Article Contributed by
Chautauqua County Department of Planning and Economic Development
The Chautauqua County Department of Planning and Economic Development has announced applications for Chautauqua County’s 2% Occupancy Tax for Lakes and Waterways Grant Program will be available on February 1, 2018.
The Occupancy Tax Grants for Lakes and Waterways are funded through the county’s five percent occupancy or bed tax for the rental of lodging units within the county. Two-fifths or two percent of the bed tax is used solely for the enhancement and protection of lakes and waterways in Chautauqua County.
These grants provide $500 to $40,000 in funding for projects to be implemented from January 1 through December 31, 2019.
“We expect to award approximately $225,000 for projects in 2019,” said Chautauqua County Watershed Coordinator Dave McCoy. “We absolutely love projects that leverage additional investment from land owners and other grant programs such as the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Water Quality Improvement Program, where each local dollar leverages three state dollars. As of 2017, the program has contributed over $2.5 million for water quality improvement projects, and in 2018 will contribute an additional $226,000, leveraging an additional $837,000 in state and federal funding for projects with a total value of $1.1 million.”
Applications may be submitted by various groups and organizations including; not-for-profits, governments, businesses and corporations, public and private schools, and all landowners of Chautauqua County. Successful projects funded under this program include but are not limited to: streambank, shoreline, or ditch stabilization; sediment retention basins; watergardens; buffer strips; and habitat improvement projects.
“This innovative grant program recently received an Environmental Excellence Award from the New York State Department of Conservation for being a unique program in the state,” said Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello. “I encourage landowners and organizations to submit an application to improve the water quality and protect the lakes and waterways in Chautauqua County.”
Completed applications are due by April 1, 2018 and should be mailed or hand-delivered to: Chautauqua County Watershed Coordinator Dave McCoy, Chautauqua County Department of Planning and Economic Development, 201 W. Third St., Suite 115, Jamestown, N.Y. 14701.
Grant applications will be scored and ranked by the Chautauqua County Water Quality Task Force’s Waterways Panel. The panel’s ranked list will then be provided in May to the Chautauqua County Legislature for its approval.
Applications are available online at www.co.chautauqua.ny.us and www.planningchautauqua.com. Hard copies of the applications are also available at the Chautauqua County Department of Planning and Economic Development, 201 W. Third St., Suite 115 in Jamestown.
For more information or assistance with the application process, please contact Dave McCoy at (716) 661-8915 or by email at [email protected].