Talk to almost anyone in Prattsville and he or she will tell you that the future is brighter than ever.
Table saws are buzzing and workers are hammering away as one house after another are being repaired and families are returning to homes battered when flood waters driven by Hurricane Irene drenched this town on the western edge of Greene County six months ago.
A new gas station is coming to Prattsville. Volunteers are scrambling to lay fresh topsoil on Conine Field, the park that was washed out by the flood. They will erect a new snack stand with restrooms there. The goal for Little League teams and adult softball players is to be able to play ball again this spring.
Out of this can-do attitude also sprouts a Housing Expo and Home Improvement Show that will be held Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., inside the Prattsville Fire House.
The event _ featuring more than 50 local vendors _ is free and open to the public.
The idea is to give people ideas and options regarding renovation and remodeling plans they may wish to consider _ and to assemble construction experts and people knowledgeable about building supplies in one place _ at a time when many people are still working on their houses, said Annie Hull, chairwoman of the Prattsville Housing Committee.
"We are all moving forward because that's what we have to do," Hull told The Daily Star.
Also at the Housing Expo will be local landscapers available to explain an assortment of projects and bank representatives with information about financing for home improvement projects. There will also be representatives of the Federal Emergency Management Agency who have worked closely with town officials in reviewing a slew of applications for disaster assistance.
Hull said many Prattsville residents, despite having houses that sustained heavy damage in the flood, are committed to rebuilding so they can remain in the town.
"Many families have been here generation after generation, and they are not going to leave," she said.
Kevin Piccoli, the coordinator of the Rebuild Prattsville, said local residents have good reason to be optimistic about Prattsville's future.
The town is seeking a $50,000 grant from the National Endowment of the Arts to fund an innovative artists-in-residence project that would attract four acclaimed artists who would work closely with local high school students, he said. That funding would be matched by $50,000 in local donations.
Prattsville has also applied for a $1.5 million grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service to fund a new community-recreation center.
"We've helped more than 80 families here so far and we're putting our efforts where the need is," Piccoli said.
In the event of heavy snow, the Housing Expo will be postponed for one week, Hull said. If it rains Saturday, the event will be held as scheduled.