Waterfront revitalization bills pass Legislature

Betty Little

June 17, 2014

The State Senate and Assembly have approved five bills designating Chateaugay Lake,  Little Ausable River, Great Chazy River, Schroon River and Battenkill as inland waterways making the communities along these water bodies eligible for grants under the New York State Local Waterfront Revitalization Program.

The bills were proposed by Senator Betty Little and Assemblywoman Janet Duprey and Assemblyman Dan Stec at the request of local officials.

The Local Waterfront Revitalization Program is a locally prepared land and water use  plan for a community’s developed, natural, public and working waterfronts.  The planning document may address issues such as recreation and commercial use of waterways and stewardship, including dredging.  The program establishes a long-term partnership among local governments, community organizations and New York State.

Funding to develop and implement Local Waterfront Revitalization Programs is available from the New York State Environmental Protection Fund.  Last year, 51 projects totaling over $12 million were funded.

“The goal is to maximize the economic development potential of waterfronts while planning for and managing these assets in a smart and sustainable way,” said Senator Little.  “It’s a community-driven process.”

Assemblywoman Janet Duprey said, “I'm pleased we will give local communities the opportunity to apply for grants to improve these important waterways.”

Assemblyman Dan Stec said, “I am pleased to see these waterways added to the inland waterway designation list which will allow for greater use, along with allowing various government agencies the opportunity to work together for the betterment of the community.”

The five measures will be sent to Governor Andrew Cuomo for consideration.