Current and future initiatives planned for the city of Little Falls waterfront will be the topic of discussion during a Tuesday, June 26, public forum at the Knights Inn.
The waterfront connections forum, a collaboration between the city of Little Falls, the New York State Department of State, the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, the Little Falls Harbor Commission and several community groups, will take place from 6 to 8 p.m.
Members of the public will be asked to provide feedback about the value of the city’s waterfront and current and future project needs during the forum, which will include presenters from New York state, the city of Rome and the city of Little Falls. The program will also include information on the economic and social impacts of waterfront revitalization and how state and local funding can attract additional private investment and economic activity that ultimately benefits the community.
“Our waterfront has made great strides in less than 20 years, and we would like to continue that momentum to create more opportunities for boaters, residents and tourists to spend more time in Little Falls,” said Mayor Robert Peters. “This forum will not only allow us to brag about our past success, but to discuss future plans and ideas the community desires for our waterfront as well.”
Peters added public and private efforts since the mid-1990s have encouraged the investment of millions of dollars to cleanup junkyards, renovate old mill buildings, build trails and attract residents, tourists and visitors to Canal Place and the harbor along the Mohawk River and Erie Canal waterfront.
“The June 26 forum will be open to everyone. Residents and business and property owners are invited to attend and learn about how far the waterfront has come, how other Mohawk Valley communities have dealt with waterfront revitalization and to share ideas to shape the waterfront connections project and future initiatives for the community,” he said.
The city’s waterfront connections project, which was awarded $324,275 in grant funding from the state Department of State through the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program in 2009, will be introduced during the forum. The project involves the creation of a marina and additional parking at the harbor facility on Southern Avenue, adjacent to the city’s boat launch at the western end.
The grant will also support planning for a future pedestrian and bicycle bridge over the Erie Canal at Benton’s Landing to better connect Canal Place and downtown with the city’s South Side and harbor.
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.
Page 2 of 2 - The final year the city can take advantage of the funding is 2013
The waterfront connections project is a recommendation from the city’s local waterfront revitalization plan, which also recommended additional waterfront and downtown improvements to increase the economic and recreational value of the Mohawk River and Erie Canal.
The plan, updated in 2007, is considered to be the guiding force behind the creation of the canal harbor and Rotary Park, the renovation of the terminal building as a visitor center, construction of Benton’s Landing and various improvements to the Erie Canalway Trail and other waterfront facilities.
More information about the June 26 waterfront connections forum at the Knights Inn can be obtained by calling the Little Falls Urban Renewal Agency at 574-5249.