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Oswego, Cayuga counties to use $43M in state funding for projects in Lake Ontario REDI program

By Eric Reinhardt

Date:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday addresses a gathering in Oswego as he announced $43 million for 31 projects between Oswego and Cayuga counties in the Lake Ontario Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative (REDI). (Photo credit: Mike Groll/Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Cuomo flickr page)

OSWEGO, N.Y. — The state is providing $43 million to advance 31 projects in Oswego and Cayuga counties as part of the first round of funding under the Lake Ontario Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative (REDI).

Gov. Andrew Cuomo launched REDI in May to “increase the resilience” of shoreline communities and bolster economic development in the region.

The announcement marks a “major milestone” in the REDI effort, Cuomo’s office contended in a Thursday news release.

Identified by the communities and evaluated by state-agency experts, the projects address both “immediate and long-term resiliency” needs; enhance economic development; protect critical infrastructure; incorporate green, natural, or nature-based features; and will help “sustainably rebuild and enhance” communities along the Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River shorelines.

Cuomo made the announcement at the Sheldon Ballroom in Oswego. Cuomo also announced that the REDI Commission will hold an implementation conference in Albany on Nov. 20.

The event will provide REDI funding recipients with information about project implementation, including permitting and environmental reviews, as well as an opportunity to meet with relevant state agencies to ensure REDI projects are implemented “as soon as possible.”

Cuomo also announced that up to $8 million will be available to qualifying secondary homeowners as part of the overall $20 million homeowner-assistance package to help all members of the lakefront communities recover from flood-related damages.

Project examples

The awarded funding includes $6.5 million for the international pier project in the city of Oswego to develop a waterfront pedestrian-friendly space with linkage to a city walking trail. The project includes installation of water, sanitary sewer, storm sewer, and electrical services; a gateway arch; vehicle parking and controls; relocation and replacement of boat slips; and protection of pier bulkhead and sidewalls for resilience.

It also includes $6.1 million for the Wright’s Landing Marina project in the city of Oswego to elevate the marina and “improve the resilience” of the boardwalk, landscaping, “The Boathouse” restaurant, and fire pit.

In addition, the $4.8 million County Route 89 project in the town of Oswego will extend the existing sanitary sewer network to new housing for SUNY Oswego. The project will also extend it to the Lake Shore commercial district, collecting wastewater from 78 properties. This project will provide a “durable” storm-water collection system, “improving the resiliency” of adjacent properties and assets.

In Cayuga County, the awarded funding includes $1.6 million for the Sterling Nature Center Trail and parking area project in the town of Sterling to upgrade the Sterling Nature Center. The project will “minimize impacts” from Lake Ontario by using porous pavement, sidewalks, rain gardens, and wetlands. It’ll also restore McIntyre Road, the only access point for emergency responders to this section of lakeshore.

The funding also includes $1.5 million for the Phillips Park Walkway Project in the village of Fair Haven to remove an existing boardwalk; repair and replace a retaining wall; install appropriate anchors; and construct a new boardwalk in compliance with Americans with Disability Act standards. The boardwalk will be used for fishing and other recreational uses.

REDI regions

Five REDI regions, comprised of eight counties (Niagara and Orleans, Monroe, Wayne, Cayuga and Oswego, and Jefferson and St. Lawrence) were established to identify local priorities; at-risk infrastructure and other assets; and public-safety concerns.

The REDI Commission allocated $20 million for homeowner assistance, $30 million to improve the resiliency of businesses, and $15 million toward a regional dredging effort that will benefit each of the eight counties.

The remaining balance, $235 million, has been allocated toward local and regional projects that advance and exemplify the REDI mission.

Contact Reinhardt at ereinhardt@cnybj.com

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