(Pictures of development projects below)
For the last seven years, the Village of Baldwinsville has been aggressively developing a master plan for the riverfront and canal areas around the Seneca River and Lock 24 of the New York State Canal System. The Village Planning Board and the Village Board of Trustees have developed a preliminary design of the plan, called its Waterfront Revitalization Plan.
For many years the Baldwinsville community has supported the concept of waterfront revitalization evidenced by their prior support of completed projects and by recent commercial development ventures. In adopting its Waterfront Revitalization Plan, the Village of Baldwinsvilleās Planning Board held a public hearing in January 1997, which was supported by those present. Recent positive developments regarding possible funding from the federal and state government have generated tremendous enthusiasm in the public.
The Waterfront Revitalization Plan projects enjoy the overwhelming support of the residents of the Village as well as the support of the Greater Baldwinsville community within the Towns of Lysander and VanBuren. The Village Board of Trustees wholeheartedly endorses the Waterfront Projects and acknowledges the positive impacts, which previous projects have begun and has committed thousands of local tax dollars in support of the Waterfront Projects to maintain their viability.
These efforts are an extension of past efforts to provide plans for the river and the canal. A 1964 report entitled Baldwinsville ö A Program for the Development of the Village and the 1974 Village of Baldwinsville Master Plan noted the importance of the river and canal and encouraged preservation of the riverfront as a valuable asset. These and other plans have bred the Villageās most recent and most coordinated effort to provide for the Villageās economic and recreational future.
The New York State Canal Corporation has reviewed the Villageās waterfront plan and has helped to fund past projects. In addition, federal money has previously been allocated to help fund the initiative. These developments demonstrate the Villageās momentum, likelihood of completion, and commitment to the waterfront project. There remain, however, several aspects of the Villageās plan which are yet unfunded and are critical to the success of the overall waterfront plan.
The Villageās Waterfront Revitalization Plan is consistent with the Central New York Canal Plan, a report that was prepared by the Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board (CNTRPDB) in July 1993. This plan is coordinated with the New York State Canal Plan prepared by the NYS Canal Corporation and which designated Baldwinsville as a ćCanal Portä. The regional plan notes that Baldwinsville is the only high-density urban area within the Cayuga-Seneca Corridor, which is the most rural canal corridor within the Central New York region. These characteristics are reasons it is imperative that the various components of the Village of Baldwinsvilleās Waterfront Revitalization Plan are linked together to afford users avenues to access to this publicly owned property and the history of the area. Given its rich heritage and historic elements, Baldwinsville can also serve as a ćCanal Heritage Siteä.
The Village has successfully implemented much of its Waterfront Revitalization Plan by leveraging a $500,000.00 EDI grant and $375,000.00 Federal Water grant into a $3,000,000.00 public/private Waterfront Revitalization Plan, which includes a 3500 foot South Shore West Trail, Finger Dike, and Paper Mill Island. Paper Mill Island is the centerpiece of the project, as an old industrial site has been cleaned up with State Brownfield money and the Village has already constructed a $300,000.00 world-class canal-side amphitheater, which is believed to be the first on the NY State Erie Canal system. The Village has completed the work utilized from the $500,000.00 EDI grant. The $300,000.00 amphitheater has been constructed with the proceeds of a gift of $250,000.00 from the Anheuser-Busch Foundation. The assistance of local civic organizations and volunteers has been and will continue to be solicited to help complete the project, along with the Village Department of Public Works.