The MARK Project has been working closely with communities to ensure the housing stock in the region is safe and livable. Through several CDBG Home Repair grants, smaller foundation grants, and larger state agency grants MARK has been able to make great strides in the communities we serve. Moving forward we look to more accomplishments with regards to housing and community revitalization.
MARK owns and manages an eight unit senior housing building in Arkville that requires an enormous amount of attention from our housing manager–primarily because we manage with a heart. When a senior needs to get to the grocery store and needs a ride, MARK staff steps in. A light bulb changed, doctors appointment, or at times health and safety “workshops” all become part of our daily routine at 10 Church Street. The building itself requires on going maintenance and often requires minor repairs. We continuously perform these repairs on our 10 Church Street Property.
Our individual owner occupied home repair programs keep us busy. With waiting lists, many of whom are elderly, often require improvements for accessibility and to address health and safety deficiencies in their living environment.
IN 2017-208 we ill begin construction of a Department of State Local Growers Kitchen and meeting Space in Kirkside Park Roxbury. This exciting project utilizes an historic structure to create an ag and markets certified space for local growers and artisan bakers to prepare and package products for resale. Value added product is critical to our local farms and producers and this project can serv as a model for other communities with a strong agricultural history.
Also in 2017- 2018 we will be wrapping up our regional Main Street Program and 20 commercial units will be rehabilitated, some of which will include new business start up and others will include existing business expansion.
MARK actively works with area residents on all aspects of necessary assistance. Because we serve such rural communities, it is easy for us to identify and assist residents who are struggling. Everyone knows everyone….therefore, our ability to step in and help is strong and effective.
In addition, we work with our tenants and others on gaining rental subsidy assistance when needed. And as we move forward, our Deputy Director, Katie Camilione is scheduled to become a certified housing counselor. We also anticipate an AHC Homeownership program to come into place in 2017.
MARk also offers bi weekly workshops that are open to the public that offer instruction financial capability and well as the development of marketable workforce skills.
Our community renewal activities are certainly one of our strong points. We literally embrace nearly every opportunity that comes our way with regards to the activities listed in Section C. For the purposes of this report, we are considering infrastructure as more than just sewer and water. As we look to a sustainable economic future, using tourism as an economic catalyst, we need to also consider tourism related infrastructure. That being said, aside of assisting the Town of Shandaken with their water project, we are working with communities on a broad range of tourism related infrastructure projects such as lodging, entrepreneurial retail, tourism related events, and general activities that help drive traffic to our Main Street.
IN addition, we have recently been awarded a NYMS Technical Assistance Grant for the Town of Andes and are just about to submit another for a large project in Stamford. The NYMS TA grants will help us in developing a competitive proposal for the 2018 CFA round.
As for grantwriting. We are the go to organization for assistance in grantwriting and administration. Each year, we submit a minimum of 40 grants for organizations and municipalities. We also step in with assistance in administration when needed.
MARK has been overseeing and will continue to oversee two business loan/grant programs. The first is our Business Revolving Loan Fund. This has been in place since 1988 and continues to assist small business with their financial needs. Almost every loan is for capital improvements to the business. In addition we administer a small business development loan and grant fund which has injected nearly 175,000 into entrepreneurial activities in our service area. We have assisted a Distillery with their capital costs for start up, a Goat Cheese Producer with funds to help with production facilities, a Maple Syrup Producer for expanded sap and productions equipment. The list goes on and on.
MARK also continues to assist small neighborhoods and communities with community garden development and funding, community civic group, business and neighborhood associations. I can say the MARK affords technical assistance whenever the opportunity arises and we are always pleased to help when asked.
MARK Staff and Board attend many development activities including but not limited to webinars on fundraising, board development, staff skill development, and more. MARK Staff and Board also participate in nearly every webinar offered by HCR and are always grateful for these opportunities to improve our organizational capacity.