Canton village okays applying for state funds to help rebuild Dairy Queen
Friday, May 24, 2019 - 5:02 pm

CANTON – The Canton Village Board has authorized the application for a Community Development Block Grant which will assist with equipment costs for the rebuilding of the Dairy Queen.

The board of trustees passed a resolution giving the go ahead to submit the grant application at its meeting Monday, May 20.

If secured, the state CDBG grant would provide $195,000 in reimbursement for equipment purchases made by Audrey Guthrie Inc. d/b/a Dairy Queen as the restaurant is rebuilt. The funding would support the creation of 13 full time jobs for persons of low to moderate income.

The Dairy Queen at 51 Gouverneur St., owned by Gail Crabtree and John Putman, was destroyed by an August 2018 fire. The blaze was started by former employee Cody W. Horrocks during an afterhours burglary. Horrocks pleaded to the arson in March and was sentenced to 5 to 15 years in state prison. He was also sentenced to 15 years for an unrelated stabbing.

The building was declared a total loss after the fire.

The destruction left nearly 20 residents without employment and laid low a downtown eatery that was long a facet of the local community and a regular stop for athletic teams visiting Canton school for competitions.

CDBG grants are administered by the New York State Office of Community Renewal (OCR), and will make available to eligible local governments approximately $50 million for the current program year for housing, economic development, public facilities, public infrastructure, and planning activities, with the principal purpose of benefitting low/moderate income persons.

A low and moderate income person is defined as being a member of a household whose income is less than 80% of the area median income for the household size, said a document regarding the program posted on the village’s webpage.

A principal benefit to low and moderate income persons requires at least 51% of the project beneficiaries to qualify as low and moderate income, the document states.

According to the stipulations of the grant application, CDBG applicants must address and resolve a specific community need in one of the following areas: public infrastructure, public facilities, economic development and community planning.

The village is applying for the CDBG under the specific category of:

• economic development, which provides financial assistance to businesses for CDBG eligible activities which result in creation or retention of jobs for low income persons;

According to the stipulations of the state grant application, the village has staged public hearings and a public comment period on the application.

For more about the CDBG program and the grant application visit https://bit.ly/2HAkRXO on the village’s website, or the federal site at https://bit.ly/2EzsA7x.