The new docks along the village’s waterfront are already generating a lot of buzz and raising its profile, local officials say.
Over the past two years, the village has made $1.6 million worth of improvements to the riverfront. The project was funded by a $900,000 grant from the state Emergency Management Office and a $760,000 grant from the state’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program.
The first step of the project, which was completed in 2010, was stabilizing about a half-mile of eroding shoreline along Schonowee Avenue between Jumpin’ Jack’s Drive-In and Washington Road, near the former wastewater treatment plant. There were also new walkways installed along the river. Freedom Park also got a makeover, with new seating, landscaping and sprinklers, a sound system and handicap-accessible ramps.
The final step was adding the docks, which have enough slips for eight boats to stay overnight. That was finished last year, but is getting a lot of use so far this season, according to village Trustee Tom Neals.
“There were more boats docked down there this year than any other year,” he said.
Mayor Kris Kastberg said there were 12 to 15 boats docked along the Mohawk River for the Jumpin’ Jack’s fireworks show last Friday. Now, the village has electrical hookups for boaters who want to tap into power overnight.
The village has adopted fees of $1 per foot of boat to dock overnight without using any power, $1.25 per foot to use 30 amps and $1.50 per foot to use 50 amps, according to Kastberg.
“It matches what they’re doing on the marinas closer to us. We just charge by the footage,” he said.
A new kiosk will be going in that will make it easier for people to pay if they want to stay overnight. They can call a number listed on the kiosk to let the park attendant know they want access to a dock. Then, the boater can swipe a debit or credit card to pay for the transaction. A copy of the receipt will be forwarded to the village clerk’s office.
Some other signs will soon be going up to highlight the waterfront revitalization project. Also, Kastberg said he is working with the Scotia Business Improvement District to get a map of the businesses along the Mohawk Avenue corridor and the village in general for one of the kiosks. On the back, he plans to post the Collins Park rules. His plan for the third kiosk, which will have the electrical panels for the boats, is to put up an events schedule.
“A week or two weeks at the most, we should have our signage ready,” Kastberg said.
The village is not going to do much promotion of the docks for the first couple of weekends, as people have found it on their own, according to Kastberg. However, he does plan to put a boater page on the village’s website at www.villageofscotia.org if people want more information.
The word has already gotten around, judging from the interest.
“People are already starting to talk about it,” said Deputy Mayor Joe Rizzo.
Kastberg said the state Canal Corp. used sonar to determine the channel is navigable. However, there is a felled tree near the Isle of the Cayugas, about 40 feet outside the navigable channel. He would like to see that tree removed so boaters will have a nice loop around the channel and reduce potential congestion.
Canal officials suggested the village could remove the tree in the winter, when water levels are lower. But Kastberg said part of the channel is in the town of Rotterdam, so it would be difficult. The tree will stay for now.
“We’re good at getting boats in and out, as long as they come from downriver,” Kastberg said.