Tag: grant money

Dropping the Ball on Broadband for Farmland- An Editorial

We have agreed that internet is lacking here and something needs to be done.

In a previous post I asked our candidates for Erie County Executive about Broadband in our area and what they were planning on doing about it.  Here are their responses

The Currently County Executive Mr. Poloncarz has proposed ErieNet and has at least got some wheels turning to get it going.  Though really, how far is $250,000 going to go? AND has that budget even been actually approved yet?

His opponent Ms. Dixon makes some points about other places that have tried to implement their own internet and it hasn’t turned out so great. As for 5G, that is just a mess in itself anyway. Between the tech coming from CHINA, as well as the unknowns of what it can do to the environment AND some residents don’t even have BASIC internet here yet, how long would 5G take to get here??   So, what are our options?

First off, if you go To this link and put in our zip code, zoom in on the map, it will show you in real time how under served our community is.  Note all the RED.  That means ZERO providers.  

Our kids shouldn’t have to go into the Village to be able to get enough internet to do their schoolwork. People can’t enjoy Netflix or their favorite streaming music/shows because it just keeps cutting out!  It is hard to get real time info to people during a weather emergency.  There are just too many things to list.  It is like we are living in 1995 instead of 2019, and frankly there is no excuse for it.

USDA Made Grants (#freemoney) and Grant/Loan Programs Available for Rural Farm Areas to get Fios Last Year

Last year the USDA (YES, under the Trump administration) made grants and grant/loan programs available to communities like ours to get money (#FREEMONEY) to extend broadband.  To the tune of $400 MILLION BUCKS!  You can read the Press Release HERE .  Sounds GREAT, doesn’t it?  Well sadly, none of our folks, even bothered applying for it.  Now the cut off date has passed.  If you dig deeper, there is an interactive map that shows who applied and where they are in the application process (spoiler, we aren’t on it).  Here is the booklet put out by the USDA  explaining the whole thing.  BTW, it took me a grand total of 15 seconds to find this.

Not only was the Federal Government handing out money, but so was NYS.  I’m hoping that $250,000 Mr Poloncarz put in the budget was from a grant and not taxpayer money.

There is SO MUCH #FREEMONEY out there, and it is our elected officials jobs to look for it and secure grants.  This would get the job done while keeping taxes low.

So here are MY questions:

Whose job is it to hunt down grants for infrastructure here?  Is it Town Council? Is it our Legislator? Our Assemblyman? County Executive? We don’t have a Congressman.  

How come no one bothered to apply?

I am hopeful that these grants will become available again next year with the new Federal budget.  Will someone apply for them this time?

The Newsteader wasn’t really a real “thing” yet when these announcements were made last year.  If The Newsteader was here then, you can be SURE #FreeMoney for Internet would have been a headline.

I invite any and all elected officials in the Akron/Newstead district to respond.  I am email this to all of them as well as posting on Twitter, and  tagging them if they have an account, as well as the people running against them.  We need answers.  -JAP-





DEC Announces Forestry Grants #FREEMONEY

There is SO MUCH free money out there!  We can accomplish a LOT without raising taxes.

They are accepting applications NOW -JAP-

From our friends at the DEC:

Urban and Community Forestry Grants

We are now accepting applications for Round 15. Applications are due Wednesday, December 4, 2019 at 2:00 PM.

DEC’s Urban and Community Forestry Program will host a webinar on Thursday, October 10 at 10 a.m. to educate potential applicants on the grants process and answer questions. Application instructions and information about the October 10 webinar are available on the Grants Gateway website.

Grant Goal and Overview

The purpose of this grant is to improve the health of urban and community forests and to increase the sustainability of forestry programs.

This reimbursement grant program focuses on partnerships, volunteers, community groups, professionals and outreach and education because these are components of strong and sustainable community forestry programs. Eligible project categories include tree inventories, management plans, tree planting, maintenance, and education programming for those who care for community trees. Some categories require a 25%. Grant funds are available from the NYS Environmental Protection Fund and are managed and allocated by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Grant proposals are evaluated for cost effectiveness, projected benefits, use of recommended standards in implementation, community outreach and education, local support, and regional impact. Appropriate consideration is given to under-served neighborhoods, as well as environmental issues that could be addressed with green solutions. DEC foresters can provide technical assistance to applicants and assist with tree lists for planting grants.

Kids planting a tree

Eligible Applicants and Projects

For the complete eligibility requirements, project descriptions, timeframe and scoring information please read the Request For Applications (PDF). Following the instructions in this document is essential in submitting a successful application.

Eligible Applicants

For the purposes of this grant program the following entities are considered eligible applicants:

  1. New York municipalities and quasi-governmental entities including: counties, cities, towns, villages, public benefit corporations, public authorities, municipal corporations, soil and water conservation districts, community colleges, and Indian nations or tribes recognized by the State or the United States with a reservation wholly or partly within the boundaries of New York State, or any combination thereof.
  2. Not-For-Profit Corporations (NFPs): an organization that is subject to New York State’s NFP Corporation Law and is qualified for tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Federal Internal Revenue Code. An eligible applicant must be a community-based NFP corporation, or a community-based organization may partner with an NFP that will serve as their fiscal sponsor. Eligible NFPs must complete an applicant prequalification process in Grants Gateway. For more information on NFP pre-qualification visit Grants Gateway’s Grantee documents (leaves DEC website).

Not Eligible: Academic institutions and foundations supporting the maintenance of academic campuses are not eligible applicants in this round of grant funding, except as allowed under the above definition of “municipalities and quasi-governmental entities. Individuals and unincorporated groups may not apply, but an eligible not-for-profit organization, known as a fiscal sponsor, may apply on behalf of an individual or unincorporated group.


Projects must be implemented on non-state-owned properties (municipal public property, i.e. street and park trees), privately owned parkland and open to the public (e.g. cemeteries) or alongside a state-owned roadway in a city, town, or village in a location where they provide a public benefit. Projects may be implemented further from a public roadway if within 10 feet either side of a paved or maintained multiple use trail. These guidelines apply to most grant opportunities; tree inventory, management plans, tree maintenance and tree planting.

UCF projects must be one of the following five project types. Each project type has different program objectives and requirements.

  1. Tree Inventory
  2. Community Forest Management Plan
  3. Tree Planting
  4. Tree Maintenance
  5. Education Programming for those who care for public trees (NFPs and quasi-governmental entities only)

Process Overview

All applications must be filed through Grants Gateway (leaves DEC website); paper applications are not accepted. NFPs must submit pre-qualification documents and be pre-qualified before the application due date. The State reserves 5 business days to review submitted prequalification applications. All applicants are strongly encouraged to submit their applications well in advance of the application deadline. Late applications will not be not accepted.

Please visit the New York State Grants Management website (leaves DEC website) for more information about Grants Gateway and prequalification, or contact Grants Management via email. The Grants Management help desk/hotline can be reached at (518) 474-5595.

A question and answer period is open until October 31. All questions and their answers from this period are uploaded into Grants Gateway and posted on this web page for all applicants to view.

All eligible applications submitted by the due date will be reviewed and scored by members of a DEC review team in accordance the scoring criteria described in the RFA. Scores are averaged across multiple reviews in several tiers, resulting in a final average score for the application. A final score that is 75% or greater of total points is required to be considered awardable.

Grantees are notified of awards by email and in an official DEC award letter. Applicants selected to receive a grant award are required to executive a State of New York Master Contract for Grants within 60-90 days from time of award notification. For complete details see the RFA.

How to Apply

Please read and review the RFA for Round 15 (PDF). The PowerPoint presentation (PDF) given at grant information sessions across the state in August and September is available for anyone who was not able to attend.

All applications must be filed through Grants Gateway (leaves DEC website); paper applications are not accepted. Visit the Grants Gateway login page (leaves DEC website) to create a new account or update your account. Review your account annually to ensure the information is up to date and documents are not expired. Pre-qualification materials for NFPs may be completed before the UCF grants open. Grants gateway provides training materials for those not familiar with the system, including the comprehensive Vendor User Manual (leaves DEC website)

Region 9: Erie, Niagara, Wyoming, Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua