Orleans canal communities will work on waterfront revitalization plan

Photo by Tom Rivers: The Holley Canal Park is pictured in June. The site includes a gazebo, public bathrooms with showers, boat tie-ups and camp sites.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 October 2018 at 10:40 am

Several canal communities in Orleans County will soon get to work on a waterfront revitalization plan.

The Orleans County Legislature has approved an agreement with NYS Department of State to create the Erie Canal Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan.

The plan will provide a clear direction for suitable future development, reflect a community consensus, and establish a long-term partnership among local governments and the state.

In a resolution last week, the Legislature states, “the Erie Canal was critical to early community settlement and commerce in Orleans County and remains an essential asset for the purposes of economic development, recreation, tourism and cultural heritage.”

The state is providing a $62,000 grant for the plan, while the county contributes $10,000 in cash, and the participating towns and villages pay $10,500. The county Department of Planning and Development will also provide $167 of in-kind services.

The Village of Medina also is working on a Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan and received a $37,500 state grant for the effort. Medina has already formed a committee and hired a consultant, Bergmann Associates.

Medina will have a meeting on Oct. 17 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Medina High School, 2 Mustang Drive, welcoming the public to discuss how to best utilize the waterfront in the community, including the canal, Oak Orchard River and Glenwood Lake.

The Orleans plan will focus on the villages of Albion and Holley, and towns of Murray, Albion, Gaines, Ridgeway and Shelby.

The county expects to hire a consultant and start work on the plan in early 2019. Ken DeRoller, a county legislator, said the two planning efforts will work together.

There may be less than obvious ways to better capitalize on the canal, such as allowing more siphons for farmers to irrigate crops, DeRoller said.

“We are looking forward to enhancing the use of this asset in our county,” he said.

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