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In Kauneonga Lake, Liberty and Fremont Center

May 1, 2006


[KAUNEONGA LAKE] – Derelict structures in three communities are being removed through a grant program offered by Sullivan Renaissance and the Sullivan County Legislature. 


The Municipal Clean-Up Pilot Program announced today that structures in Kauneonga Lake and Liberty will be removed in the next several weeks.  An old building in Fremont Center has already been taken down.  Representatives of the municipalities receiving grants were present at the site in Kauneonga Lake, as well as officials from Sullivan County.


The new program assists municipalities with the clean-up of roadside sites and the removal of derelict, unsightly and unsafe structures.  Sullivan Renaissance is sponsoring the matching grant program with $15,000 in funding.  Sullivan County is helping with disposal of the solid waste in the county landfill on a space available basis.  Municipalities may use in-kind contributions, private and/or foundation funds, and other sources of revenue for their match.


“We want to thank our county and municipal officials for partnering with us to develop this new program to help restore Sullivan County,” said Sandra Gerry, who chairs the Sullivan Renaissance Steering Committee.  “While taking down old buildings is a big task, we’ve found that when we all work together, the job gets done.  If this pilot program is successful, we hope to secure additional funding to make a more visible impact on the county next year.”


“Programs such as this benefit not only the communities whose aesthetic beauty is enhanced, but Sullivan County as a whole.  By taking down these unsafe buildings and creating community parks in their place, we are preserving the natural beauty of Sullivan County for all those who visit it,” said Chris Cunningham, Chair of the Sullivan County Legislature. 


The Town of Bethel chose a building located on the developing downtown Kauneonga Lake Main Street that is an eyesore and unsafe due to fire.  The property will be graded to create a parking area, gardens and sitting area.


The Town of Liberty will demolish an unsafe multiple dwelling at the corner of Spring and Elm streets.  Vacant since 1991, the building was damaged by fires in 2001 and 2005, and abandoned by its owner.  The village will seed the vacant lot and then donate the site for a workforce housing project.


 “This is an outstanding project because it helps us to secure our visual and economic base in Liberty and around the county.  Unsightly buildings hurt all of us.  We need to be aggressive in our clean-up of all areas of the county to secure its beauty as we want it to be,” said Jodi Goodman, Legislator from District 6.


The Town of Fremont removed the dilapidated building known as Arnie’s Tavern, located at the corner of county highways 93 and 95, next to the town hall.  The property will be turned into a lawn and parking area.


Sullivan Renaissance is an aesthetic improvement program, presented by the Beaverkill Foundation with support from the Gerry Foundation.  This year’s theme is “It’s Show Time” – celebrating the program’s 6th year and the attention focused on Sullivan County with the opening of Bethel Woods.  Additional funding has been secured by State Senator John J. Bonacic and Assemblywoman Aileen M. Gunther. 


Other programs include: three categories of grants based on the size of the projects; special awards for Environmental Impact, Historic Preservation, Showing of Flowers and Project Maintenance; new mini-grants; Seasonal Community Demonstration Projects; and SCCC Scholarships.  The school spruce up program assists young people with beautification projects at their school grounds or within their communities. 


For more information about the program, contact Sullivan Renaissance at 845-295-2445 or                                                    


[Photos of the structures to be removed are available electronically.]