Legislation designating several area creeks as inland waterways and making them eligible for a state waterfront revitalization program has been signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, state Sen. Joe Griffo, R-47, Rome, and Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon, D-119, Marcy, announced Monday.
The legislation designates Ferguson, Moyer, Mud, Nine Mile, Oriskany, Reall, Sauquoit, Six Mile and Wood creeks as “inland waterways.”
This designation means local governments may access the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program and to apply for funding for flood mitigation and economic development.
The program was established to carry out a federal law regarding coastal and waterways conservation and to promote better coordinated planning and conservation of waterways and economic development along them.
Communities can create waterfront development programs and apply for funding for flood mitigation and economic development.
Adding the waterways would potentially make several more villages and towns eligible for the waterways funding, the state officials said. Nine Mile Creek flows from Barneveld through Holland Patent, and Stittville, and Oriskany Creek through Clinton, Kirkland, New Hartford and Whitesboro.
Mud Creek affects Whitestown, New Hartford and Utica, and Reall Creek Deerfield and Utica.
The program resulted in nearly $15 million in state grants for 56 projects across the state in fiscal 2018-19.
Among beneficiary communities was Rome, which received $502,000 for an overlook with fishing access, shade trees, seating, wayfinding and signage on the Erie Canal at South James Street.
Griffo’s legislation was co-sponsored in the Senate by Sen. James Seward, R-Oneonta. Co-sponsors of Assemblywoman Buttenschon’s bill included Assemblyman Brian Miller, R-101, New Hartford, and Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, D-Rotterdam.
“We are fortunate to have such strong partnerships among Mohawk Valley legislators who can come together in a bipartisan manner to address an issue affecting many in our communities,” Griffo, the senate deputy minority leader, said in a statement.
“Mohawk Valley towns and villages along our creeks will progress positively through boosting local economies and new opportunities because of the access to funding for redevelopment, new recreational activities and
conservation efforts to safeguard our environment,” Buttenschon said.