Governor praises start of $2.5 million town park upgrade in Yates

Posted 19 October 2021 at 9:07 am

Press Release, Gov. Kathy Hochul’s Office

YATES – Governor Kathy Hochul on Monday announced construction has begun on a $2.5 million resiliency project awarded to the Town of Yates, Orleans County, as part of New York State’s Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative.

The Yates Town Park serves as the only public recreation space with direct access to Lake Ontario, with over one acre of open space for recreation, including a pavilion and picnic area. The park is a popular destination for both residents and visitors of the Town.

Town of Yates Supervisor James Simon said, “The Town of Yates is very excited to begin construction on our REDI Park project! After lakeshore flooding destroyed our park shoreline in 2017 and 2019, we were grateful to be supported by NY state to strengthen park resiliency and enhance public recreational facilities on the lake.  We look forward to reopening our new park in the early fall of 2022 as the culminating event of our 200th anniversary as a town.”

During the historic flooding of 2019, the park experienced substantial erosion along the shoreline. The recreational space was inundated with water due to poor run off conditions, posing safety risks for park goers and inhibiting use of the park. The resiliency work to be undertaken will stabilize the shoreline, mitigate future flooding, and ensure continued access to Yates Town Park during high water events. The park will close to the public on October 18 and remain closed for the duration of the construction.

“Through REDI, New York State is continuing its promise to the Lake Ontario shoreline communities in assisting in their fight against the effects of climate change,” Governor Hochul said. “Ensuring our infrastructure is strong and reliable, and our shorelines are fortified is vital in protecting our residents, as well as safeguarding the economies of shoreline communities. The Town of Yates Park expansion project will do just that, as well as increase the recreational opportunities for both residents and visitors to the town.”

Resiliency measures and park improvements to be implemented in this project include:

  • Upgrades to the parks drainage and stormwater management systems to resolve the serious drainage and ponding challenges;
  • Shoreline stabilization at the boat launch;
  • Installation of a cartop boat launch;
  • Construction of an ADA compliant fishing/water access pier;
  • Installation of new playground equipment, a walking trail, new pavilion, and bathroom facilities;
  • Expansion of the park’s parking area; and
  • Improvements to landscaping and greenspace.

Senator Robert Ortt said, “By expanding the recreational space and increasing water access to Lake Ontario at Yates Town Park, the New York State REDI Commission and the Town of Yates will be delivering new and exciting greenspace opportunities to the residents of Orleans County. Combining this increased outdoor space with shoreline resiliency is a creative way to implement public safety measures with a public good. I applaud New York State and the Town of Yates for working together in a creative manner for the benefit of our residents and visitors to our region.”

Assemblyman Stephen Hawley said, “This project will ensure that Yates Park is able to be enjoyed for decades to come, and help operators of small watercraft, such as kayaks and paddle boats, make the most of both the park and the lake. While maintaining our parks and waterfronts benefits our local economy, it also provides families a safe, scenic place to gather and socialize. I’m glad this project is moving forward to keep Yates Park and its waterfront safe and open to all, while becoming more enjoyable than ever.”

In response to the extended pattern of flooding along the shores of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, New York State established REDI to increase the resilience of shoreline communities and bolster economic development in the region. Five REDI Regional Planning Committees, comprised of representatives from eight counties (Niagara and Orleans, Monroe, Wayne, Cayuga and Oswego, and Jefferson and St. Lawrence) were established to identify local priorities, at-risk infrastructure and other assets, and public safety concerns.

The REDI Commission allocated $20 million for homeowner assistance, $30 million to improve the resiliency of businesses, and $15 million toward a regional dredging effort that will benefit each of the eight counties in the REDI regions. The remaining $235 million has been allocated towards local and regional projects that advance and exemplify the REDI mission.

Since the creation of the State’s REDI program in the Spring of 2019, 134 REDI funded local and regional projects are underway, including 85 projects in the design phase, 22 projects in the construction phase, and 27 projects completed.