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Pictured, Successful watershed streambank stabilization project.

 

The application period for two Chautauqua County Lakes and Waterways Grant programs will open on January 1, 2024. These programs provide funding for projects involving lakes and waterways within the county and are funded through revenue collected through the 2% share of the county’s 5% Occupancy Tax.

“We are pleased to announce these grants for our Lakes and Waterways,” said Chautauqua County Watershed Coordinator Dave McCoy.  “This year, there are some positive changes in the program which are intended to further increase Tourism and Recreation opportunities in Chautauqua County.”

Chautauqua County’s traditional 2% Occupancy Tax Grant Program is back again, but with a greater focus on projects that will improve recreation and tourism opportunities within the county. . Since 2009, this program has delivered numerous water quality improvement projects within the watershed areas of Bear, Cassadaga, Findley, Chautauqua and Lake Erie.  Projects such as streambank and lakeshore stabilizations, stormwater and agricultural runoff management fit well within this program. Not-for-profit organizations, governmental agencies, businesses and all landowners of Chautauqua County are able to apply for reimbursement of up to $50,000 of eligible costs. Applications for this grant program are due April 1, 2024 and will be awarded in 2025, as part of the 2025 County Budget.

Additionally, there is a new, competitive program to deliver funding for “In-Lake” maintenance needs on Bear, Cassadaga, Findley, Chautauqua and Lake Erie. The inaugural round of the In-Lake Grant Program will be “fast-tracked” so the funding is available for the 2024 recreation season.  The funding can be used for shoreline cleanup, submerged aquatic vegetation management, invasive species management, harmful algal bloom mitigation, dredging and flood mitigation or other projects that improve the lake’s usability for recreation and tourism.

The 2024 application window for the new, In-Lake program will open after January 1 and will close on February 15, 2024.

“This aggressive schedule will allow the applications to be scored and ranked for the Chautauqua County Legislature’s review and for funding agreements to be in place by the summer,” McCoy said. “Not-for-profit organizations, governmental agencies, businesses and all landowners of Chautauqua County are able to apply for reimbursement of up to $50,000 of eligible costs.”

Also, beginning on January 1, applications will be available for the In-Lake Program for 2025. The 2025 In-Lake Grant Program awards will follow the inaugural 2024 program, but the application window will close on April 1, 2024. Funds awarded in connection with the 2025 Round of the In-Lake Program will be a part of the 2025 County Budget; and therefore, not available until 2025.

Applications are available online on the Chautauqua County Legislature’s website at CHQGov.com and on the Chautauqua County Department of Planning and Development’s website at PlanningChautauqua.com. Hard copies of the applications are also available at the Chautauqua County Department of Planning and Economic Development office, 201 W. Third St., Suite 115 in Jamestown, N.Y.

For more information or assistance with the application process, please contact Dave McCoy at (716) 661-8915 or by email at mccoyd@chqgov.com.