Volunteer group aims to improve houses in Gloversville

GLOVERSVILLE – In an effort to revitalize neighborhoods in the city, volunteers have come together to create Gloversville Curb Appeal.

Mayor Dayton King and his wife, Chanda, Steve and Kelly Lawrence, Rob and Kelly Curtis, and project manager Sean Dooling of S.J. Dooling Building and Remodeling are heading the group’s effort to improve the city one house at a time.

Throughout the city, many homes are structurally sound but need minor repairs, King said. The group of volunteers wants to provide a free makeover service to owner-occupied one- or two-family homes in the city, he said.

The group is asking people who want housing repairs to apply for the service. The group will select one of the applicants in a drawing and then go to the house to carry out such tasks as washing the outside of the house and cleaning up the yard.

The work will be paid for with private donations and sponsorships.

King said the drawing is open to anyone who owns a home in the city but encourages only those who need the service to apply. However, any person who wins the random drawing will receive the makeover regardless of the owner’s economic status.

Any volunteers are welcome to help with the project, King said.

“We just wanted to do something to help the community and encourage others to do the same type of things to make the city look better,” King said. “It will be a good example of how, for a low amount of money, you can make over the front of your home, and if more people do these things, it will really revitalize the city.”

Applications are available at the Mohawk Harvest and will be accepted until May 25. The Gloversville Curb Appeal will select a winner June 1 at a business in downtown Gloversville.

“We wanted to encourage people to get downtown to shop local,” King said. “We might work with another downtown business to draw the winner and would also like everyone that enters to be there for the drawing.”

Dooling will assess the winning house to determine its needs and use a budget of between $500 and $1,000 for the project.

The team of volunteers, led by Dooling, will provide the makeover service June 8.

The volunteers will clean the property by raking the lawn, sweeping the sidewalks and driveway, cleaning the siding , washing the outside windows, trimming the hedges, cleaning gutters, mulching flower beds and throwing away junk.

The Curb Appeal project will provide a hose reel if the owner doesn’t already have one. The group also will buy or make a unique address marker to hang on the house, and replace the mailbox if it is worn, crooked or outdated.

“We will focus on the details and do everything we can to make the outdoors convenient and attractive,” Mayor King said.

The final step of the project will include a makeover of the front door of the home. If the door is in need of paint, it will be provided, and the glass on or around the door will be cleaned. The volunteers will clean the porch or other entry way and do necessary repairs, such as painting and caulking, if needed.

The volunteers will provide an attractive door knocker or find a season-appropriate wreathe to hang on the door and buy new door mat, King said.

“The objective is to make that door the most attractive and delightful door that it can be,” King said.

The group will try to increase the visual appeal of the property by placing a few inexpensive pots with bright flowers in them just outside the front door. In the case of a door configuration that doesn’t allow that, the group will look to place a hanging flower basket nearby.

Gloversville government is not involved in this project, and the mayor is working on it as a private citizen, King said. He said no city vehicle or employees will be a part of the effort unless they volunteer on their own time.

The Gloversville Curb Appeal volunteers will see how the first event goes and maybe do it again at the end of summer or in the fall.

“We believe as long as there is support for this project, we can continue to make improvements in our city, one home at a time,” King said.

Volunteers can send private messages to the group’s Facebook page, email pamperedkings@yahoo.com or call Chanda King at 774-7452.

“A lot of the houses in the city need a little bit of a facelift,” Chanda King said. “Some people call it blight, but a lot of the houses I don’t think are considered blight because they only need a little bit of paint and cleanup. The volunteers will be able to provide a family with that makeover, and with the drawing being a lottery, there will be no favoritism.”