Updated 09/17/2012 06:13 PM
Middleburgh continues efforts to revitalize
A Schoharie County village is continuing efforts to revitalize. As our Maria Valvanis explains, damages left behind from Tropical Storm Irene will take Middleburgh business owners years to pay off and now, the government is stepping in.
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MIDDLEBURGH, N.Y. -- "We've taken our life savings to try and function again. We'll be years paying for what we spent."
Loretta Kennedy is just one of dozens of Main Street business owners still trying to re-pay the costs of damages left from Tropical Storm Irene.
"Everything. Everything. Tables, chairs, walk-in coolers. We lost everything," said Kennedy, about her restaurant, Mrs. K's Kitchen.
Middleburgh hardware owner, Richard Vilegi, said, "It's been a long year, a very long year. We estimated about $160,000 plus."
And for some, a lack of finances means businesses have remained closed. Now, the village is launching a series of projects to help ease the unexpected fees.
"We have $150,000 going to the business and building owners. We have about $20,000 that the village is going to use to re-do Main Street," said Matthew Avitabile, Mayor of Middleburgh.
The chosen recipients will get anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 to put towards their recovery. All of the money is expected to go out by the end of this year.
Vilegi said, "Anything's a big help. We're happy we can get anything."
"Oh my god, it would mean so much, this place means so much to me, because I've been here many, many years," said Kennedy.
The village will be putting $10,000 from the grants aside to use as an incentive to attract new businesses to the area.
Avitabile said, "Hopefully that will be a pharmacy or grocery. We could use that either as a grant or a loan to bring in one of those businesses that we really need."
"Without a Main Street, you really don't have a town. You have to have businesses here to have a small community. It would be great for everyone to get a piece of it," said Vilegi.