| Times Herald-Record
PORT JERVIS – Assorted Port Jervis improvements and emergency resources will be funded by $400,000 in State and Municipal Facilities (SAM) grants, according to an announcement from the office of State Sen. Jen Metzger, D-42, who pursued the grants.
One grant for $300,000 will fund fixing of several hard surfaces – a monument, sidewalks and roads.
Amanda Trienans, a monument conservation expert, said she could see the top of the towering Civil War veterans monument in Orange Square Memorial Park only with binoculars for her report on its condition, but she estimated that restoration will cost about $30,000.
“This is a unique Civil War monument because of the representations of the infantry, cavalry and navy sculpted at the four corners,” she wrote in that report.
According to Metzger’s office, the effort honors veterans who “helped close a dark chapter” in U.S. history. Mayor Kelly Decker said that he requested the restoration because no such work had ever been done on the monument.
“It has not been cleaned or repointed since it was built in 1886,” said Decker. “It is missing grout that allows water and ice to seep inside.”
The city owns the monument, and he found no records of work being done on it, he said.
To find someone to restore it, City Clerk-Treasurer Robin Waizenegger said she did a search of the state website for qualified minority- and women-owned businesses, at ny.newnycontracts.com, and found Trienans, based in Chatham. Trienans estimated the restoration will cost about $30,000.
Other hard surfaces that will get attention with the grants are sidewalks on Sussex Street and Front Street to the end of Sussex, which will be replaced, according to the announcement. Old broken city sidewalks are a chronic source of complaint and hazards.
“This is the only type of grant money available to continue to improve the sidewalks downtown except for the larger CDBG for Pike Street that we received last year,” Decker said. “Depending on the cost of concrete and labor at the time of installation, we hope to do both sides of the dead end of Sussex Street and both sides of Front from Sussex to Pike.”
Pavement getting increasing use from both locals and visitors to outdoor recreational sites will be addressed too. The reservoir parking lot used by watershed trail enthusiasts will be paved, as will what Decker described as Elks-Brox Park “lookout drive.”
“If you go to the park, we paved from the park entrance to just past the campground last year. This grant will finish paving out to Point Peter,” he said.
Two other SAM grants for $50,000 each will go to the police and fire departments. Police will get a “special use four-wheel drive pick-up truck,” according to Police Chief Worden. It would have been a financial challenge for the city to buy, but he identified important uses for it.
“The vehicle, outfitted with regular patrol duty emergency equipment, will allow officers to provide police patrols under a variety of harsh weather conditions, facilitate community policing events and be deployed to tow the department Utility Terrain Vehicle and storage trailer to aid in deploying this critical piece of equipment throughout the City of Port Jervis and the Tri-State region. It will be essential in supporting mutual aid,” Worden said.
A $50,000 grant to the fire department will allow them to replace a 2005 outboard drive motor rescue boat with a more versatile jet boat that facilitates rescue in shallow water, where they previously got stuck and damaged their 2005 boat.
Funds will come from the 2019 state budget, according to Metzger’s office.