Survey to gauge income levels

A nonprofit community development corporation is expected to analyze the financial makeup of the village and the results could pave the way for millions of dollars in infrastructural improvements.

Representatives from RCAP Solutions will collect key demographic data that will be used to determine eligibility for funding that may be available to help the village improve and maintain its troubled water and wastewater systems.

“They are going to define the income levels of the community and determine the percentage of low to moderate income earners,” said Mayor Peter Telisky. “Depending on that percentage, some doors could open for money for the sewer system and some are pretty extraordinary.”

If 51 percent or more of village residents are determined to be low to moderate income earners, the village would be eligible for a number of significant grants, including the Community Development Block Program, among others, said Candice Bulmer, a community development specialist with the organization, who spoke with village officials at Tuesday’s monthly board meeting.

RCAP Solutions conducted a similar study in the village a number of years ago and it found that 47 percent of residents were low to moderate income earners.

Bulmer said the village can’t use the latest census data.

“It has to do with project boundaries and census boundaries, which don’t match,” she said.

Also, census data doesn’t always capture a representative sample of certain groups, like renters, Bulmer said.

The survey will be administered door-to-door and in order for the data to be used at least 65 percent of village residents will need to respond. Bulmer said it will likely take a couple of months to survey that many residents.

The information that is collected is confidential and the village only receives the overall summary information, which doesn’t include names or any other information that could be used to identify a person.

Once it has that information, the village can use it to determine eligibility for certain grant programs that could be used to make improvements to the village’s wastewater and water systems. The Department of Environmental Conservation has ordered the village bring its system into compliance and the cost of doing so has been estimated at nearly $4.8 million.

RCAP Solutions is a national network of nonprofit organizations that works to ensure small rural communities have access to safe drinking water and sanitary wastewater disposal.

“So many communities don’t have the staff or the resources or are strapped and have some rather huge bills. We help sort through the logistics,” Bulmer said.

The company provides technical assistance, training and financial resources.

The survey will be completed at no charge to the village.

The village is expected to send out mailings detailing the survey to village residents in the coming weeks and a public meeting on the survey is expected to be held later this month or early next month. The actual surveying would begin later this winter.

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