FULTON, NY – “We did it, Fulton!”
“Local businesses have taken the Fulton Block Builders over their fundraising goal! Kenwell Corporation, Mimi’s Diner, Eastern Shore Associates, Patterson Warehousing, and Bellinger Auto Sales & Service have all donated to the Fulton Block Builders, collectively putting FBB over our goal,” said Linda Eagan, FBB Administrative Director.
Realizing the goal meant matching a $100,000 commitment from the Richard S. Shineman Foundation to jump start the grassroots organization in its first year.
“It’s just wonderful,” said Fulton Mayor, Ronald Woodward Sr. “Fulton Block Builders is one of so many amazing volunteer groups in our city that are working to raise the quality of life for the people of Fulton. Kudos to Linda Eagan for her efforts, it’s very appreciated.”
The Fulton Block Builders, led by Linda Eagan, is a volunteer group that has worked tirelessly to spread the message of neighborhood revitalization, pride and togetherness.
Based on the Healthy Neighbors Initiative, the program will allow groups of property owners in neighborhoods throughout the city of Fulton to invest in exterior home improvements with the opportunity to recover a portion of their expense.
Participating residents can spend up to $1,000 to receive a dollar-for-dollar match for such improvements as painting, porch repair, mailboxes, exterior lighting, landscaping, sidewalk repair, and much more.
Although the fundraising goal is complete, donations are still encouraged and accepted as more money raised means more residents are able to participate.
To qualify, 50% of neighbors on one block consisting of homeowners and tenants alike with the property owners consent, must agree to submit a pre-application.
Target areas, predetermined neighborhoods within the city that are believed to see great benefit with some exterior improvements, will be given special consideration although any neighborhood within the city is encouraged to apply. Target areas have been announced and can be found on the FBB website.
Due to a very successful fundraising campaign and adverse weather in the month of March that may have made it difficult to consult with neighbors, the deadline to submit pre-applications has been extended until Friday, April 14.
Once pre-applications are submitted, FBB volunteer members will visit each applicant’s block to better establish a proposal moving forward to submit a final application.
Final applications are due May 1 and the chosen applications will be awarded by May 15.
Participants then have until October 31 to complete their intended improvement projects.
To help during the process, FBB has paired with local hardware stores and garden centers to offer discounts to participants.
Additional bonuses are available for houses on corner lots as well as participants that utilize a historic based paint palette designed by architectural historian and Fulton native, Susan Arena.
To further promote community togetherness, part of the application process includes planning an event, such as a block party, with the participating neighbors to celebrate the completed work.
Mayor Woodward noted that all of the city’s aldermen have been working hard in each of the six wards to ensure all residents are aware of the opportunity and many have spoken with interested homeowners.
“I think it’s one of the best programs the city of Fulton has had in a long time,” first ward alderman, Tom Kenyon said during a recent council meeting. “I don’t know how anybody on the blocks can pass that up. It’s going to make the city look real nice,” he said.
The word is spreading and as a result, so is the excitement.
“I always believed that the Healthy Neighborhood Initiative was going to work in Fulton, but the community has surpassed my expectations in so many ways. I am inspired each and every day by phone calls, e-mails and donations from people excited to see the Fulton Block Builder program get started. Support has come from the city limits and beyond. It seems the greater Fulton community was ready for a program like this to get started and have success. There is a lot of energy in Fulton and people are ready and willing to share it. If you listen very quietly, you will hear it…the buzz of excited people,” Linda Eagan said.