Officials celebrate opening of Point Breeze boat launch

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 May 2022 at 5:34 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

POINT BREEZE – Officials from the Town of Carlton, Orleans County and state Office of General Services and Department of State joined for a ribbon-cutting this morning for the new boat launch at Point Breeze.

The new boat launch opened on April 27. The old one was closed just after Labor Day.

The project was $627,000 and was 95 percent funded through the state’s Lake Ontario Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative (REDI).

During the historic flooding of 2019, the previous boat ramp was submerged, preventing access to the floating docks, and forcing the boat launch to be closed.

The new launch is raised about 2 ½ feet and will be more resilient in case of flooding and higher lake levels. The steeper ramp also can better accommodate launching boats when the water levels are low.

“It can handle the two extremes,” said John Papponetti, the county’s commissioner of the Department of Public Works.

The project was designed by Wendel, an engineering firm, with CP Ward the contractor.

The boat launch also has a new boat ramp and abutment above high water level, a sloping roadway to the new boat ramp; and regraded remaining portion of roadway.

County Legislature Chairwoman Lynne Johnson said the boat launch is important for recreational boaters and also for the county’s sportsfishing industry, which has a $28 million annual economic impact on the county.

“This is really the eye of Lake Ontario for Orleans County,” Johnson said about Point Breeze.

She praised the state leaders for making the REDI funding available. There are $17 million of projects in Orleans County that are part of the $300 million REDI program.

Other projects include wastewater infrastructure for Kendall and Hamlin, $9,053,000; Yates Town Park and expansion in Yates, $2,531,000; Lakeshore Road breakwall in Carlton, east of Point Breeze, $2,062,000; Public Town Road Ends/Culverts in Kendall, $1,500,000; stabilizing Lakeside Park Road East in Carlton, $385,000; Fortified shoreline along Lakeside Park Road West in Carlton, $235,000; Thompson Drive turnaround to become beach access in Kendall, $131,000; erosion mitigation at Route 237 right-of-way in Kendall, $40,000; installing markers on submerged structures in Orleans and Niagara, $50,000.

The REDI funding also includes dredging many harbors along the southshore, including Oak Orchard and Johnson Creek in Orleans County.

Jeanette Moy, acting commissioner of the state Office of General Services, praised the local town and county officials for pushing many of the projects along.

The local leaders identified assets “that were damaged repeatedly by high waters,” she said.

The REDI projects show local and state officials working together, Moy said. There are 134 of the REDI projects across the southshore of the state.

Stephanie Wojtowicz, director of division planning for the Department of State, praised the partnerships at the local and state levels to get the infrastructure upgraded and protected.

“You can’t have a resilient economy without resilient infrastructure,” Wojtowicz said.