April 13, 2016
Albany

Governor Cuomo Announces $400,000 in Smart Growth Grants for Adirondack Park Communities and Organizations

TOP Governor Cuomo Announces $400,000 in Smart...

Grants to Support Recreation, Economic Growth and Environmental Protection 

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced nearly $400,000 in smart growth grant awards for six Adirondack Park communities. The Governor announced these Environmental Protection Fund-supported grants to Adirondack municipalities and not-for-profit organizations as part of the Adirondack Park Local Government Day.

“The Adirondack Park is one of the best examples of natural beauty anywhere in the world with high peaks and forests that attract thousands of visitors to this North County gem each year,” Governor Cuomo said. “These grants will build upon this success, helping to strengthen the local economy and ensuring the park remains a vibrant destination for decades 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.

DEC Acting Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “Through Governor Cuomo’s leadership, these grants build on our historic investments in the preservation and stewardship of the world-class natural resources in the Adirondacks by helping communities capitalize on these important assets and invest in their local infrastructure.”

The grants also support locally focused revitalization within hamlets as well as collaborative projects that promote and activate local economic activity at a park-wide scale. The Adirondack Harvest and Adirondack Trail Towns projects will empower the Park’s cultural institutions, businesses and event sponsors by using technology to combine forces across the park, coordinating and marketing the delivery of products, events and tourism assets through unified park-wide brands.

This is the fourth round of smart growth funding supporting Adirondack Park communities. This year’s grants build on the nearly $2 million dollars devoted in the first three rounds of funding for this program. DEC continues to partner with the Department of State and the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) to carry out the program. Additional projects funded include: support for a new water source that will serve the Town of Crown Point and stabilize production activity at the Essex County fish hatchery which helps stock the region’s streams; support for expansion of the Adirondack Public Observatory, which has the potential to feature a unique attraction, the Adirondack’s clear night skies; and support for streetscape improvements in Lake Placid and Lake George.

APA Chairwoman Leilani Ulrich said, “These projects capitalize on the unique aspects of the Adirondack Park. Their implementation will expand critical economic opportunities which are consistent with the character and appeal of the Park’s communities. We are very grateful for the strong support of Governor Cuomo.”

Acting Secretary of State Rossana Rosado said, "Smart Growth has become an integral tool in New York State’s resurgence. These grants will contribute to Adirondack communities by helping them grow in sustainable ways – economically, environmentally and socially.”

Senator Betty Little said, “This New York State and local government collaboration is great news for Adirondack communities. Without the funding, these plans for a brighter future might not be realized. I thank Governor Cuomo, DEC Acting Commissioner Seggos and everyone else who played a role in awarding these grants. I look forward to seeing the progress each of the applicants makes to better their community.”

Assemblyman Marc Butler said, “These smart growth grants are a vital part of our efforts to enhance and build upon infrastructure within the Adirondack Park. More and more, the Governor’s economic strategies are leading our communities to work in a new spirit of cooperation, and that’s a giant step forward for those in the Adirondack Park who are beginning to see real results coming to fruition.”

Assemblywoman Janet Duprey said, “I have been pleased to support the Adirondack Public Observatory since the idea was first presented to me by the people who had this great vision of bringing visitors to Tupper Lake to enjoy the Cosmos. Once again the residents of Tupper Lake have taken an innovative idea and turned it into a viable, enjoyable and educational experience for students, residents and tourists. I extend my thanks to Governor Cuomo and Acting Commissioner Seggos for recognizing the value of funding Phase 2 of this project to broaden the population who will be able to enjoy incredible views of the night sky through research grade telescopes.”

Assemblyman Dan Stec said, “This continued commitment to invest in our Adirondack communities is welcomed news. These grants will allow for increased economic development and recreational opportunities while improving much needed infrastructure within the Park.”

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.

Based on competitive applications received in February, the following projects have been awarded this year:

Adirondack Smart Growth Awards

Applicant & Partners

Essex County Department of Community Resources, with the Town of Crown Point

Project Title

Fishing for Opportunity: Essex Co. Fish Hatchery/Town of Crown Point Shared Services

Total Grant Funds Awarded

$75,000

Summary

Essex County and the Town of Crown Point have formed a partnership to address water supply issues and make structural improvements to the Essex Co. fish hatchery and the town's municipal water system. The project will include the drilling of a new water well and construction of a new municipal water treatment and control facility on hatchery property, complete with office space and restrooms to be utilized by county and municipal employees and visitors. Smart Growth grant funds are being requested to finance a portion of the well drilling cost, and the restroom portion of the new facility.

 

Applicant & Partners

Lake Placid Village, Inc.

Project Title

Mirror Lake Stormwater Improvement Project

Total Grant Funds Awarded

$75,000

Summary

The project involves upgrading the stormwater collection system along 1,100 ft. of Mirror Lake Dr. in the Village of Lake Placid to improve the water quality of Mirror Lake and downstream water bodies, including the Ausable River. The system will intercept and collect salt, sediment and pollutant-laden stormwater that is currently discharging untreated through stormwater outfalls into the east side of the lake. Studies indicate that the lake is being affected by this runoff and the project, which is part of a concerted effort by the Village to address the water quality in the lake, has broad support among the public and stakeholder organizations. The construction of the stormwater collection system requires demolition of a sidewalk along Mirror Lake that is very popular for walkers and joggers. As part of the overall project, the Village will install a decorative concrete sidewalk and pedestrian lighting along the sidewalk to enhance aesthetics and safety along this popular route.

 

Applicant & Partners

Hamilton County, with support from many partners, including the Adirondack Foundation, the Adirondack Museum, Adirondack Partnership, ANCA, CAP-21, Essex County IDA, ROOST, and the Wild Center

Project Title

Adirondack Trail Towns

Total Grant Funds Awarded

$75,000

Summary

This project implements the parkwide Adirondack Trail Towns initiative, one of five “key strategies” in ADVANTAGE Adirondacks. Adirondack Trail Towns will identify, inventory, link, and market non-recreation amenity trails (food, historic preservation, history, art, cultural attractions, activities and events, etc…). Tasks to be completed with Smart Growth funding include solicitation and selection of an administrator, development of an implementation coalition, development of a financing plan, preparation of an e-marketing strategy, and delivery of Trail Towns community assessments with a companion community/business toolkit and program guidelines.

 

Applicant & Partners

Cornell Cooperative Extension Association - Essex County, with support from the towns of Elizabethtown and Willsboro

Project Title

Adirondack Harvest Technology Expansion

Total Grant Funds Awarded

$74,772

Summary

This grant will help the Adirondack Harvest Program of Cornell Cooperative Extension to implement a major upgrade to its existing website with a more accessible home page search option, a more inviting overall appearance, a “smartphone friendly” configuration and three new map pages to include wood products and community supported agriculture (CSA) and local food processors. CCE Essex will add wood product businesses within the Blue Line, and a North Country wide media promotion of the “new” website features. CCE Essex will revamp its current Essex County local food guide to a new format more in tune with the new farmer movement in our county and the Park, developing a new design in each of the next three years. Finally CCE Essex will conduct a media campaign to let residents know where to find local food and wood products with a goal to increase local purchasing within the Park and increase sustainability of current businesses.

 

Applicant & Partners

Town of Tupper Lake, with Adirondack Public Observatory, Inc.

Project Title

Support for the Adirondack Public Observatory

Total Grant Funds Awarded

$70,000

Summary

The Town will assist the Adirondack Public Observatory (APO) to accomplish its goal of capitalizing on the Park’s dark and clear night skies to attract residents and visitors to explore the Cosmos. This grant will advance three significant components of the project: Architectural and engineering design for a museum / observatory, a communications strategy, and a fundraising campaign strategy. Partial sketches and engineering plans for both Phase 1 and future expansion were developed in 2009 but the vision has evolved and plans need updates. Achieving completion of Phase 2 will lay the design and strategy groundwork that will make the final construction possible, and begin to capture the potential for a far broader tourism draw to the area.

 

Applicant & Partners

Village of Lake George

Project Title

South Canada Street Site Improvements

Total Grant Funds Awarded

$22,250

Summary

This smart growth project will implement the preparation of design and construction documents for streetscape improvements along the west side of Canada St. in Lake George Village, including culvert improvements where Canada St. crosses West Brook. The stretch of Canada St. (roughly 0.37 miles long) connects the intersection of Million Dollar Beach Rd. and Canada St. with the entrance to the Charles R. Wood Park. The grant will fund the preparation of design and construction documents needed to bring the project from the conceptual stage into a shovel ready project. Throughout the Village considerable streetscape upgrades have been completed and this application is requesting funds to improve the last unimproved stretch of Canada St. With this funding, the contractor hired by the Village to prepare the design and construction documents will also serve as a liaison between the Village and the contractor responsible for the construction of the proposed streetscape enhancements.

For more information on the Smart Growth program, visit DEC’s website at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/45970.html

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