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Friday, October 31, 2014
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Joshua Thomas
Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Mark Kilmer presents A White Rose Bed & Breakfast Owner Melissa Brown with a $1,000 check.

Joshua Thomas
Fort Plain business owners, from left, Igor Lensky, Dana Shaffer, Tim Shaffer, and Melissa Brown.

Joshua Thomas
Fort Plain Mayor Guy Barton thanks Fort Plain business owners for returning after the June 28 flood as Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce President Mark Kilmer looks on.

Joshua Thomas
Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce President Mark Kilmer.

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Chamber hands out six grants to Fort Plain businesses

Wednesday, March 19, 2014 - Updated: 9:48 AM

By JOSHUA THOMAS

C-S-E Editor

FORT PLAIN -- Bright and early Tuesday morning, flood affected Fort Plain business owners were provided $1,000 grants from the Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce, the grants made possible by money raised during a three month fundraising drive.

Donations were made by individuals and businesses throughout Fulton and Montgomery counties. Applications were dispersed to Fort Plain businesses by chamber members, including President/CEO Mark Kilmer, who also handed out the funding Tuesday. From the 50 grant applications distributed, over 20 were completed and submitted by the Chamber's January deadline.

A committee of Chamber members decided which six businesses would receive the funds, including Erie Station, a business that was originally slated to open within days of the flood, with plans to use the money to repair a freezer; The Classic Image, which plans to use the funds to re-carpet their front reception area; retail property owner Paul Hage, who will use the funds to offset the costs of improvements/renovations to three storefronts damaged in the flood along with marketing and advertising; The Lotus Center, which plans to use the funds for general repairs; Lensky and Son, Inc., which will pay back loans made for repairs and renovations and marketing/advertising; and A White Rose Bed & Breakfast, with funds earmarked for marketing and advertising.

The Lotus Center Owner Val Lawson said the money will be used to make repairs to her building's foundation. "We've got some water coming in the basement," she said. While there were already existing basement issues prior to June 28, Lawson said the problem was exacerbated by underground shifts caused by the flooding. She's also had to remedy plumbing problems, she noted.

Lawson said, "when I got flooded, that first weekend I think we had over 150 people to come in to help us clean, not to mention everybody else that has contributed."

As a thanks to the community, Lawson said she'll hold a free massage event tentatively scheduled for June 21, possibly tying into a larger Fort Plain Merchants Association event.

As he handed out the checks to the five present business owners, Kilmer commented of the grant money, "I don't think that it at all compares with the frustration, pain and damage you went through with the flood in June, and nobody understands that except for you, but hopefully it'll help a little bit in bringing your lives back."

He continued, "All of you have brought your business back from that damage, and on behalf of the Chamber, we're all very proud of that and happy to see that you stuck together as a village."

Mayor Guy Barton, who Kilmer described as "always on the forefront of putting the village first," thanked those present, stating, "If it wasn't for you people, Fort Plain wouldn't be where it is today."

Erie Station owner Dave Frederick agreed, commenting of Fort Plain, "We can't be beat."

Joshua Thomas - Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce President Mark Kilmer presents a grant to Igor Lensky, of Lensky and Son Enterprises, Inc.

Joshua Thomas - Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce President Mark Kilmer, center, presents Tim and Dana Shaffer, of The Classic Image, with a check.

Joshua Thomas - Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce President Mark Kilmer presents a check to Erie Station Owner Dave Frederick.

Joshua Thomas - From left, Val Lawson, The Lotus Center owner; Guy Barton, Fort Plain Mayor; Victoria Stella, Lawson's daughter; Mark Kilmer, Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce president/CEO; Igor Lensky, Lensky and Son Enterprises, Inc. owner; Melissa Brown, A White Rose Bed & Breakfast owner; Dave Frederick, Erie Station owner; Dana Shaffer, The Classic Image owner; Brennen Parker, Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce vice chair, and Tim Shaffer, The Classic Image owner.

     

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