Recap of 2016 and what 2017 has in store for SALT
2016 was an exciting year full of accomplishments and challenges for SALT. One highlight of the year was the 5 th year recognition of the flooding event of 2011. This event brought together volunteers, residents, and government officials from around the region. We reflected upon the flood that was the genesis of SALT, the recovery process, and the thousands of caring people who came from around the country to help. We celebrated the progress the area has made and the innovations that have led to new businesses, new cultural opportunities, and renewed commitment to Schoharie County. Josh DeBartolo’s reflective narrative was inspirational and continues to motivate us all as we travel the road toward sustainable and vibrant communities. The afternoon was short but the impact reverberates still. SALT now moves forward with community development projects throughout Schoharie County in 2017. Preparedness is at the core of SALT’s being. At the request of the Office of Emergency Services SALT remains ready to respond when called upon to manage incoming volunteers during another major event. In 2016 a tabletop exercise was held to practice the protocols established and to maintain response readiness. Kits for Kids will be presented again in 2017, helping children and their families prepare for a future disaster.
The Trail Feasibility Study made great strides last year, actively working within the communities along the Schoharie Creek. A detailed action plan was completed, a volunteer advisory committee was formed, a consultant firm was selected and grass roots community meetings were held to collect public feedback. In 2017 the study will be completed. The results will reveal the sections of the trail which are feasible for the first phase of actual construction to begin.
The Tales to Trails Project (formerly Geo to Go) established its advisory team, recorded over 100 videos and stories, and developed content for the first three trails on the website. Go Gonzalez was selected to build the exciting interactive website. A public launch of the website is scheduled for January 26, 2017, followed by phase two which includes marketing the site and development of a mobile application and additional virtual trails, including an Arts Trail, Local History Trail, and an expansion of the Farm Trail.
To focus on building Community Assets, SALT collaborated with the Towns of Schoharie and Esperance and was awarded a CDBG grant in December of 2016. This grant will center attention on Central Bridge, developing a plan for main street revitalization. SALT is also working with the Greater Mohawk Valley Land Bank to address vacant properties beginning in 2017. Additionally, the housing stock will be surveyed and solutions developed for reducing the number of blighted properties in the county.
If you don’t already follow us on Facebook, you are invited to the SALT page to find current updates of our ongoing projects or follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. Additionally, the website provides a more in-depth view of our activities that serve Schoharie County communities.
All that SALT accomplishes is made possible by the belief and generosity of our donors. We wish to thank all of you who supported us with your volunteer efforts, your encouragement, and your financial donations this past year. It is because of you that we are able to see people uplifted by our progress. Your continued support is needed and greatly appreciated.