Crawford prepares application for NY Forward Grant

By Jared Castañeda
Posted 5/22/24

The Town of Crawford has been eyeing the NY Forward Grant for the past couple of years, watching from the shadows as other municipalities compete for the funding. This year, after assembling its own …

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Crawford prepares application for NY Forward Grant


The Town of Crawford has been eyeing the NY Forward Grant for the past couple of years, watching from the shadows as other municipalities compete for the funding. This year, after assembling its own grant committee, the town is ready to strike and will do its best to persuade the state during the grant’s next round.

NY Forward, created in 2022 as a spinoff to the Downtown Revitalization Project, is a grant program that provides funding to smaller municipalities for infrastructure, tourism, recreation, and community projects. Over the last two years, the state has held two rounds for the program and awarded 43 communities with funding; the latest recipient for this grant was the Village of Montgomery, which received $4.5 million last February.

Supervisor Charles Carnes, during Crawford’s May 16 meeting, announced that the town would apply for the next NY Forward Grant if and when the program becomes available again. While the state has yet to confirm a round three for the grant, Carnes and the board want to prepare in the event they can secure funding for the town’s own revitalization projects.

“We’ve been talking about this grant for a long time and we’re making great progress here,” Carnes said, adding that the town’s Forward committee is currently working on an application and brainstorming ideas for potential projects.

A few members from the town’s grant committee provided additional context to residents about the program, including its history and application process. Dan McCann, the town’s director of safety and security, explained the origin of the grant and how the town was unprepared for the first two rounds but is nearly prepared for the third.

“We spoke with NY Forward their first year, we looked at what we had in place and we didn’t have everything that we needed. This past year, we stepped aside and did not go for that, and luckily some local agencies got it,” McCann said. “We’re in a position right now where we’re ready and getting even closer to that if they run a third. We haven’t gotten notified yet but we’re hoping that this is going to happen.”

Joan Miller, a member of the town’s community services who gathered the grant committee together, noted that the committee has been drafting the grant’s 20-page application since January 2024 and would need to submit it by September 2024 if the third round comes to fruition. She introduced R.J. Smith, a real estate agent of Rand Commerical, who provided an overview of the committee’s vision and what projects would benefit Crawford the most. He put heavy emphasis on improving the town’s walkability, which would increase pedestrian access and improve residents’ health.

“The idea is to make our community as walkable and as friendly as possible, and to put together a program to motivate and inspire people to get out and walk. We’ll do that by having organized walks, such as senior walks, mom walks, walks to the library,” Smith said. “They’d be self-guiding and not demanding, with signage where it’s appropriate. The objective is to make our community healthier and make our community one of the most pedestrian friendly communities in the region, if not in the state.”

Smith also shared a wishlist of projects that the committee would submit to the state along with its pitch; notable projects included a new bandstand, improvements to the bandstand on Main Street in Pine Bush, a sports complex, and electric charging stations.

“This is going to be a big application, we’re going to be spending a lot of time on it,” Carnes said. “We do have Mark Devitt and Brian Fitzpatrick (from the Village of Montgomery’s LPC) coming over to try to give us some tips to get it.”

Devitt and Fitzpatrick were instrumental in securing a $4.5 million grant for Montgomery earlier this year. The Village of Highland Falls was also awarded a grant through the NY Forward Grant Program.