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Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Celebrates Waterfront Revitalization Projects

Design plans for Finger Lakes Boating Museum unveiled
(August 02, 2012)

Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Celebrates Waterfront Revitalization Projects

The Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council today announced that the City of Geneva unveiled its final design plans for the Finger Lakes Boating Museum and is now officially moving forward with the assistance of a $450,000 award it received as part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Regional Council initiative. This project represents a long term connection between Geneva and the history and culture of the region and both the State’s and Regional Council’s commitment to increase tourism in the area in order to strengthen the regional economy.

“The Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council recognizes the important role that cultural and tourism resources have in community and economic development in our area,” said Finger Lakes Regional Council Co-Chairs Joel Seligman and Danny Wegman. “The Finger Lakes Boating Museum is a fine example of Governor Cuomo’s regional council concept at work. We will continue to work with the state to identify quality projects that capitalize on our region’s strengths.”

“I am very pleased to celebrate the tremendous work our state and these local communities are doing to make the Finger Lakes an even better place to live and encourage more tourism to strengthen the regional economy,” said Secretary of State Cesar Perales. “Our work here exemplifies the collaboration that Governor Cuomo is generating statewide through the Regional Economic Development Council initiative. While creating beautiful recreational areas, these projects will also attract business and tourism to the communities surrounding Seneca Lake.”

During an event today in Waterloo where Secretary of State Cesar Perales joined with local officials to highlight the completion of two DOS supported efforts – a waterfront revitalization project and a study on the proper approach to continued waterfront development – the final design plans of the Finger Lakes Boating Museum, which consist of architectural drawings and design renderings to illustrate the Geneva’s vision for the Boating Museum, were presented by City officials alongside members of the Finger Lakes Regional Council and local elected officials. The development of land and water based trails not only provide recreation benefits but help link attractions and bring people to the downtowns to access the region’s tremendous tourism resources and generate significant economic activity.

“The Finger Lakes Boating Museum is a transformational project for the City of Geneva, as well as the entire region,” said Geneva Mayor Ron Alcock. “Redeveloping our waterfront is essential towards revitalizing our city. This project, when completed, will bring millions of dollars into the local economy annually and I applaud Governor Cuomo and the Finger Lakes Regional Council for recognizing its significance.”

The Boating Museum will be situated in Geneva’s lakefront park, close to the downtown business district, and will include a Visitor’s Center, as well as house exhibit spaces and galleries, a research library, classroom, workshop area, lobby/admission area, and retail space. It will occupy 7,000 square feet of the proposed 10,600 square foot facility and house exhibit spaces and galleries, a research library, classroom, workshop area, lobby/admission area, and retail space. The balance of the space in the new building, which will be located on the site of the present Chamber of Commerce building, will be devoted to a Visitors Center.

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 Finger Lakes Boating Museum was awarded $450,000 from the Department of State. Additional financial support for the project includes $2 million from the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York, which was secured by Senator Michael Nozzolio, a $150,000 contribution from the Canal Corporation, and $750,000 raised through private investments.

The Department of State’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program provides matching grants on a competitive basis to revitalize communities and waterfronts, spurring economic development and job growth throughout the region. Eligible applicants include municipalities (villages, towns, cities and counties) located within the State Coastal Area or along a major inland waterway. The grant funds are used to plan, design, market or construct specific projects that advance the redevelopment of urban waterfronts, revitalize downtowns and hamlets and improve water quality.

Senator Michael Nozzolio said, “By promoting the historic craftsmanship of Finger Lakes boatbuilding and the boating history of the Finger Lakes region, the Finger Lakes Boating Museum will serve as a magnet for tourism, grow jobs, and enhance the economy of the entire region. The Boating Museum and visitors' center will be invaluable in promoting regional attractions and boosting tourism by bringing people to Geneva and the central Finger Lakes to visit, shop, and patronize local restaurants and other job producing businesses.”

Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb said, “The Finger Lakes Boating Museum being awarded funding via the Regional Economic Development Councils is welcome news as this support will ensure the museum is a must-visit regional attraction for residents, tourists and boating enthusiasts, further supporting our efforts to promote regional economic development and create more jobs. Our Finger Lakes region is a treasure that tourists from New York and all across the world continue to discover and enjoy, including cultural destinations like the Finger Lakes Boating Museum, along with our area’s award-winning wines and vineyards. When you think of New York’s scenic waterways and the proud heritage of boating, you think of the Finger Lakes -- this funding award will enhance the educational and cultural mission of the Finger Lakes Boating Museum for years to come. I thank the Governor and the Regional Economic Development Councils for making this competitive grant funding a priority.”

Ontario County Board of Supervisors Chairman Ted Fafinski said, “Governor Cuomo’s Regional Councils were created to allow regional stakeholders to guide the state in identifying priority projects in every corner of New York. Our beautiful waterfronts and our rich heritage are what make the Finger Lakes special. Through this state investment, we’re realizing the potential of these assets to create sustainable economic growth.”

As part of "The New New York Works For Business" campaign, the state has launched a new website – – which provides quick access to information for all areas of business assistance available from New York State. From starting a business, to accessing tax credits and funding incentives, to international trade, to regional assistance, this is a one-stop shop for all businesses to successfully thrive in New York.

To learn more about each regional council and their economic development plans, visit