $2,000 will purchase smart dummies for training scenarios at Shaker Road Loudonville Fire Departent Station 2; $5,000 will buy equipment for renovations at the McKownville Fire Department in Guilderland; $4,900 will buy a radio, battery and charger for the Latham Fire Department; and $2,000 will pay for thermal image cameras for the Westmere Fire District in Guilderland.
Others were given to veterans programs: $5,000 will help the VFW Post 9594 in Ravena refurbish an unfinished cellar; $3,000 will buy the The Green Island American Legion Post a public announcement system; and $2,500 will go to buy flooring, paint, sheetrock and cabinets for Colonie VFW Post 8692, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.
More than $30,000 was awarded to various youth sports programs: Colonie Little League received $5,000 for building and field maintenance; $3,000 will help pay for two dugouts for the Guilderland Babe Ruth Baseball; $5,000 will buy a new loudspeaker system for the Watervliet Little League; $2,200 will replace nets and goals for the Colonie Soccer Club; the Latham Lassies received $1,000 for field improvements; $4,000 will build a practice kick wall for the Latham Circle Soccer Club; $2,000 will buy new state-of the-art helmets for the Colonie Pop Warner Football; $1,500 will go toward roof repairs and netting for Westland Hills, Inc.; $5,000 will buy trail grooming machines for the Mystery Lake Trail Riders Snowmobile Club of Ravena; and an at-risk lacrosse program at Youth LIFE Support Network, Inc., of Albany will receive $5,000 for the purposes of advertising and college recruitment of players.
Also funded were new chairs for the community room at the new Mohawk Hudson Humane Society in Menands ($5,000); adoption supplies and information for Happy Cat Rescue, Inc. in Guilderland Center ($1,500); rugs for the South End Neighborhood Tutors/The Wizard’s Wardrobe of Albany ($1,500); camping equipment for the St. Pius Boy Scout Troop 1078 of Loudonville ($2,665); building repairs for Division 1 Ancient Order of Hibernians of Watervliet ($5,000); education counseling for 100 Black Men of Albany ($4,000); programs at Counseling Care & Services, Inc., of Cohoes ($3,500); summer youth programs in Westerlo and Rensselaerville ($3,000); technology upgrades at The Arbor Hill Development Corporation of Albany ($5,000); field trips for children at the Riverview Summer Day Camp of Coeymans ($2,000); technical upgrades for the Guilderland Chamber of Commerce ($1,790); and interior repairs to the Friends of Schoolcraft House of Guilderland ($5,000).
Guilderland Town Historian Ann Wemple-Person said she is “thrilled that the grant will immediately fund work to largely complete the careful and beautiful restoration of the [Schoolcraft] house’s first floor.”
The Washington Park Conservancy of Albany will receive $3,300 to purchase an insecticide, administered by professional arborists, to fight the threat of the Emerald Ash Borer, a non-native wood-boring pest that attacks North American Ash trees, and the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy will receive $3,000 to remove an invasive species of water chestnut that has rendered the Mohawk riverfront at Colonie Town Park unsuitable for fishing, kayaking and other activities.
“The docks at the Colonie Town Park and its waterfront have struggled to deal with the invasive species,” said MHLC spokesman Daron Blake. “With so little green space in a dense suburban community like Colonie’s, in addition to the surrounding areas that could use the facility such as Cohoes, it is critical that we maintain the recreational areas that have been afforded to the residents.”
“MHLC is pleased to help with efforts to improve access to the Mohawk River,” said Executive Director Mark King. “This project will help address the issue of invasive water chestnut and will enhance opportunities for people to enjoy and hopefully discover the Mohawk River. We hope this project will introduce more people to this wonderful Capital District natural asset.”
MHLC was denied a second grant for which it applied, $10,000 requested by legislators Joanne Cunningham and Bill Reinhardt of Bethlehem and Lucille McKnight of Albany’s South End to expand the upcoming July 22 Hike-a-Thon to the Albany end of the Albany County Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail, along with “free” bike rentals for the individuals of Albany’s South End.