Announcement Made During North Country Regional Sustainable Development and Collaborative Governance Conference
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that five North Country communities will receive nearly $231,000 in "Smart Growth" grants through the New York State Environmental Protection Fund. These grants are being awarded to Adirondack municipalities and not-for-profit organizations to support projects focused on key aspects of the state's Smart Growth program such as hamlet revitalization, economic growth and environmental protection.
"The North Country is the home of unmatched natural beauty and with this funding, these communities are poised to leverage this region's strengths into a smart economic strategy to help them grow and thrive," Governor Cuomo said. "This program builds upon the region's many successes over the last few years and is one more reason why the North Country's best days are yet to come."
Smart Growth grants are administered by the Department of Environmental Conservation and support local plans and projects geared toward community and economic development that fit within and complement the region's natural resources. The awarded projects demonstrate how Adirondack communities can grow using the unique natural assets of the Park combined with improved technology, attractions and infrastructure to bring in new businesses and citizens.
This is a supplemental round of awards for the North Country that will build on the success of six others totaling nearly $400,000 that Governor Cuomo announced in April 2016.
"These grants help put the North Country on a path toward sustainability," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who announced the award winners at Governor Cuomo’s North Country Sustainable Development Conference in Lake Placid. "Smart Growth is a critical objective in a region where the environment and tourism are paramount to its success."
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "Adirondack Park communities continue to impress us with their unique combination of a relaxed, welcoming nature combined with determination, initiative, and devotion to their lakes, forests and mountains. These additional smart growth awards demonstrate the high standard to which these communities hold themselves."
The newly awarded projects include:
· Town of Ticonderoga – $50,752 – Construction Drawings for the Reconstruction of the 18th Century French Sawmill
· Town of Ausable, in partnership with Adirondack Architectural Heritage – $75,000 -- Keeseville Hamlet Riverside Park; Transformation of the “Red Mill” Industrial Site
· Biodiversity Research Institute, in partnership with BRI's Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation, Leading EDGE's Adirondack Community Trails & Lodging System, and the Village of Saranac Lake -- $50,000 – Adirondack Community-Based Trails Connecting Loons, Lakes and Lodging
· Indian Lake Theater, Inc., in partnership with the Town of Indian Lake – $15,000 – Indian Lake Theater Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Project
· Town of Wilmington – $40,000 – Alternative Wastewater System for Economic Development
The program has directly supported park-wide initiatives, the Common Ground Alliance and Adirondack Partnership, which are working on shared priorities between local citizens, non-profits, municipalities, and New York State agencies including broadband, economic development, and sustainable recreation and tourism. The program has provided funding for locally led projects that make direct linkages between DEC trail systems and community trails. Other projects have linked underutilized hamlets and historic resources with new uses and visitors.
Senator Hugh T. Farley said, "Many Adirondack communities face unique challenges. I am pleased that the State is assisting these local governments and organizations so that they may undertake these smart growth projects, which offer multiple benefits for their communities. In particular, as the representative for Indian Lake, I know that the Theater is an important part of the economic and cultural life of the community. Its energy efficiency project is an environmentally smart initiative that will help ensure the continued viability of the theater. Through the Environmental Protection Fund, the State is able to support a wide variety of important programs and projects throughout New York."
Senator Betty Little said, "Each of the state grants will help these Adirondack communities fulfill important goals they’ve identified that might not be financially feasible otherwise. This year’s summer tourism season was very good, but it doesn’t mean it can’t be better. Once complete, the projects will help make the four communities even more desirable to visit and will generate additional economic activity. I was pleased to support this funding in the State Budget and to join Governor Cuomo and DEC Commissioner Seggos in announcing the awards today."
Assemblyman Dan Stec said, "I am pleased that these proposed Adirondack projects have been awarded funding through the EPF. Expanding the economic potential with recreational based tourism and exploring the natural and historic resources will increase opportunities within these Adirondack communities."
Assemblywoman Janet Duprey said, "I am pleased DEC has awarded Smart Growth grants to our North Country communities. The grants for the Town of AuSable and Village of Saranac Lake in my Assembly District will not only enhance the beauty of these communities but will encourage residents to enjoy the outdoors. These grants will provide more recreational opportunities and add to the vibrancy of the areas."
New York State Adirondack Park Agency Chairman Sherman Craig said, "Governor Cuomo's continued commitment to the Adirondack Park through sustainable development projects enhance our local communities and safeguard our natural resources. We thank the Governor for his unyielding support."
For more information on any of these projects visit: http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/103864.html
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