County sets sights on funding

FONDA — The Montgomery County Legislature Tuesday voted unanimously to apply for state and federal funding for a microenterprise program aimed at agriculture.

If the application is approved, the funding will come from the a federal Community Development Block Grant [CDBG] administered by the New York Homes and Community Renewal Office.

The resolution applying for the grant was sponsored by District 2 Legislator Brian Sweet and co-sponsored by District 4 Legislator Robert Headwell.

The stated purpose of the microenterprise fund would be to help fund agricultural business projects that will help create or retain jobs for low- and moderate-income persons, as well as help to create high quality, full-time jobs that are well paying and provide benefits and training to low- and moderate-income persons, according to the resolution passed by the Montgomery County Legislature.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for the agricultural community to leverage capital and funds to the help move forward in their business. So, we’re obviously hopeful that we can make this happen,” Montgomery County Executive Matt Ossenfort said.

Typically a CDBG microenterprise fund has as much as $200,000 put into it and grants are awarded to businesses from it with fewer than five employees, usually in amounts ranging from $5,000 up to $35,000, and usually requiring proposals from applicants showing the creation of at least one full time job. Other counties in New York state, including Delaware County, have in recent years administered microenterprise funds specifically aimed at the agricultural sector. More information about microenterprise funds can be found at www.nyshcr.org.

The Montgomery County Legislature will conduct a public hearing for the grant application at 6:55 p.m. June 27 in the Chambers of the County Legislature in County Office Building in Fonda.

By Patricia Older

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