OLEAN — If it were football, it would be a rebuilding year for the Olean Local Development Corp.
With $57 in the bank following an audit report, the city-associated nonprofit’s board on Thursday showed enthusiasm for the future with more funding expected next spring.
“We’ve got some money coming in,” said the board’s president, David Carucci, hoping to move ahead.
Consideration has been given to installing an artificial playing surface in Bradner Stadium, helping the city with demolishing abandoned structures, aiding downtown revitalization efforts and marketing efforts. No formal plans have been established due to lack of funding.
The board also, while updating the nonprofit’s mission statement, prioritized community development as most the board’s planned work at the stadium is finished for now.
However, the only way the external audit could be funded was through a $4,000 donation from the city, using funds received as program income from 10 different Community Development Block Grant programs between 2000 and 2018 — requiring approval from the state Division of Housing and Community Renewal. The annual third-party auditing costs $1,000 a year and required under state law.
“We’re not even going to be able to do our taxes,” said Keri Stephen, coordinator of the city’s Department of Community Development, noting the cost of filing is $75.
That will change in the next few months, as more than $200,000 in revenue is expected over the next 10 years to help bankroll future efforts.
City and state officials announced May 2 that a $416,000 state Community Development Block Grant has been awarded to assist HK Olean Hotel LLC with furnishing the under-construction 90-room Hampton Inn and Suites on Buffalo Street. The OLDC will manage the program locally.
Under the program, Stephen said that $200,000 will be a term loan with repayments possibly beginning before the end of the fiscal year on May 31, depending on progress on the project. The other $200,000 will be in the form of a deferred loan that will be forgiven once the project is completed, the term loan paid off in a reasonable time and other regulatory requirements are met. The loan would be on a reimbursement basis.
“Sometime in 2020 the developer would order the furniture and fixtures,” she said.
Once developers purchase the furnishings, the OLDC will request reimbursement from the state. After a 30-day grace period, the OLDC will begin receiving about $2,500 a month in loan payments. Those funds will then be available for the OLDC to pursue other goals.