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Wallkill Valley TimesWalden seeks state grant for community center

Walden seeks state grant for community center

Officials and residents in Walden have long desired a community center to call their own. So the village is taking another crack this summer at securing funding for the proposed community hub, which would be located in James W. Olley Community Park.

The village is planning on applying for a $832,000 grant through the state’s Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) that would cover the entire cost of the project. The application is due by July 28 and Walden could get word on the CFA grant by December. If the village receives the funding for the community center, they’d have one year to build the local gathering site.

This week, village officials will also meet with State Senator William Larkin in hopes of securing money for the community center project through a SAM grant. “We’re going to ask him if he can help us out with any amount so that would reduce the CFA request,” Village Manager John Revella said. “Hopefully that would increase our chances of getting funding through that program.”

The Walden administration contends that a community center for the village is long overdue. “We are the largest village in the Town of Montgomery, and we’re the only village right now that does not have a dedicated community center,” Walden Mayor Susan Rumbold said. If the village obtains the money for the center, it would have myriad uses for local citizens. “It would be somewhere for our seniors to gather and community members could use it for meetings, receptions, parties, things of that nature,” Rumbold said. “It would be an indoor facility for our summer rec children to use. We could show movies or do things like crafts in inclement weather. I think it would be very beneficial for our community.”

Revella notes that the proposed center could also be invaluable for the village’s summer camp program, among others. “We could have a lot of activities publicly that don’t require a fee right now,” he said. “There’s a large fee to use the firehouse building, which is the only large center in town right now. So this would be another option for us, especially during summer camp when there’s inclement weather. If the kids have to get indoors, we have to get them to Wooster Grove, which is almost impossible because we don’t have a busing system. So we end up having to call the parents to take them home. So this would give us that option and that opportunity with that facility there. Also, if the temperature gets really high, we have a cooling station right there.”

At its July 11 meeting, the board unanimously passed a pair of local laws refining village codes for the registration of rental properties and construction. Local Law No. 7 amends the rental property registry by “expanding the jurisdiction of Chapter 221 to encompass all types of rental property including residential, commercial, industrial and any and all other types of rental properties….” Local Law No. 8 amends the construction code by stipulating that all unpaid fees “shall be assessed and levied … and collected in the same manner as real property taxes.”

By Ted Remsnyder

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