State And Local Officials Break Ground At Reservoir State Park: Celebrate $6 Million In Recreational Improvements

Christine Pritchard                                                     

November 10, 2010


Photo and Caption

LEWISTON—New York Power Authority (NYPA) President and Chief Executive Officer Richard M. Kessel today was joined by numerous state and local officials to break ground at the Reservoir State Park, following through on a commitment made by the Power Authority to provide nearly $6 million in funding for the major refurbishment of the 133-acre recreational site.

“The New York Power Authority has a long tradition of undertaking recreational improvements in the areas of its hydroelectric projects, contributing to beaches, parks, campgrounds, hiking trails and other outdoor attractions,” Kessel said.  “The relicensing of the Niagara project provided an opportunity to add to this record of accomplishment, with the rehab of Reservoir State Park, one of the major enhancements being spearheaded by NYPA under the new, 2007 project license, to bolster the Buffalo-Niagara Region’s open-space, green areas for public recreation and enjoyment.”

Andy Beers, Acting Commissioner of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, said: “State Parks was pleased to work with the New York Power Authority to re-build a true community asset at Reservoir State Park. This park is used by so many people and it is a wonderful opportunity to be able to revitalize it and provide amenities that will allow for year round use. We thank NYPA for their commitment to our community and for their continued partnership with at State Parks.”

In undertaking the project, NYPA has awarded a two-year contract to a Niagara Falls firm, Mark Cerrone, Inc., to carry out the extensive work at the park, which is expected to be completed in late 2011. 

The measures will include:

-Redevelopment of existing baseball diamonds, including new lighting at one of the infields;
-New outdoor pavilions;
-Modified and expanded parking lots;
-A new natural ice skating rink;
-A new warming building for winter activities;
-Re-graded soccer fields, for improved drainage;
-Refurbished and new basketball and tennis courts;
-An improved children’s playground, which will be handicapped-accessible;
-A new handicapped-accessible walking path for the south section of the park;
-Repavement of the existing path to the top of Lewiston Reservoir;
-New trees and shrubbery throughout the park;
-Refurbishment of the maintenance building; and
-New kiosks and signage.

The improvements will also include the rehabilitation of a park memorial that serves as a tribute to the local workers who lost their lives in work-related accidents.

The Reservoir State Park improvements are provided for under a recreation plan that the Power Authority developed during the successful federal relicensing of the Niagara Power Project in 2007. The park, which is owned by NYPA and operated, with Authority financial support, by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, is within the boundary of the 2,441-megawatt project, along the south side of the facility’s Lewiston Reservoir. The parkland is located in both the Town of Lewiston and the Town of Niagara.

Under the Niagara project’s relicensing, NYPA is undertaking approximately $9.3 million in improvements at recreational facilities operated by New York State Office of Parks within or in the vicinity of the project boundary.  The Power Authority has also undertaken measures to enhance public fishing access areas at the project.

Other elements of the new license include NYPA’s providing of $9 million in annual funding for the Niagara River Greenway and creation of a $12 million fund for constructing eight Habitat Improvement Projects (HIPs) at designated areas outside the Niagara project’s boundaries, to protect fish and wildlife within the Niagara River basin.  Further environmental enhancement measures include the Power Authority’s providing of another $1 million a year for additional HIPs identified by a Greenway Ecological Standing Committee comprised of representatives of key local and state organizations. 

In addition to those environmental projects, NYPA’s relicensing commitments include 28 megawatts of low-cost hydropower for NYPA’s seven host communities surrounding its Niagara Power Project as well as $5 million annually for 50 years for infrastructure and capital projects that promote economic development, public health and safety.


Senator George Maziarz of Newfane said, “Any time the Power Authority invests in Western New York it’s a good thing.  Reservoir State Park has many facilities that are used regularly by Niagara County residents, and upgrades will only make the park a more important place for sports, recreation, and tourism in our area.”

Senator Antoine Thompson, chair of the Environmental Conservation Committee, said: “Reservoir State Park is one of the jewels of Niagara Falls, especially for those who enjoy sports in the great outdoors. Renovation to the park is critical, because of tourism and its economic benefit to the region.”

William L. Ross, Chairman, Niagara County Legislature, said: “Reservoir State Park, over the past 45 years, has served the Niagara Community very well on providing recreation facilities, a beautiful park setting and vast areas of green space. Niagara people from youth levels to adults have participated in baseball, softball, soccer and tennis at Reservoir Park, as well as using it for cross-country meets.  There have been hundreds of events held on the Reservoir Park complex over the years from kite flying contests to model plane meets.  It has been a park used year around with the sled and toboggan hill during the winter season. The renovation will provide excellent upgrades that will serve future generations of Niagara’s residents.  It is a great project.”

Paul Dyster, Mayor of the City of Niagara Falls, said: “Resevoir State Park is a natural asset that is heavily used and highly valued by the residents of Niagara County, including certainly, our Niagara Falls residents. The renovation project will enhance the park for City and County use as well as for the many visitors to greater Niagara Falls that seek green space and recreational opportunities as part of their visitation experience.”

Father Joseph Levesque, president, Niagara University, said: "On behalf of Niagara University, I extend hearty congratulations to the New York Power Authority and its partners in the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation on this project. The planned renovations at Reservoir State Park should help to make it a more valuable community resource for years to come.”


About NYPA:

■ The New York Power Authority uses no tax money or state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity. ■ NYPA is a leader in promoting energy efficiency, new energy technologies and electric transportation initiatives. ■ It is the nation's largest state public power organization, with 17 generating facilities in various parts of New York State and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. ■ Approximately 80 percent of the electricity it produces is clean renewable hydropower.  Its lower-cost power production and electricity purchases support hundreds of thousands of jobs throughout the state. ■For more information, www.nypa.gov.


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