Communities across Upstate New York will share $1.5 million in Canal Corporation funding for improvements along the New York State Canal system as part of Governor Andrew Cuomo's 2011 Regional Economic Development Council Initiative.
The New York State Canal Corporation funding will support 13 projects in nine Upstate counties. They include improvements to popular canalside facilities in Spencerport and Fairport in Monroe County; a new boat launch at the Seneca Falls Canal Harbor in Cayuga County; and Canalway Trail improvements in Montgomery, Schenectady and Saratoga counties.
New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton said, "Through Governor Cuomo's leadership to provide a seamless process for applicants, this first round of funding will provide new economic opportunity for countless people, communities, and businesses throughout New York State. These projects will stimulate tourism, recreation, and job creation in Upstate New York where the canal system contributes an estimated $380 million annually toward the economy."
The Canal Corporation awards are:
• $74,992.50 to the Village of Spencerport (Monroe County) toward construction of a new heritage trail and park, which will complement existing canalside improvements and add space for additional festival vendors. There also will be a link to an adjacent segment being constructed by the Town of Ogden with CFA funding.
• $134,238 to the Village of Fairport (Monroe County) for waterfront improvements to the harbor area which receives approximately 250,000 visitors annually and represents more than $5 million in private investment. This grant will go toward landscaping, boater services, and other canalside improvements.
• $150,000 to the Canal Society of New York State toward restoration of the Erie House at Port Byron (Cayuga County) adjacent to the New York State Thruway as part of a larger project to create the Port Byron Old Erie Canal Heritage Park.
• $148,830 to the Town of Seneca Falls (Seneca County) for waterfront improvements in the vicinity of the Seneca Falls Canal Harbor, including construction of a new boat launch and docking facility, as well as improved signage for visiting boaters.
• $150,000 to the Village of Fayetteville (Onondaga County) toward construction of Canal Landing Park, which will provide a critical connection between a canal community park and the Canalway Trail.
• $140,000 to Schenectady County toward construction of a multi-use trail as part of the Erie Canalway Trail system along the Mohawk River/Erie Canal. This part of a major private-public waterfront development at the site of the former American Locomotive Company in the City of Schenectady (Schenectady County).
• $50,000 to the City of Rome (Oneida County) toward construction of a missing section of Erie Canalway Trail between the Erie Canal Village and the Muck Road Parking Area to close the last gap in the trail through the City of Rome.
• $20,000 to the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation for improved signage and amenities at Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site (Montgomery County).
• $75,000 to the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation for access, trail, and other site improvements at Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site (Montgomery County) which illustrates the impact of the 19th Century Erie Canal.
• $191,000 to the New York State Department of Education toward restoration of the canal motorship Day Peckinpaugh, a 259-foot-long ship being converted to a floating museum and classroom which will serve as a multi-regional educational and heritage tourism project (Albany County).
• $40,000 to New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation to support Phase 3 of a multi-year effort to stabilize and restore the historic ). Matton Shipyard at Peebles Island State Park (Albany County).
• $150,000 to the Town of Halfmoon (Saratoga County) for restoration of historic structures and improvements to the Champlain Canalway Trail.
• $191,000 to the Saratoga-Washington on the Hudson Partnership toward creation of a regional visitor center located in the Town of Saratoga (Saratoga County).
"The inclusion of the Canalway Grant program in the Governor's Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) process increased the effectiveness of our program through the coordination of efforts with other state agencies," Stratton explained. "Working together, we were able to collaborate on funding strategies, complement priorities of others, share resources, and avoid duplication. It allows us to stretch our grant funds and do more with them than we would have on our own."
The CFA process was created by Governor Cuomo to serve as a more efficient and effective tool to streamline and expedite the state's efforts to generate sustainable economic growth and employment opportunities across New York. It aligns agency resources behind a coordinated and comprehensive approach to ensure less bureaucracy and greater efficiency in the fulfillment of local economic development needs.
By eliminating the need for businesses and others to navigate a complicated and uncoordinated system of economic incentives, the CFA makes it faster and easier for economic development project applicants to access resources from multiple agencies.
For more information about the New York Canal system, please see www.canals.ny.gov .