SCHENECTADY — City Council members on Monday unanimously approved a resolution allowing Mayor Gary McCarthy to apply for grant funding for a dock at Mohawk Harbor.
The resolution allows the city to work with Schenectady Metroplex Development Authority to submit the application. Ray Gillen, chairman of the authority, said the grant would cover 80 percent of the cost to construct the $2 million dock.
The Galesi Group, the developer of the harbor, would be donating the rest, Gillen said.
Gillen said the dock would be 680 feet long and 12 feet wide. He also said it would be able to be removed during the winter months.
If awarded the funding, Gillen said the project would be “one of the biggest waterfront projects in upstate New York.”
The dock would run parallel along the Mohawk River shoreline between the marina and Rivers Casino and Resort, Gillen said.
The project would allow for larger boats that pass by the harbor to dock there, visit the casino, tour the city and a host of other activities. Gillen said the dock would also come equipped with electricity and water to accommodate any services necessary for those larger boats.
It would also allow the city to host regattas and other rowing events. Especially with two nearby hotels, and various restaurants and other attractions nearby, Gillen said.
“This will be a public amenity,” Gillen said. “If we get the grant, it assures total public access to the riverfront.”
The grant must be submitted to the state Regional Economic Development Council by Friday, Gillen said, adding that winners would be announced in the fall.
The project was awarded $503,251 in December for the design of the dock. It originally was supposed to be a 1,000 foot dock valued at $2.4 million. But Gillen said they reduced the size of the dock so they could reduce the cost of it as well.
The grant funding the city had received in December was actually more than enough to pay for the design the dock. So, Gillen said, they will be using that money not just for the design, but also for building a path from the dock to the existing trail in Mohawk Harbor, as well as other items.
Mayor Gary McCarthy said during City Council Committee meetings on July 16 that the council giving its support to the grant application increases its score in the overall competition for the funding.
On Monday, McCarthy referred to the dock as the completion of the entire project. This includes the casino, the harbor and the completion of Erie Boulevard.
He said he was optimistic about winning the grant funding since the city has proven to build successful projects with previous funding it has been awarded.
“This just becomes the natural progression for people to be able to access that site while either travelling locally on their boats, or the substantial amount of traffic that goes up and down the Erie Canal from the Great Lakes down to the Atlantic Ocean,” McCarthy said. “It’s significant.”
The council also approved a resolution that scheduled a public hearing for Aug. 13 regarding language being added to the city code addressing illegal paving of yards in the city.
Homeowners are currently responsible for any illegal paving done on their properties. But the city is looking to add language that would hold contractors performing the work accountable as well.