Where does that money go?

Within the last year, three communities in our region have been the recipient of a combined $7.5 million. The city of Dunkirk and the village of Gowanda won the smart growth grants from New York state last October while just two weeks ago, the village of Fredonia received the award.

All three deserve to be cheered.

But that money, which comes from taxpayer dollars, has to be accounted for. After 12 months, there’s very little evidence of that state funding in the city or village of Gowanda. Which leads us to make this request.

Because such a big deal is made of the grant award, these communities — including Fredonia in the coming months — it is not out of the question for these communities to give quarterly updates on what the money has been spent on and the projects that have been completed with the funding.

New York state, and state Gov. Andrew Cuomo, set aside $200 million for the Athenex project in the town of Dunkirk in 2016. More than two years later, there is physical evidence of the plant in terms of building.

But what has $7.5 million brought to Dunkirk, Fredonia and Gowanda so far other than one big cardboard check presentation? That is the importance of letting the community know.

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