AFTER PUSH, SCHUMER ANNOUNCES FEDS HAVE APPROVED $246K GRANT THAT NATL WOMENS HALL OF FAME IN SENECA FALLS NEEDED TO COMPLETE PHASE II CONSTRUCTION GRANT WAS AT RISK IF IT WAS NOT ALLOCATED BEFORE END OF THE YEAR
brSchumer Urged DOI in June for Final Approval of Grant to Keep Construction at National Womens Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls on Track -- NWHF Cant Move Into Historic Seneca Knitting Mill Without GrantbrbrIf $246,000 Grant Had Not Been Extended Before the End of the Year, Entire Grant Would Have Been Lost in 2014brbrSchumer: Grant is Great News for National Women's Hall of Fame Will Boost Tourism Be an Anchor for Economic Developmentbrbr
Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that, after his push, the Department of the Interior (DOI) has approved a Save America's Treasure grant (SAT) for the National Women's Hall of Fame (NWHF) in Seneca Falls that will allow the NWHF to move forward on construction. Specifically, NWHF has started on Phase II of construction, which will allow them to move into the historic Seneca Knitting Mill, but that phase can't be completed without this grant funding. The Save American's Treasure grant was awarded in 2008 and since then the NWHF has fundraised local matching funds in order to have access to the grant. The grant extension had to be approved before the end of the year in order for NWHF to use the funding at all, but final approval to disburse the funds had been delayed, at which point the NWHF contacted Senator Schumer for assistance. Schumer, in a letter to officials at the Dept. of the Interior in June 2013, pressed for an approval of the NWHF application so that the grant money would not have to be returned to the U.S Treasury and go unused.
"Seneca Falls was the founding site of one of our country's most important political movements and the National Women's Hall of Fame has been commemorating that history since 1969; clearly the Save America's Treasure grant was a perfect match for their construction project," said Schumer. "But this funding was on the chopping block until today, when we got the good news that the NWHF's grant will be extended, enabling the Hall to complete the second phase of work on the historic Seneca Knitting Mill and continue its outreach to visitors. Once completed, the new facility for the National Women's Hall of Fame will be a fantastic tourist destination and an anchor to continuing economic development in the Rochester - Finger Lakes region. What's more, it will be a lasting testament to the courage of the men and women who started a movement in the Rochester Finger Lakes region that led to women getting the ballot-a giant step forward in the progress of our democracy."
Currently, the NWHF is in the process of beginning Phase II renovations of the historic mill, which includes installing a new roof, paying for design plans, stabilizing the walls, asbestos abatement and other infrastructure improvements. The NWHF received a DOI "Save Americas Treasures" grant several years ago to help finance the remainder of this phase of construction, in order to move into the historic Seneca Knitting Mill. The grant was preliminarily approved for extension earlier this year, but was awaiting a final approval. After the NWHF reached out to Senator Schumer earlier this year, he wrote and called the Department of the Interior to urge they approve this grant funding quickly, before the grant funding expired. Schumer today announced that the DOI has issued a final approval, ensuring the grant money would be extended through 2014.
Schumer has long fought to support recognition of the women's suffrage movement in the region. The Rochester Finger Lakes area is home to many historic Suffragist movement sites including the home of Elizabeth Cady Stanton in Seneca Falls and Susan B. Anthony's home in Rochester. In 2009, Schumer cosponsored legislation as a part of the 2009 omnibus Public Land Management Act to help preserve and support the historic sites in the Rochester Finger Lakes region that are essential to the suffrage movement and United States history, which included The Votes for Women Trail Act. The Votes for Women Trail Act, an act that created a trail linking the historic landmarks in the region and helped promote the legacy of the women's suffrage movement.