Senator Farley (R,C - Schenectady) and Governor George E. Pataki today announce $578,500 in Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) grants for five recreation, waterfront revitalization and preservation projects in Oneida and Montgomery counties.
"The State's Environmental Protection Fund has helped create new recreational opportunities, connect communities to their waterfronts and protect local historic properties throughout New York, enhancing our state's unique outdoor resources and cultural treasures," said Governor Pataki. "Here in the Mohawk Valley, these investments will improve the quality of life for residents and strengthen the region as a destination for visitors. Whether supporting improvements along the Erie Canal, preserving the rich heritage of local landmarks or improving local park facilities, these projects will benefit New Yorkers of all ages for generations to come."
Two of the EPF awards are matching grants administered through the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. These projects are $160,000 for the acquisition of property for the construction of a state-of-the-art regional recreational campus in the City of Rome and $223,000 to support the rehabilitation of the Genesee Street façade of the historic Stanley Theater in downtown Utica.
The other three EPF awards 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. The projects supported are: $100,000 toward improvements to the Mohawk River Trail and streetscape enhancements in the City of Rome; $20,500 for the planning and design of waterfront improvements along the Erie Canal and Oneida Lake in the Village of Sylvan Beach; and $75,000 for the installation of new floating docks at the St. Johnsville Marina, also along the Erie Canal.
Senator Hugh Farley said, "The Village of St. Johnsville's marina is a landmark for recreational boaters on the Erie Canal. St. Johnsville's leaders recognized the economic and environmental importance of water-borne tourism and recreation long before the Canal became 'cool.' This work will complete an ambitious program in upgrading the marina -- a program which has involved tremendous local support as well as support from the Canal Corporation and other State agencies. On behalf of the people of St. Johnsville, I commend Governor Pataki, Secretary Daniels, and Commissioner Castro for their interest and assistance."
Senator Raymond Meier said, "I was very pleased to learn that these projects in Oneida County will be funded through the state Environmental Protection Fund. The Stanley Performing Art Center in Utica is definitely a historic treasure that we need to ensure is preserved and protected for our future generations. The Community Recreational Center in Rome will greatly enhance recreational opportunities in the community. I would like to thank Governor Pataki and Commissioner Castro for their continued support of Oneida County and its projects."
Senator David J. Valesky said, "The grant to Sylvan Beach will be a valuable addition to a remarkable effort to revitalize the eastern shore of Oneida Lake. As a member of the Senate Committee on Tourism, Recreation and Sports Development I am delighted that this grant, along with the grants to the city of Rome, will have a positive impact on the quality of life in Oneida County."
Assemblywoman RoAnn M. Destito, "These grants from the Environmental Protection Fund will lead to the improvement of our cultural, and natural resources here in the Mohawk Valley region. The continued preservation and expansion of the Stanley Performing Arts Center and the development of the Erie Canal waterfront, including a planned Community Recreation Center in Rome will be appreciated for many years to come by visitors and residents of our region, and will greatly enhance our existing assets."
Assemblyman Paul D. Tonko said, "Investments like these will pay dividends in the communities along the Erie Canal and hold the promise of a resurgent Upstate economy based on historical and cultural tourism. The State's commitment to the rich heritage of the Erie Canal will make the Mohawk Valley a tourism destination place."
Oneida County Executive Joseph A. Griffo said, "Governor Pataki has once again shown his strong support for Oneida County through the state's investment in our communities. Utica's Stanley Performing Arts Center is one of the region's crown jewels. The improvements the state will support can help enhance and preserve the Stanley for future generations of artists and arts lovers. State investment in Rome will improve the quality of life in the city by increasing the recreational options for Rome residents - leading to more activities for young people and more opportunities for exercise and fitness for adults. Rome's Mohawk River Trail is an exciting project, and we thank the Governor for his support of another effort to use our historic waterfront areas to spur community revitalization. The Sylvan Beach project can help this seasonal tourist attraction capitalize on its natural assets to enhance the character of the village."
City of Rome Mayor James F. Brown said, "We are very excited about taking another step toward the redevelopment of our waterfront. Funding for the Community Recreation Center as well as for streetscape improvements, trail development and a waterfront downtown coordinator will further our efforts to provide recreational opportunities and infrastructure improvements in our community. I would like to thank Governor Pataki and our legislative partners for their generous support and for their continued effort in providing quality of life attributes for this community. I would also like to thank the Planning Department at City Hall for submitting an exceptional application to the State for this grant."
Commissioner Bernadette Castro of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation said, "Once again, Governor Pataki's support of the EPF has demonstrated his strong commitment to expanding public access to our natural environment through new parklands and improved waterfronts, and ensuring our historic resources will be preserved for New Yorkers well into the future. Today's announcement of these grants in Oneida and Montgomery Counties builds on our previous investments and is another valuable step forward to improve and revitalize communities."
Secretary of State Randy A. Daniels, said, "The close partnership 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 has 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 $62 million in EPF support administered by State Parks toward 576 municipal open space, recreation and historic preservation grants to communities across New York State.
The list of grant awards is as follows:
Village of St. Johnsville $75,000
The Village will install 600 linear feet of new floating docks and 20 light poles and fixtures at the St. Johnsville Marina, along the Erie Canal. This work completes a series of comprehensive marina improvements of the Western Montgomery County Local Waterfront Revitalization Program and the New York State Canal Recreationway Plan.
Central New York Community Arts Council, Inc. $160,000
The Council, owners/operators since 1974 of the historic Stanley Theatre in downtown Utica, proposes to restore the Genesee Street facade of the historic Stanley Theatre. The project will focus on portions of the building that are prominent features of the adjacent streetscape.
City of Rome $223,000
The City of Rome proposes the acquisition of two private properties, located in the East Rome Business Park, to enhance a city-owned parcel that will be used for the construction of a state-of-the-art, ADA compliant, regional recreational campus that will provide new recreational opportunities and strengthen the City's waterfront, downtown and brownfield redevelopment progress.
City of Rome $100,000
The City will complete construction drawings for the 5.5 mile Mohawk River Trail from Bellamy Harbor Park to Delta Lake State Park and implement streetscape improvements along the Rome waterfront. In addition, the City will hire a Waterfront/Downtown Coordinator to advance planning revitalization and community development projects.
Village of Sylvan Beach $20,500
The Village will implement elements of its draft Local Waterfront Revitalization Program for its eastern Oneida Lake and northern Erie Canal waterfronts. Work will include community participation, development of schematic designs, cost estimates, construction documents and identification of funding alternatives.