State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R,C - Schenectady) joins Governor George E. Pataki in announcing some $365,000 in Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) grants for Schenectady County projects, including $75,000 for the Gillette House renovation, $250,000 for the Duanesburg Area Community Center and $40,000 to renovate the town park and boat launch in Rotterdam.
"The State's Environmental Protection Fund supports quality recreation and environmental stewardship in local communities throughout New York, providing the means to help protect and strengthen our unique outdoor resources and cultural treasures," Governor Pataki said. "Together, these eleven grants are investments in the Capital District that will increase public access to local waterways, parklands and museums for residents and visitors to the area. Whether supporting revitalization efforts along the Hudson River here in South Troy, preserving local heritage or building community pools, these projects will create new opportunities for New Yorkers and their families to enjoy quality recreation and experience the history and scenic beauty of the region."
Senator Hugh Farley said, "These grants emphasize some of Schenectady County's important strengths. The Gillette House stands out as a wonderful example of local history, the park and boat launch in Rotterdam symbolize the recreational opportunities of the Mohawk River, and the Duanesburg Area Community Center is a fast-growing new resource for our families and young people. I am honored to join with Governor Pataki and Senator Bruno in recognizing these significant community projects."
Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno said, "The Hudson River is one of the greatest natural resources in the country and has played a critical role in the history and development of New York State. This grant money will provide new opportunities for environmental research and assist in additional restoration efforts, while increasing public access along the riverfront and improving the quality of life for residents in the Capital Region. I applaud Governor Pataki's outstanding commitment to preserving and enhancing this beautiful treasure."
The City of Troy will receive a $400,000 grant from the EPF Local Waterfront Revitalization Program, administered through the Department of State, to support planning and construction activities for the 5 acre, municipally owned Rensselaer Iron Works site, also known as the Scolite site, along the South Troy Hudson River waterfront. The site is eventually slated to become the home of the Upper Hudson River Satellite Center. Work will include preparation of research, outreach and strategic marketing plans; building and shoreline stabilization; and construction of trail linkages, boat and fishing access, and docking facilities for the Center. A separate $113,000 grant to the Hudson Mohawk Industrial Gateway, administered through the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation will support exterior restoration and rehabilitation work at the Burden Iron Works Museum. Other grants in Rensselaer County include restoration projects at Oakwood Cemetery and the historic YWCA building in Troy.
Assemblyman Ronald Canestrari said, "Not only is the Hudson River truly a natural beauty, but it is a major asset to our area. These critical funds will help us improve our waterfront and enhance the quality of life in the Capital Region."
Assemblyman Paul D. Tonko said, "The Assembly has long supported the important role that the Environmental Protection Fund has played in providing critical funds to environmental, cultural and historic projects across this great State. By expanding the recreational and cultural opportunities throughout the county, these local investments will help make Schenectady an even better place to live, work and visit."
Assemblyman Robert Reilly said, "The Mohawk River is a tremendous resource in our community, but it is not being utilized to its full potential. This Environmental Protection Fund grant will help advance Colonie's Waterfront Revitalization Strategy and Action Plan for the River. This plan will help the Town put the water treatment center to use and develop community access to the waterfront so our community can enjoy the river and its recreational possibilities for years to come."
Rensselaer County Executive Kathleen M. Jimino said, "The grant money announced today will allow Rensselaer County to continue our governmental policy of utilizing the rich cultural and historically significant heritage to expand the tourism opportunities available right here at home. Additionally, the public fishing and boating access to the Hudson River and trail linkages created will certainly provide County residents the increased opportunity to take part in outdoor activities that add to our already high quality of life."
Harry Tutunjian Mayor of Troy said, "By furthering the revitalization of our waterfront along the Hudson River we are strengthening one of our finest resources for generations to come. For years the riverfront in the City of Troy has been overlooked, both by visitors and residents. That is slowly changing, and through projects like this that progress will continue. I want to thank Governor Pataki and Senator Bruno for their continued support and commitment to the City of Troy."
Eight of the grants are administered through the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. The other three projects are administered through the Department of State's Division of Coastal Resources. The grants are awarded on a 50-50 matching basis to local governments for the preparation and implementation of Local Waterfront Revitalization Programs (LWRPs) and inter- municipal water body management plans, development of coastal educational programs, creation of blueway trails and urban waterfront redevelopment.
Commissioner Bernadette Castro of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation said, "With these latest Environmental Protection Fund awards, Governor Pataki has once again underscored his commitment to expanding public access to our State's vast array of parklands and natural resources for the benefit of all New Yorkers. Today's announcement of grants in Albany, Rensselaer and Schenectady builds on our longstanding support of local projects that will improve the quality of life throughout the Capital Region, revitalizing communities and strengthening tourism opportunities."
Secretary of State Randy A. Daniels, who oversees the Department of State's Division of Coastal Resources said, "The close partnerships between the State and local communities has been the key to successful waterfront revitalization in communities across New York. Governor Pataki has provided unprecedented support to assist municipalities in developing long-range plans for their waterfronts and creating new economic development and recreational opportunities that will improve the quality of life for their residents."
Since 1995, Governor Pataki his invested more than $13 billion to protect and preserve New York's environment. This historic commitment includes a record $150 million in EPF funding in the 2005-2006 State Budget, a 20 percent increase over the last year and a six-fold increase in the last decade. Annual funding for environmental programs now totals more than $1.4 billion. In the last decade, the Governor has committed more than $81 million in EPF support administered by State Parks toward 687 municipal open space, recreation and historic preservation grants to communities across New York State.
The complete list of the grants announced today is as follows:
* The City of Cohoes, $67,500, Cohoes Waterford Lighting of the Falls. The City and the Town of Waterford will undertake a collaborative project to revitalize the Cohoes Falls as a significant regional waterfront resource and as a focal point for tourism and economic development within the Mohawk Hudson Heritage Area (RiverSpark) and on the Mohawk Towpath Scenic By-way.
* The Underground Railroad History Project, $50,000, Underground Railroad Restoration. The Underground Railroad History Project of the Capital Region Inc. will restore the historic Stephen and Harriet Myers Residence, the only existing documented building in the city of Albany that has Underground Railroad connections.
* Town of Bethlehem, $40,000, Planning for Bethlehem LWRP/Henry Hudson Park. The Town will prepare a Local Waterfront Revitalization Program for its 10-mile, underutilized Hudson River waterfront and develop a master plan for the 60-acre Henry Hudson Park.
* Town of Colonie, $65,000, Planning &Analysis of Mohawk River Management. The Town will advance ongoing preparation of its Waterfront Revitalization Strategy and Action Plan for the Mohawk River. Work will include analysis for River management issues, plans to adaptively re-use the former water treatment facility; strategy to improve pedestrian, bike and boater access and connectivity and community consensus building.
* City of Troy, $400,000, Planning & Construction at Rensselaer Iron Works Site. The City will conduct planning and construction activities for the 5-acre municipally owned Rensselaer Iron Works site and Upper Hudson River Satellite Center. Work will include research, outreach and strategic marketing plans; building and shore stabilization; and construction of trail linkages, boat and fishing access and docking facilities.
* The Hudson Mohawk Industrial Gateway, $113,000, Burden Iron Works Museum. The Gateway is requesting funds to complete primarily exterior restoration and rehabilitation work at the Burden Iron Works Museum along South Troy's Hudson River waterfront.
* Troy Cemetery Assoc., $200,000, Chapel and Crematorium Replacement. The Gardner Earl Chapel and Crematorium at Oakwood Cemetery in Troy has just been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The funding will be used for replacing the roof to protect the interior of the building which includes Tiffany windows, marble mosaics and gorgeous carved wood.
* YWCA of Troy-Cohoes , $196,125. The YWCA will restore the badly deteriorated terra cotta cornice on this historic building, which was built in 1916. This building houses daycare, housing for single women, women with children, office, administrative and program space.
* Schenectady County, $75,000, Gillette House Renovation. The County is working to renovate the interior of 252 and exterior of 250 Union Street, the Gillette House, to their former grandeur. The Gillette House will be used as a visitor center and house an exhibit area to commemorate Dr. Elizabeth Van Rensselaer Gillette, MD.
* Duanseburg Area Community Center , $250,000, Recreation Facilities. The Community Center will construct a new recreation facility to include a community swimming pool, as a primary source of recreation, exercise, and competitive swimming for this underserved community.
* Town of Rotterdam , $40,000, Renovate Town Park/Boat Launch. The Town will renovate the Park and Boat Launch built by the Kiwanis in 1983 as a public service project in cooperation with the Town of Rotterdam and the Canal Corporation. The renovations will include: handicapped accessible restroom facilities, dock and shoreline fishing access, the launch ramp, replacement of picnic tables, and paving and parking improvements.