Oaks Announces Critical Environmental Protection Funds for Wayne and Cayuga County Projects

April 20, 2005

Assemblyman and Deputy Minority Leader Robert Oaks (R,C-Macedon) announced today that Wayne and Cayuga counties will receive a total of more than $700,000 in Environmental Protection Fund grants to help pay for preservation, recreation and waterfront revitalization projects. Wayne County is to receive $330,936, Cayuga County $373,936.

"I applaud Gov. George Pataki for making these grants available to Wayne and Cayuga counties," Oaks said. "These grants will help ensure the growth of our communities, while protecting important natural resources and promoting our positive assets."

According to Oaks, the town of Ontario in Wayne County will receive $250,000 to improve, expand and protect Casey Park by acquiring 20 acres of parkland containing federal and state wetlands. Construction of a recreation center, large multi-purpose field and half-mile, handicapped accessible interpretive nature trail is planned. Officials say the parcel to be purchased will guard Casey Park against encroaching development and protect a significant amount of federal and state wetlands.

The village of Newark will use a $70,000 grant for improvements to the T. Spencer Knight Canal and Colburn parks on the Erie Canal. The project includes replacement of broken light fixtures, paint removal, and development of a picnic area and replacement of bleachers at Colburn Park. The improvements are meant to enhance park visitor safety, improve aesthetics, enhance economic development in the Empire Zone, and provide increased opportunities for residents and visitors to enjoy the Erie Canal.

According to Oaks, the final Wayne County project is for the village of Clyde which is receiving $10,000 to prepare a strategic plan designed to improve links between its downtown business district and the Erie Canal. The plan is to address barriers to public access posed by existing railroad tracks and the Route 414 bridge over the canal. The plan also will focus on reuse of vacant buildings, pedestrian circulation, infrastructure, public open space, recreation and economic development.

In Cayuga County, two projects are being funded in the city of Auburn totaling $350,000, and the third is a $23,936 grant to the village of Fair Haven for waterfront park improvements. An accessible deck and ramp to the newly constructed municipal boat dock are to be installed. Also, a walkway from the boat dock to the Phillips Park waterfront walkway and Fair Haven’s Main Street business district is to be constructed. Playground equipment at the park will be replaced.