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Village to gather resident data

CANAJOHARIE — The village board passed a resolution at the May 4 monthly meeting to work with RCAP Solutions in an effort to gather data on residents that could result in the community receiving more funding. The service provided by RCAP is through a federal grant and will come at almost no cost to the village.

Mayor Jeff Baker said the importance of the survey will give a clearer picture of where it stands in terms of the amount of its lower income residents. He said the census work done previously does not accurately tell the story because many people are either not reached, do not fill the survey out, or do not return it. Baker said RCAP knows how to best implement this type of data collection and feels working with them will pay off.

“This is a company that will handle the technology and bookkeeping, as well as give us instructions on how to get income surveys out there. It comes at no cost to the village with the exception of mailings,” said Baker.

Baker said he, along with other volunteers, will be trained on how to properly go door-to-door and reach residents that have been hard to contact in the past.

“Many people won’t participate in mailings, but when you go door-to-door it makes a difference. And because of COVID, it will be a no touch process,” said Baker.

The hope, Baker explains, is that once the village can show that they have a larger amount of low income residents than what was previously being accounted for, they can then apply and possibly receive more meaningful grants.

“We could then be looking at grants worth 60/40, 80/20 and maybe even 100 percent,” said Baker.

RCAP Solutions is a non-profit corporation in Worcester, Massachusetts offering many diverse and supportive programs and services. They promote public, environmental, and economic health through consulting, planning, and oversight of community development and infrastructure projects.

The board tabled a proposal from M&M LLC for Riverfront clean-up despite Baker saying the area needs to be made safe and is in need of maintenance. The $6,000 plus proposal was tabled so the board could discuss it further at next month’s new budget meeting. Baker said M&M LLC has done other landscape work around the village, and that he believes they could clean the Riverfront area in time for the summer months.

“The flowerbeds are out of control, the area needs to be trimmed, weeded, cleaned out, edged, have brush removed, and mulched before Memorial Day,” said Baker.

Baker briefly touched on the topic of the old Beech-Nut property being turned into a place for commercial marijuana production. E29 Labs, the canninbas producer, is looking to start the process sometime early next year, provided all the permits are obtained. Baker said he knows the community has many questions and they plan to hold a public meeting, in person and through WebEx, to address those concerns. The meeting will be in the next two to three weeks, according to the board.

“It will be a discussion, not a forum. We met with E29 Labs and they are very anxious to be accepted by the community,” said Baker.

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