State Senator James L. Seward today announced $40,000 in state funding for Cortland area organizations.
The awards cover projects that boost the county fairgrounds and a local research library.
"The awards help organizations and local governments afford important initiatives that might otherwise be out of their reach because of the cost or because they could pressure local taxes," Senator Seward said. "People pay enough in local property taxes as it is, and if we can direct some state resources toward our communities to offset some of their costs, then local taxpayers see enhanced services without a concomitant jump in their property taxes."
The awards include $20,000 for the Cortland County Agricultural Fair to repair and improve the restrooms, including handicapped accessibility, at the junior agriculture fairgrounds and $20,000 for the Cortland County Historical Society for upgrades to the Kellogg Memorial Research Library at the Suggett House Museum. The improvements include repairs to the exterior, reconstructing portions of the library roof, and repair walls damaged by leaks.
"The Cortland County Historical Society is very grateful to Senator Seward for recognizing the society's need to stabilize the exterior walls,to eliminate an architectural feature which leaks moisture and heat, and to provide safe access to the facility. These repairs should increase the protection of the Kellogg Memorial Research Library's unique collections, save on energy costs, and reduce potential liability claims," said Director Mary Ann Kane.
"On behalf of the Cortland County Agricultural Corporation, commonly known as the Cortland County Fair Board, we would like to thank Senator Seward for his generous gift of $20,000 for the construction of new restroom facilities at the Cortland County fairgrounds," said Executive Director Sydney C. McEvoy. "Our current restroom facilities are over 50 years old and in great need of repair. This gift, along with donations from other sources, will enable us to replace the old facilities and thus make the fairgrounds more attractive to the many organizations that would like to use them. The Cortland fairgrounds are easily accessible to Routes 81,281 and 13. We are located nearly in the center of the state and have several restaurants and motels, which makes us a great place to hold festivals, auctions or any outdoor event. The fair board has lost the opportunity to hosts several of these events due to inadequate facilities.
"Of course, our main event , the Cortland County Junior Fair, will greatly be enhanced by providing new showers and restrooms for our young 4-Hers who literally live at the fairgrounds during fair week," McEvoy added.
"Senator Seward has made this all happen. The Ag Society is a non-profit organization that does not have the ability to charge for many of their events and has therefore been able to raise these much needed funds. This will be a reality because of his generous gift," concluded McEvoy.
The funds have been appropriated as part of the 2004-2005 state budget.