Villages get grants for waterfront projects

Three Montgomery County villages are receiving more than $230,000 in grants to start designing new a

Three Montgomery County villages are receiving more than $230,000 in grants to start designing new attractions with the Mohawk River playing a primary role.

The grants, announced by Gov. David A. Paterson on Friday, are part of $24.9 million being distributed through the state Environmental Protection Fund’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program.

Projects in Fonda, Fultonville and Fort Plain are among 97 to be funded in the most recent announcement.

Fultonville will get $135,000 to design and build a Mohawk River scenic overlook and waterfront access facility, according to the governor’s office.

Village Trustee Brian Kearns said a small park between Riverside Drive and the Mohawk River is expected to improve the ambience in the village and make the neighborhood more livable.

“I think any improvement will be good for the area,” Kearns said.

The money is to help pay for engineering and design, according to the state. Elements of the project identified in the grant announcement include a scenic overlook, floating dock system, pavilions and other park amenities near the river.

The village of Fonda on the other side of the river is in line for $70,500 toward design and engineering for a waterfront park and boat launch at the state Canal Corp.’s maintenance facility. Officials from the Canal Corp. have said they support the idea of opening up some of the space at the facility used as a launching point for maintenance on locks 10 through 16.

Officials have been considering improvements to the existing boat launch, adding parking areas, trees to screen the maintenance facility from sight and possibly adding a public boat docking area for canal travelers.

The Mohawk River served as an important mode of travel, and upon the development of the Erie Canal, played a greater role in the development of the village of Fort Plain.

Fort Plain will receive $27,500 to design a recreational trail loop connecting the Canalway Trail bike path with Old Military Road — a Colonial era path that Village Mayor Guy Barton said was used by the military during the days when Fort Plain was a fortified frontier base.

Tentative plans for the project include pedestrian and bike access, improvements and extensions of trails along with improvements to a historic bridge crossing.

Completing design work will put the village in position to seek additional grants to bring the project to fruition, Barton said Friday.

Categories: Schenectady County

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