The members of the Little Falls Common Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to table action on the waterfront connections project.
The city was previously awarded $324,275 in grant funding from the 2009 - 2010 Environmental Protection Fund, under the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program administered by the New York State Department of State, to implement a local waterfront revitalization plan and project.
The state assistance contract that was executed for the project requires the city to provide a local share of the project cost in an amount of at least $324,275, including the value of any volunteer and in-kind services and the contribution of other qualified federal, state and local funding sources.
It’s this contribution, Mayor Robert Peters said Tuesday night, that has city officials wanting to review the project that encompasses the completion of a feasibility analysis and construction designs for a pedestrian bridge to cross the Erie Canal, as well as the construction of marina facilities and waterfront park amenities at the western end of the Canal Harbor Terminal Building at Rotary Park.
“The final year the city can take advantage of this funding is 2013, so the city still has time to review the project and determine if it can come up with the matching share,” said Peters.
With action on the project tabled for the time being, the mayor and other officials said the city would reach out to the state Department of State about possibly amending the scope of the work.
“Perhaps the state would be willing to allow us to amend the plans to lessen the amount the city would have contribute toward the project’s completion,” said Peters. “Some of the work might be able to be scaled back to lower the project’s overall cost, which would lower the matching share.”
“With the current state of the economy the Department of State might be willing to accommodate the city’s request,” said Jim Thatcher, senior associate with Avalon Associates. “It’s definitely something worth exploring, as the city does not want to completely walk away from the grant.”
Thatcher’s Glens Falls-based firm provides planning, design and financing services to the city.
First Ward Alderman Jeffrey Gressler suggested the city should reach out to the community to gain insight as to what residents think about the project and to see if they have any suggestions.
The resolution that was tabled Tuesday night would have authorized Peters to execute documents as necessary to provide the local share of the project cost as appropriate to the project, with such funds to be expended during the initial state contract period that will expire on Dec. 14, 2013, unless otherwise extended by mutual agreement between the city and state Department of State.