Lake George and its watershed — and surrounding communities — are to benefit from economic development grant awards announced Dec. 19 by Gov. Cuomo. Projects and programs throughout the Adirondacks received a hefty share of the $738 million awarded statewide. The projects and programs funded assress not only economic vitality and jobs growth, but environmental protection and enhancement, tourism, and sustainability and cultural enhancement.
The northern rural areas of New York State received an early Christmas present Wednesday Dec. 9 as Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled the second round of the state’s grant funding through the Regional Economic Development Councils grant program — and the southern Adirondacks region played a big part in the success story.
Projects proposed by the North Country council, which encompasses much of the Adirondacks as well as Plattsburgh, are to receive $103.2 million in this second round of grant funding awarded through this program. This panel was awarded tens of millions of extra dollars due to their plan being judged as one of the best among the state’s 10 councils.
The Capital Region council’s area, which includes Glens Falls and Warren County, is to receive $50.3 million. Politicians and business leaders in some metropolitan areas including Albany expressed disappointment in receiving less of the grant money than expected, while their counterparts in the Adirondacks said they were pleased.
Lake George region a big winner
Among the projects and organizations funded in the area were:
• $308,00 to Warren County’s projects relating to the First Wilderness Heritage Corridor along the Saratoga-North Creek railroad in Saratoga and Warren counties. Projects include restoration of Warrensburg’s historic Floyd Bennett bandstand and design of a new 31.5-acre waterfront park on the Schroon River off Rte. 418 in Warrensburg — at the site of the former Warrensburg Board & Paper Mill, which for decades was a condemned brownfield.
• $544,500 to the town of Lake George for their Gateway Improvement project along state Rte. 9 including the construction of a landscaped median, porous pavement, erosion control and stormwater management, pedestrian safety, beautification and roadway landscaping — on the major gateway to the Lake George region.
• $600,0000 to Hacker Boat Co., Silver Bay on Lake George, for plant expansion. The firm is to invest $5.4 million and create 31 new jobs.
• $400,000 to Hudson Headwaters Health Network for the construction of a new Warrensburg Health Center.
•$300,000 to the town of Chester and the Warren County Soil & Water Conservation District toward their Schroon Lake Watershed Management Plan projects, which include construction of stormwater abatement work, roadside erosion control, and a voluntary on-site wastewater treatment system pump out and water conservation program, plus Eurasian milfoil control.
• $750,000 towards developing the Charles Wood Park — the former Gaslight Village property. The grant is to go to building such features as the children’s adventure play area, a skateboard park, signs and walkways — including pedestrian and bicycling connections to Beach Road and the Warren County Bike Path.
• $390,000 to the Lake George Watershed Coalition and Lake George Village for water quality assessment and management of streams, stormwater abatement, and public education concerning septic systems.
• $170,166 to the village of Lake George for new public docks along Beach Road that were destroyed in 2011 by Hurricane Irene.
• $37,500 to the town of Lake George for developing a community and waterfront revitalization strategy — addressing economic development, ecological, tourism and aesthetic issues.
Glens Falls region fares well
• $500,000 to Glens Falls for building a parking garage on Hudson Avenue to augment downtown revitalization. The 450-car garage is to complement a $24 million mixed-use development in the city center.
• $137,201 to the The Hyde Collection to present its 2013 exhibition “Modern Nature: Georgia O'Keeffe & Lake George.”
• $100,000 to the area BOCES agency for training unemployed workers for technical manufacturing jobs.
• $184,000 to the city of Glens Falls to prepare plans for Pruyn’s Island redevelopment and a design of a waterfront promenade, plus plans for enhancements to the Feeder Canal. The grants also go towards various stormwater abatement projects, to study the possible relocation of the Finch Paper wood yard, to develop new zoning design guidelines, to enhance the Murray St. streetscape, and for a wastewater engineering study focusing on Platt St.
• $465,000 to construct a pipeline to the Glens Falls sewer plant for Ames Goldsmith Corporation’s wastewater in order to treat their nitrate-laden effluent.
• $50,000 to Davidson Brothers Brewery to expand their craft beer brewing operations in Glens Falls.
• $125,000 to Warren-Washington counties ARC towards construction of a kitchen and cafeteria at their Queensbury location — to be used as training site and for distribution of agricultural products from Warren, Washington and Saratoga counties.
Regional grants are generous
Awards of regional interest include:
• $2 million to Adirondack Economic Development Corp. in Saranac Lake for their regional Community Transformation Tourism Fund which loans money for tourism-related ventures throughout the North Country.
• $1 million for an elevated boardwalk through the woods with interactive exhibits at the Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks, Tupper Lake.
$2.5 million for the Municipal Water & Wastewater Infrastructure Support Fund for municipal water, sewer and road upgrades — with communities participating in setting their own priorities.
• $1.7 million toward broadband connections worth $2.1 million that would serve most hamlets in Hamilton County where none previously existed.
• $108,000 to the to the Adirondack Association of Towns & Villages for development of an Adirondack Park recreation web portal to promote tourism and recreation in the Adirondacks.
• $465,000 towards construction and equipping of a new $1.3 million, 7,500 square-feet slaughterhouse and retails outlet at Ticonderoga’s Adirondack Meat Co., a project expected to provide a new market opportunities for farmers raising livestock.
• $1.75 million to International Paper’s Ticonderoga mill for conversion to natural gas.
• Upgrades worth $221,073 to Adirondack Mountain Club’s Wilderness Campground at Heart Lake, including new tent sites and lean-tos, well, washhouse and septic. The campground hosts 75,000 visitors annually. The grant includes renovations to the High Peaks Information Center.
• $1.37 million for installation of broadband connections in the Long Lake area.
• $150,000 to Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts at Blue Mountain Lake for their summer theater festival touring throughout the Adirondacks, presenting 60 performances in 20 towns, featuring local actors and musicians apprenticing with professionals.
• $243,493 to the village of Fort Edward for their Canal Street Farmers Marketplace project, which involves redeveloping a historic canal building into a permanent regional farmers market for produce grown in Warren, Washington and Saratoga counties.
Statewide, a total of $738 million was awarded for 725 economic development projects.