As a native Roman it literally pains me to drive by the Erie Canal Village during my visits home. This once beautiful, historic gem has been allowed to deteriorate into a public eyesore. Unfortunately, the city seems to feel no responsibility for this.
They have allowed a succession of operators to mismanage the Canal Village which has resulted in the buildings, packet boat, and train to fall into disrepair. No competent effort has been made to maintain the Village and these operators have shown little interest or capability to properly market and promote the attraction.
The city has been complicit in this neglect and incompetence by not providing any oversight or willingness to hold the operators accountable. I noted in the mayor’s 2018 State of the City address, there was no mention of the Canal Village. This indicates the continued lack of interest spanning across several administrations. It is extremely sad that the current city administration feels this way.
With all the efforts they seem to be making in other parts of the city, no efforts to obtain grants or other funding to rehabilitate and preserve the historic buildings in the village are being pursued. Hopefully, someone will realize this is not in the best interests of the community and make the Village something Rome can be proud of once again.
— Bill Rapke, Tampa, Fla.