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Partnership announces Main Street grant

MONTICELLO, NY — The Sullivan County Partnership for Economic Development has announced the award of a $50,000 New York Main Street grant to 440 Broadway, LLC. The three-story building, shown in the background above, is the former Carlton Hotel, which sat abandoned for over five years before Vedat Rexhepi purchased it in 2006 and converted the dwelling into office space.

The newly renovated structure now features eight offices and two storefronts. Over two dozen people are employed at the three businesses now occupying the building.

Shown at the ceremony announcing the grant are Sullivan County Legislator Ron Hiatt, front row left, Sullivan County Partnership Board of Directors Vice Chairman Josh Sommers, 440 Broadway, LLC owner Vedat Rexhepi, Sullivan County Partnership Vice President Susan Jaffe and partnership president and CEO Tim McCausland. In the back row are Monticello Village Manager Zach Kelson, left, Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce President Terri Ward and chamber vice president Lisa Mills.

For more information visit www.nymainstreet.org .

Panel to discuss Obama’s significance

LOCH SHELDRAKE, NY — There will be a panel discussion titled “Obama: Links to the Past, Push to the Future” on Tuesday, February 24 at 7:00 p.m. at the Seelig Theatre at Sullivan County Community College (SCCC). It will feature Wilbur Aldridge, director of the Mid-Hudson/Westchester chapter of the NAACP, and Charney Bromberg, an organizer and director for programs devoted to peace, pluralism and civil rights in Israel. The program will be moderated by Dr. Thomas Martin, a new addition to the SCCC faculty. The event is free.

For more information call 845/434-5750, ext. 4303.

REAP designation extended

WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development agency recently signed a four year extension of the Sullivan-Wawarsing Rural Economic Area Partnership (REAP) Zone. Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) originally secured this designation in 1999 through the USDA.

The REAP Zone designation has resulted in both direct and indirect federal funding to grant applicants in the region and leveraged additional monies through state and private sources. Examples of such funding include a $446,232 federal grant for the Sullivan County Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) to install videoconferencing equipment at the BOCES site and nine county schools across five school districts, and $175,000 in federal funds for a new meat processing facility in Liberty, which is expected to move forward this year.

Pit bull dead in suspected cruelty case

HAWLEY, PA — The body of a male pit bull was discovered in a pit at a stone quarry by workers at Atkinson Materials on February 12. The incident is being investigated as a possible animal cruelty case, as it is unlikely the dog fell into the hole. “A dog isn’t going to jump into a pit that is 20 to 30 feet deep,” said Pennsylvania Humane Society Police Officer Marlene Metzger.

According to Tony Jeremias, Public Affairs Manager for Haines & Kibblehouse, Inc., parent company of Atkinson Materials, there has never been a similar case in 40 years or so, though the company has owned quarries with pits such as the one in this case throughout that time period.

The dog was a black pit bull mix, with a little white on its toes and chest, weighing around 50 pounds, and wearing a black nylon collar, and was very thin, with only stone dust in its stomach at time of death.

An undisclosed reward is being offered by Friends of the Dessin Animal Shelter for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible. Anyone with information is asked to call Metzger at 570/647-0239. All calls are confidential. Be sure to leave a call-back number.

Funding tightens for Cappelli project

KIAMESHA LAKE, NY — With funding tightening for the Cappelli project planned for the site of the former Concord hotel, there may be a delay in the start of construction this spring. The owners are considering whether or not to proceed with partial financing or wait until all financing is in place. Depending on the answer, they project an opening in winter of 2010 or spring of 2011.

A plan to bond $400 million through the Sullivan County Industrial Development Agency has stalled, and other lenders have reduced the amount they are willing to commit. It is reported that the partners are currently negotiating a $500 million loan and pursuing another $250 million within the next two months.

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