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Capital Region Economic Development Council Announces Rehabilitation of Historic Canal Structure

Officials break ground on historic restoration project to preserve Champlain canal structures in Town of Halfmoon
(September 10, 2012)

Capital Region Economic Development Council Announces Rehabilitation of Historic Canal Structure

The Capital Region Economic Development Council today announced that work is underway on a historic preservation project in the Town of Halfmoon, which was the recipient of a $150,000 award from Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's Regional Economic Development Council initiative. The project will preserve the stone arch culvert and wastewater weir of the Historic Champlain Canal in the Town of Halfmoon and is part of a local and regional plan to complete the Champlain Canalway Trail Network in order to enhance its ability to serve as a regional tourism destination.

New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton joined Town of Halfmoon Supervisor Mindy Wormuth and other local representatives for an official groundbreaking ceremony today at the site, which is located over McDonald Creek along the historic Champlain Canal.

"I am pleased to see this project move forward because it is in keeping with the Capital Region Economic Strategic Plan which seeks to preserve our rich heritage and regional historical assets," said Dennis Brobston, Capital Region EDC member and President of the Saratoga Economic Development Corporation. "The New York State Canal System has historically driven economic development in New York State and we believe that historic preservation projects like this will continue to drive job creation and investment to this region."

"This revitalization project will ensure that today's visitors, as well as future generations, can fully appreciate the craftsmanship and 19th century engineering evident in these historic canal structures," said Brian U. Stratton, Director of the Canal Corporation. "Projects like this one help support the nearly $380 million that New York's Canals contribute annually to upstate New York's economy."

The combined stone arch culvert and wastewater weir over McDonald Creek is unique on the Champlain Canal. The project includes an earthen and stone stabilization system which will prevent further erosion and channel runoff water directly into the stone culvert, eliminating the eroding effects of the water and restoring the canal bed. This project is part of a regional effort to the 62-mile Champlain Canalway Trail Network from Waterford to Whitehall to better serve as a regional tourism destination.

Mindy Wormuth, Supervisor of the Town of Halfmoon said, "We are very pleased to be embarking on this important project, made possible by Governor Cuomo's new bottom-up, regionally-driven approach to economic development in New York State. The Consolidated Funding Application process has made it possible to access more programs in a comprehensive, strategic way - leveling the playing field and making critically important local projects like this possible."

Last year, a total of $785 million was awarded through the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) for job creation and community development projects consistent with each region's strategic plans. As part of that process, the Town of Halfmoon was awarded $150,000 from the Canal Corporation's Canalway Grant Program.

Howard P. Milstein, Chairman of the Thruway Authority and Canal Corporation, said "Throughout their rich 200-year history, New York's Canals have supported unprecedented development, sustained economic growth, the exchange of goods and ideas and - today - recreation and tourism. This project represents not only the vitally important role we have in protecting and preserving our heritage, but will ensure the structural integrity of a popular section of Champlain Canal trail."

The "Canalway Grants Program" included a total of $1 million in competitive grants available to eligible municipalities and 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations along the New York State Canal System. Projects were required to meet the objectives of the Regional Economic Development Councils and the NYS Canal Recreationway Plan in order to be eligible for support.

To learn more about each regional council and their economic development plans, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov. For information on how the New New York is working for business, please visit www.thenewny.com.

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