Grant awarded for 'Cheese Barrel' block

Margaretville — Businesses on the “Cheese Barrel Block” in the Village of Margaretville will receive more than $300,000 in flood recovery funds, it was announced last week.

A grant of $307,940 will be used to create a grant fund to be administered by the Arkville-based MARK Project to support the final stages of rebuilding and rehabilitation of six contiguous historic buildings in a single target area known as the “Cheese Barrel Block” on Main Street in downtown Margaretville.

The buildings were severely damaged by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee in 2011. The objective is to return each property to code compliance condition, improve the façade appearance, and incorporate energy efficiency design in the rebuild. Each building will receive an average grant of $45,000.

The funds are being provided by the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council.
MARK Project Executive Director Peg Ellsworth was gratified with the announcement of the funding award.

“I am so very impressed and humbled at the dedication and tenacity of the owners of these and several other Main Street buildings that suffered in the days, weeks and months after Irene and equally grateful to the Southern Tier Regional Council for recognizing the need and ‘stepping to the plate’ with necessary funds for rebuilding,” Ms. Ellsworth stated.

“But, this is just the beginning of a long uphill journey. MARK's efforts to help with our recovery will continue to be a focus as we look to the future and sustainability of our Catskill Mountain communities. The subsequent development of new business in our region is an absolute necessity and it is my hope that we can do this together — creatively and collaboratively — there is no other way to move the region forward. Main Street Revitalization goes hand in hand with new business start up and support for entrepreneurial activity--not only in Margaretville, but across the entire region,” added the MARK director.