Unfortunate, but true: A common feeling among Brewerton residents and town of Cicero officials in regards to yet another delay in the Brewerton Revitalization Project.
Only recently did Cicero Supervisor Judy Boyke learn that two archaeological inspections must be completed before the municipality can officially break ground in Brewerton.
The first archaeological phase would cost an estimated $12,000 to initiate and the second, $24,000, according to Boyke. Neither sum of money is within the scope of the project’s budget.
“This should have been done from the start of the project,” Boyke said. “If major artifacts or Indian burial grounds are found; the whole project is out the window.”
For now, the municipality will have to figure out what to do in order to move forward with the project, Boyke said.
During the May 12 Cicero Town Board meeting, Boyke said there were community concerns about the municipality’s stall to move forward with the purchase of two properties on the riverfront.
Within planning for the Canal Days celebration in June, Brewerton resident Helen Carroll addressed the board with the need for trash receptacles and trash pickup in the hamlet.
Carroll asked Boyke if the community supplied trash cans, could the town of Cicero’s trash service pick them up?
Boyke said that would be an added cost outside of the town’s waste pickup contract.
“We’re not talking a million dollars,” Carroll said. “Everything we try to do in Brewerton…we’re getting slapped in the face.”
Carroll said that there had to be answers within the local government, as she pointed out that Boyke is a resident of Brewerton.
“It’s like you’re not even trying,” Carroll said.
“This is not my money, it’s the town’s money,” Boyke replied after Carrolls’ comments on Brewerton.
To date, approximately $985,000 has been spent on the Brewerton Revitalization project, which includes a majority of preliminary work done by the town and conceptual design provided by Saratoga Associates.
Boyke said she would like to have the town look into how much of the grant funding requires matching payments, and at what percent. Currently, she said $480,000 of their grant funding must be matched. About $230,000 has been paid to Saratoga for its work thus far.
According to current numbers, Boyke said there is approximately $535,000 (requiring a 20-percent match by the town) in the budget for the purchase of the properties on the riverfront and the demolition of said properties.
The Star-Review reported in the April 21 edition, the submission of an application for additional project funding under a Community Development Grant, drafted by Cicero Parks and Recreation Director Jody Rogers.
Boyke said she hopes the town will know the results of that application within the next few months.
In reaction to the community concerns, Cicero Town Councilor Jim Corl said the Brewerton Revitalization is long-term and “developer driven.”
“I know there’s been negative press on it as to there’s been nothing done,” Corl said. “If you look at the details, a lot of foundation has been laid for future development out there.”
Countless hours have been put forth in efforts for the hamlet’s project, mostly with the town’s plan to provide infrastructure for the community, Corl said.
The councilor also said he has noticed several Brewerton businesses operating renovations and such to contribute to the hamlet’s revitalization project.
The next Cicero Town Board meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday May 26.