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EFC President Driscoll Joins Lake George & Warren County in Welcoming Big Apple Circus to Planned Festival Site Supported by Capital Region Economic Development Council

(May 17, 2012)

EFC President Driscoll Joins Lake George & Warren County in Welcoming Big Apple Circus to Planned Festival Site Supported by Capital Region Economic Development Council

Lake George and Warren County officials were joined by Matt Driscoll, President & CEO of the Environmental Facilities Corporation, today in announcing that the world famous Big Apple Circus will be the first performers at a new festival area to be constructed this summer thanks to a $738,000 “Green Innovation Grant” from the Capital Region Economic Development Council as part of the Regional Council initiative advanced by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.

“The transformation of the former Gaslight Village into a unique stormwater treatment complex, environmental park, and community festival space will have significant economic, employment and cultural benefits to the Lake George community,” said President Driscoll. “In addition to creating jobs and spurring economic activity, a primary goal of the West Brook Conservation Initiative is to protect the pristine water quality of Lake George by capturing and treating stormwater before it enters West Brook and Lake George.”

Construction of the festival space on the site of the former Gaslight Village will begin this fall following performances July 14-28 by the Big Apple Circus. Last year, a total of $785 million was awarded through the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) – Governor Cuomo’s initiative for job creation and community development projects consistent with each region’s strategic plans.

Grass pavers will be installed on the 2.5-acre festival site, along with porous pavement on adjacent West Brook Road, using a $738,000 Green Innovation Grant from the New York State Environmental Facilities Corp. (EFC). The grass pavers and porous pavement, along with a system of new and restored wetlands, will prevent stormwater runoff from polluting Lake George.

“We’re building this $12.5 million park that’s not only an environmental initiative, because we’re treating all the stormwater runoff that’s going into the southern basin of Lake George, we’re also creating a festival space which we believe will be a big economic engine for the entire resort community,” said Lake George Mayor Robert Blais.

The West Brook Conservation Initiative is located on 12 acres of the former Gaslight Village and is divided into two parcels by West Brook Road and West Brook. The North Parcel includes the 2.5-acre festival space, while the South Parcel includes a recently-constructed wetland system designed to treat stormwater before it enters West Brook and Lake George.

The wetland system is the first of its kind in the Northeast and is designed to divert and treat more than 100 acres of previously-untreated stormwater through a series of wetlands.

The West Brook Conservation Initiative is receiving support from the Village of Lake and Warren County, the State of New York, and three environmental organizations – the Lake George Association, the FUND for Lake George, and the Lake George Conservancy.

The CFA included $20 million in Green Innovation Grants to 27 communities statewide to mitigate water pollution caused by stormwater runoff. The Green Innovation Grant Program was recently awarded a 2012 Environmental Quality Award from the U.S. Department of Environmental Protection for encouraging green technology.

On May 3rd, Governor Cuomo announced that up to $750 million in economic development resources will be awarded through the second round of Regional Economic Development Councils to support economic development, strategic plan implementation and job creation across the state. The second Regional Council competition will focus on the implementation of each region's strategic plan and identifying and investing in locally significant priority projects.

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