For immediate release: December 21, 2012
Contact: William Sweitzer, (518) 471-5300
CANAL COMMUNITIES TO SEE CONTINUED INVESTMENT THROUGH
SECOND ROUND OF REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL INITIATIVE
As part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative, which recently awarded $738 million in economic development funding across New York State, 13 upstate communities will receive a total of $1.3 million in grants from the New York State Canal Corporation.
The grants will support 13 projects in 10 upstate counties and 40 percent of the funding will go to REDC priority projects, including the extension of the Canalway Trail, expansion of public access to the canal waterfront, and leveraging the communities along the waterway for local economic development opportunities. The Canals and the Canalway Trail contribute an estimated $380 million annually to upstate New York’s economy.
Thruway Authority and Canal Corporation Board Chairman, Howard P. Milstein said, “These investments in the Canalway corridor will encourage economic growth and inspire visitors to reconnect to the historic waterway that made New York the Empire State. I applaud the Regional Economic Development Councils and the local community groups behind each project for their vision and commitment to revitalizing our state’s great asset.”
Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton said, “This new round of Canalway Grants, provided through the Governor’s CFA process, continues to prove how sharing resources and collaboration amongst agencies can expedite results and promote economic development along the state’s 524-mile Canalway corridor. These projects will spur tourism, recreation, and job creation in upstate New York where the canal system remains a vital economic engine.”
The Canal Corporation awards will support the following projects:
- $150,000 to the Village of Fayetteville to complete Phase II of the Canal Landing Park project. The project will create a critical connection between Canal Landing Park and the adjacent Old Erie Canal State Park and statewide Erie Canalway Trail.
- $150,000 to the City of Geneva toward development of a lakefront Museum and Visitor Center.
- $120,523 to the Village of Palmyra Canalside toward the Nature Trail Project to fund the second phase of improvements, including new docks, additional parking, and an expanded boat launch.
- $50,000 to the Village of Phoenix on the Oswego Canal to rehabilitate and improve Lock O-1 canal park amenities for boaters and other visitors. A new pavilion will be installed along with restrooms and updated signage.
- $150,000 to the Town of German Flatts for the development of a Town Park adjacent to the historic Fort Herkimer Church, the Erie Canalway Trail, and the Erie Canal. Improvements will include an ADA accessible trail connection, trail surface improvements, and park enhancements to allow for community programs and events.
- $150,000 to the City of Rome for the restoration and rehabilitation of the Bellamy Harbor Terminal Building on the Canal. Rome has embarked upon a long-term, linear waterfront revitalization strategy as part of their overall community development efforts.
- $55,000 to the National Heritage Trust to provide docking and other infrastructure on the Champlain Canal for waterfront access to the Saratoga Historic National Battlefield. This will fulfill a long standing need for access from the Canal to the Battlefield for both tour boats and recreational boaters.
- $50,000 to Schenectady County for reconstruction of two miles of existing Erie Canalway Trail in the Town of Rotterdam. Funding will also support historic and environmental signage and a handicapped accessible water fountain.
- $132,500 to the Town of Halfmoon to fund the final design and construction of a new multi-use Champlain Canalway Trail segment. The project will extend several miles of existing Champlain Canalway Trail in Halfmoon to the Town of Waterford.
- $76,000 to the Town of Waterford to make needed repairs in and around the Canal Harbor Visitor Center resulting in energy efficiency improvements, technology advancements, and customer service upgrades.
- $93,081 to the Corn Hill Foundation to provide a Canalway Regional Information Center on the River Walk at Corn Hill Landing. This is a Finger Lakes Regional priority project.
- $75,000 to the Town of Clifton Park for creating and developing multi-purpose visitor access to numerous unique sites and locations along the Mohawk River and adjacent to the original Erie Canal Towpath trails and Erie Canalways.
- $93,493 to the Town of Fort Edward for the Canal Street Farmers Marketplace project which will transform an 1880’s Old Champlain Canal Barn into a source for agricultural goods from Washington, Warren and Saratoga Counties. Plans call for retail space inside and outside the barn; creating green spaces to compliment and connect the farmers market to other downtown amenities; and streetscapes that will incorporate historic canal-themed amenities and a more pedestrian friendly downtown.
Governor Cuomo created the Regional Councils and Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) to fundamentally change New York’s approach to economic development and job creation. The Regional Councils have transformed the way the State invests in economic development, shifting from a top-down approach to a community-based, performance-driven model which empowers individual regions to develop, invest in, and advance regional solutions and job-creating projects to encourage economic growth. To learn more about each Regional Council and their economic development plans, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov.
The New York State Canal System is comprised of four historic waterways, the Erie, the Champlain, the Oswego and the Cayuga-Seneca Canals. Spanning 524 miles across New York State, the waterway links the Hudson River, Lake Champlain, Lake Ontario, the Finger Lakes and Lake Erie (via the Niagara River) with communities rich in history and culture. For more information about the New York State Canal System, call 1-800-4CANAL4 or visit www.canals.ny.gov.
The Erie Canalway Trail is a multi-use trail, designed to accommodate pedestrians, bicyclists, and cross-country skiers. More than three-quarters of the 365-mile Erie Canalway Trail from Buffalo to Albany is now completed. For more information, please visit www.ptny.org/canalway.