Holley will join multi-municipal effort for grant to bolster ‘underutilized’ Erie Canal

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 17 July 2017 at 11:07 am

File photo by Tom Rivers: Holley’s Canal Park is a popular spot along the Erie Canal.

HOLLEY – Orleans County Legislator Ken DeRoller has encouraged the Village of Holley to be part of a multi-municipality effort to obtain a planning grant to develop a Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan (LWRP) for communities along the Erie Canal.

“It would provide a future view of how we want to use the canal corridor,” DeRoller said.

In addition to the Village of Holley, DeRoller said the Village of Albion, Town of Albion and Town of Murray should also be involved.  He noted the Village of Medina is already pursuing a plan on their own.

DeRoller spoke to members of the Village Board during their regular meeting last week.

According to New York State, Local Waterfront Revitalization Plans follow a step-by-step process by which communities can advance their planning from vision to implementation. The state offers grant funding for plan-related projects, once plans have been approved.

“I think we have a great product,” DeRoller said of the canal front in Orleans County.

The LWRP will help communities to “enhance its use and plan for the future … we can be the new Fairport in Orleans County.”

DeRoller mentioned attractions and recreational activities on the canal which Holley offers, including Holley Falls and the nearby Public Square. He also discussed potential recreational activities on the canal such as kayaking and hydro-kayaking, as well as activities when the canal is de-watered in the winter season.

“It’s very well worth it,” Holley Mayor Brian Sorochty said of creating a plan. He likened it to the village’s application for a Brownfield Opportunity Area Step 2 grant.

“To do this with other communities strengthens the application,” the mayor said. “I think we can put together a strong application. The canal is underutilized in Orleans County.”

Village Board members also heard July 11 from John Pera, the new post commander for the Jewell Buckman American Legion Post in Holley.

Pera told the board, the Legion is hoping to do more for the Holley community.

“We want to be more a part of the community than in the past,” Pera said of the veterans organization. “We are looking for what we can do for our community. We want to enhance our image to more of a family-friendly organization.”

Pera noted the Holley American Legion has the highest recruitment rate in western New York and the Ladies Auxiliary now has nine junior members – part of an effort to encourage the younger generation to become involved.  He was joined at the meeting by Ladies Auxiliary President Deb Zicari.

“We want to do what we can to help the younger generation,” she said.

Anyone who served during war-time is eligible for membership, Pera noted. Family members of eligible members may join the Ladies Auxiliary or Sons of the American Legion, he said.

“They just need to show someone in their lineage is/was a member of Post 529 in Holley,” Pera said

“We will make sure we reach out to you,” Sorochty told Pera and Zicari and thanked them for reaching out to the board.

The Jewell Buckman American Legion Post 529 has a new website with information on Post activities and membership: www.al529holleyny.org.

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