River Agency aims to improve grant application process; focuses on job creation and leveraging funds
Friday, January 18, 2013 - 9:23 am

By JIMMY LAWTON

LOUISVILLE -- Hoping to improve its grant process, St. Lawrence River Valley Redevelopment Agency has modified guidelines to its Community Development funding applications.

St. Lawrence County IDA Director Patrick J. Kelly said the changes focus mainly on the points systems used to score applications.

The IDA serves as staff for the River Agency.

"Basically we've tried to provide more information about the review process, about time lines and how the applications are scored," he said.

Kelly said the new guidelines score proposals that spur job creation and leverage funds at a higher level than the former system did.

"One of the consistent goals for the RVRA was finding ways to utilize these assets to bring more investment into the area. If there are ways to better leverage funding, we are going to get more for our money and have a bigger impact," he said.

Kelly said several projects funded by the agency in the past have required extensions from the board. To address this issue the board has modified the number of points awarded to projects that can be completed within six months.

Kelly said he does not expect the new guidelines to reduce the number of grant requests. He said the River Agency sees a larger number of applicants each year and expects that trend to continue.

"There are good well deserving projects out there, that there isn't enough funding for. By making changes to process and we are trying to provide as much direction to applicants at outset as possible so they know exactly how we score the projects," he said.

The River Agency has allocated about $550,000 to the Community Development and Environmental improvement fund for 2013.

Applications will be accepted until March 1.