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For Further information:
Grant Loomis, Erie County, 716-858-8500, loomisg@erie.gov
Connie M. Cullen, New York Power Authority, 914-390-8196,connie.cullen@nypa.gov
 

 FIRST PROJECTS FUNDED BY BUFFALO & ERIE COUNTY GREENWAY FUND ANNOUNCED AT PRESENTATION EVENT

                                                                                                            August 26, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CITY OF TONAWANDA—The first projects to be approved and funded by the Buffalo & Erie County Greenway Fund Standing Committee (Standing Committee) were announced Tuesday at a check presentation ceremony held here at Isle View Park.  The funding was made by the Standing Committee as a result of the federal relicensing of the New York Power Authority‘s (NYPA) Niagara Power Project.  

The three approved projects, which were all deemed consistent with the Niagara River Greenway Plan, and the funding levels are:  Shoreline Trail Signage submitted by Erie County received $205,000, Scajaquada Creekside Trail Improvements presented by the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy was given $1,210,467 and Fisherman’s Landing developed by Town of Grand Island got $400,482.  

“Today’s announcement symbolizes an important step forward in making the Niagara River Greenway Trail a world-class recreational destination for Erie County residents and visitors alike,” said Erie County Executive Chris Collins.  “Erie County’s shoreline is one of our great assets and today, along with our partners, we are taking yet another step to capitalize on its potential.  I want to thank the New York Power Authority for its support and congratulate Holly Sinnott, Erie County’s Commissioner of Environment and Planning, for her leadership as Chair of the Erie County Standing Committee overseeing these important projects.” 

“The New York Power Authority sees these first projects in Erie County as an important foundation to support the recreational, economic and environmental benefits that the Niagara River Greenway will bring,” said NYPA Trustee D. Patrick Curley.

Grand Island Town Supervisor Peter McMahon said, “Grand Island is extremely pleased with the selection of Fisherman’s Landing for funding in the 1st round of Niagara River Greenway projects. The project will convert an unused wastewater treatment plant into a recreational asset and a gateway to the Greenway on Grand Island.”

“The Buffalo Olmsted Parks System is one of our region’s most significant historic and recreational open space resources.  The Scajaquada Creekside and recreational trail improvements link the Olmsted Parks directly to the waterfront, allowing us to maximize the green infrastructure of our community.  This will be a beautiful and important link to the rest of the state’s Greenways.  The Conservancy’s vision for the project will involve community input throughout the entire process as we rebuild the historic parks with landscape and vegetative improvements, better infrastructure, accessibility and signage,” said Anne Harding Joyce, Olmsted Conservancy Chair-Elect, board of trustees. 

In Erie County, a Shoreline Trail Signage program will be introduced along the Greenway’s Riverwalk section.  This envisions over 100 signs to be installed and maintained. 

Fisherman’s Landing will be developed by the Town of Grand Island.  A park will be built on an unused parcel along the Niagara River near the south Grand Island Bridge.  Recreational and fishing facilities will be added along with parking and connections to other nearby trails. 

The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy will undertake environmental and recreational improvements, and new projects, including signage and lighting, to enhance the Scajaquada Creekside Trail. 

The Buffalo & Erie County Greenway Fund Standing Committee receives funds from NYPA, as part of a settlement agreement related to the new 50-year license received by NYPA for operation of its Niagara Power Project.  During the term of the new license, the Standing Committee will receive $2 million a year for a total of $100 million to support the establishment of the Niagara River Greenway in Erie County.  The Standing Committee includes a representative from the City of Buffalo, Erie County, Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy and the New York Power Authority. 

The Buffalo & Erie County Greenway Fund Standing Committee is one of four standing committees established by settlement agreements that will distribute funding from NYPA for projects that are deemed consistent with the Niagara River Greenway Plan by the standing committees. The other committees are: Greenway Ecological Standing Committee, Host Community Greenway Fund Standing Committee and the State Parks Standing Committee. Greenway funding to the committees from NYPA adds up to $9 million annually over the 50-year license term for a total of $450 million. 

For more information on the projects and the other benefits of the relicensing of the Niagara Power Project, please go to http://niagara.nypa.gov.

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