Medina, Orleans County both seeking state grants for canal waterfront plans

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 1 August 2017 at 7:57 am

The Village of Medina and Orleans County both are seeking state grants to develop waterfront plans along the Erie Canal.

Orleans County asked Medina to join the county effort for about 25 miles of waterfront in Orleans along the canal.

Medina opted instead to pursue its own plan. The Orleans plan will focus on the villages of Albion and Holley, and towns of Murray, Albion, Gaines, Ridgeway and Shelby.

“I hope we’re both successful,” Medina village trustee Owen Toale said during last week’s Village Board meeting.

The village has been working on its waterfront development plan for nearly a year and didn’t want to start at the beginning of the process.

“I think we’re miles ahead of where the county is,” said Marty Busch, the village’s code enforcement officer. “We’re at different points and that makes it hard to mesh it all together.”

The Village Board approved a letter of support for the county application. Medina lined up support from local state legislators, and the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, among several key officials and organizations, Busch said.

Medina wants a plan that stretches beyond the canal, including State Street Park, and downtown and neighborhood revitalization.

A waterfront revitalization plan would include public input to identify assets along the canal and identify projects and strategies to enhance the canal waterfront.

County legislators said they are willing to align and coordinate the county planning efforts with Medina’s plan.

A plan is critical for the municipalities to then receive larger state grants to support business projects and public improvements. The county and Medina both submitted applications by Friday’s deadline through the state Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) process, where about $800 million is available through dozens of state agencies.

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