Potsdam submits grant requests for skateboard park, business program for artists, waterfront development
POTSDAM – Village of Potsdam’s Planning and Development Office has submitted grant requests for a skateboard park, a business help program for artists, and waterfront development proposals with the towns of Colton and Canton.
The three grant proposals, requesting a total of $556,656, have been sent to work their way through New York State’s new Consolidated Funding Application process.A skateboard park is proposed for Sandstoner Park, with a grant request to the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation for $219,850. Those funds, along with materials, labor and administration provided by the village, would be used to build the skateboard park at the Pine Street facility.
The village and the St. Lawrence County Arts Council are requesting a $100,000 state Small Cities Community Development Block Grant to assist artists and arts-related businesses with a startup incubator program. It would include entrepreneur training and possible seed money. Those businesses would have to be in the village. The Planning and Development Office believes between eight and 10 businesses are expected to benefit from the effort.
The village, along with the towns of Colton and Canton, are asking for help through the state Local Waterfront Revitalization Program to begin a regional program to develop the three communities as a destination for whitewater paddlers in the Northeastern U.S. and Canada.
Colton’s plan is to develop a paddlers’ center with restroom and changing facilities, a parking area for paddlers taking on Stone Valley’s Class IV and V whitewater sections on the Raquette River, a rustic overlook for spectators, information kiosks and signs. Canton and Potsdam propose to hire an engineer to see if it is feasible to build whitewater parks along the Raquette at downtown Potsdam and at five spots along the Grasse River in Canton. The proposal calls for an economic impact statement and a joint marketing plan.
The plan also calls for Potsdam to implement elements of its draft Local Waterfront Revitalization Project for Ives Park, to include rebuilding the river walk to Bay Street, with lighting and benches, relocation of the Chad Fuller Memorial Boat Launch to, include a canoe and kayak dock with enhanced accessibility, planting of trees and shoreline vegetation to discourage geese from taking up residency in the park, and a pavilion for a farmers’ market and a Raquette River Gateway Center, as suggested in the Raquette River Corridor Blueway Trail plan.
The village’s request for this is $236,806. The Department of Public Works will do much of the work, and the development office will provide administrative services.
The office says that, basing its estimate on the timetable of the North Country Regional Economic Development Council, grant announcements could come as soon as next month.
“The village’s Local Waterfront Advisory Committee members worked tirelessly to develop a plan for revitalizing our community’s waterfront,” with help from consultant Chazen Companies and local architect Brooks Washburn, said Mayor Reinhold Tischler. “The community is fortunate to have such dedicated people to help map out a strategy to improve our downtown and its beautiful waterfront,” he said.
For more info, contact Director of Planning and Development Fred Hanss at [email protected] or 265-1670.