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Money flowing for local projects

Funds steered by Waterfront Revitalization Plan

By: DAN HEATH

---- — PLATTSBURGH — New York Department of State funds are flowing for a number of projects included in the Clinton County Regional Waterfront Revitalization Plan.

Among the proposals to benefit from the release of funding are a local wine trail, a river greenway and a beach study.

The projects have been part of the North Country Regional Economic Development Council’s plan since the first year of the competition in 2011. 

GRANT SUCCESS

County Planner Rodney Brown was part of an Project Advisory Committee that, with Regional Economic Development Council support, has helped secure more than $1.5 million in funds from the Department of State Local Waterfront Revitalization Program funds since 2011.

“As a result of this strong public/private partnership, we have been very successful in obtaining funding for the Clinton County regional waterfront effort,” he said in a press release.

Brown worked with Project Manager Melissa McManus, the Department of State and economic-development leaders to expand the benefits offered by the program.

WINE TRAIL

McManus said the Project Advisory Committee recently approved distribution of funds awarded in the 2012 Regional Economic Development Council competition.

Signage for the Adirondack Coast Wine Trail was a 2012 key project and was awarded $45,000.

The Wine Trail was approved by the State Legislature last year, and the State Department of Transportation has OK’d sign locations.

McManus said those signs should start to appear in the coming months.

“The Wine Trail will be one of the first visible projects. The trail was approved last summer, and now the signs will be going up.”

RIVER TRAIL GREENWAY

A feasibility study and master plan for the Saranac River Trail Greenway was a key project in 2011 and 2012.

It was awarded $40,000 to investigate expansion from the City of Plattsburgh into the Town of Saranac and $50,000 for design of the next phase within the City of Plattsburgh.

CITY BEACH STUDY

The Plattsburgh City Beach Redevelopment Feasibility Analysis was a key project in both 2011 and 2012 and has been awarded $62,000.

That may lead to more collaboration between the city and the Town of Plattsburgh, as McManus has talked with town officials about a visioning workshop for the greater Plattsburgh area as part of the city’s project.

PERU, ROUSES POINT

Design of the Peru Main Street Streetscape Project was also a 2012 key project and will receive $25,000.

Another 2012 key project, the D&H Rail Station History and Welcome Center in Rouses Point, was awarded $25,000. 

WORKING TOGETHER

McManus said Clinton County partnered with Franklin County on the 2013 application and expects to do the same thing for 2014.

The Department of State has been very supportive of regional collaborations that look at the larger picture, she noted.

State Sen. Betty Little and State Assemblywoman Janet Duprey are seeking to have the Little Ausable River and Great Chazy River designated as eligible waterways under the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program, which would open eligibility to even more municipalities.

Leaders from eligible communities are expected to be contacted in the coming weeks to join a Clinton County Waterfront Revitalization Council. Those presently include the City of Plattsburgh and the towns of AuSable, Beekmantown, Black Brook, Champlain, Chazy, Peru, Plattsburgh, Saranac and Schuyler Falls.

The idea is to coordinate waterfront-revitalization and tourism-development efforts across municipal lines and give technical assistance to communities that may lack the resources to do the work on their own.

Municipalities or groups that would like more information are asked to contact McManus at melissamcmanusllc@gmail.com or 297-6753.

Email Dan Heath:dheath@pressrepublican.com

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