The extensive flooding along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River in 2017 and 2019 severely damaged numerous properties.
In response, state authorities created the Lake Ontario Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative nearly two years ago. The program’s goal was “to increase the resilience of shoreline communities and bolster economic development in the region,” information on the REDI website reported.
“Five REDI regions, comprised of eight counties (Niagara and Orleans; Monroe; Wayne; Cayuga and Oswego; and Jefferson and St. Lawrence), were established to identify local priorities, at-risk infrastructure and other assets, and public safety concerns,” the website said. “The REDI Commission allocated $20 million for homeowner assistance, $30 million to improve the resiliency of businesses and $15 million toward a regional dredging effort that will benefit each of the eight counties in the REDI regions. The remaining $235 million has been allocated towards local and regional projects that advance and exemplify the REDI mission.”
The village of Cape Vincent received $5.07 million in REDI grants. This funding will be used for various projects to enhance the shoreline.
The biggest project will be a $3.8 million renovation to East End Park. Residents recently had the opportunity to review the plans.
“Last week, BCA Architects & Engineers representatives Michael Alteri and Naomi Gallagher presented four designs to Cape Vincent residents at Recreation Park Hall. Mr. Alteri is the principal engineer for the project, and Mrs. Gallagher is the project manager,” according to a story published Wednesday in the Watertown Daily Times. “Both the east and west sides of the park along the St. Lawrence River will be redesigned, with new floating docks, parking lots, seawall reconstruction and a deep-water dock for cruise ships. For the western side of the park, engineers presented a single plan, calling for a large floating dock, about 400 feet long that extends about 50 feet into the water, with space for cruise ships, tour boats and other large vessels. The existing seawall at the west side of the park would be taken back a few feet, and vegetation would be added along the shoreline to reduce erosion and protect the shoreline. On the eastern side of the park, engineers presented one master plan for the marine development, with three options for parking. Crews will renovate the existing bulkhead that juts out between the parks two boat launches, adding parking space and green areas. Off the eastern end of the bulkhead, designers plan to install a wave attenuator, roughly 215 feet long, to protect docked boats from the worst of the waves.”
Mayor Jerry D. Golden said the total renovations will require funding from other sources other than the REDI grants. This additional money will come from Federal Emergency Management Agency grants, village funds and in-kind services to pay for the renovations, the article reported.
This is an excellent plan that will benefit the community. On this page in November 2019, Jefferson County Board of Legislators Chairman Scott A. Gray described the good that would come from the REDI program and the advantages of cooperation among municipal and state officials.
“Good governing is not seen through the prism of politics but in the service to the people of our communities,” Gray wrote. “Good governing is the establishment of partnerships at various levels to serve the people of our communities, and good governing is leadership and vision.”
The designs being drafted for the projects in Cape Vincent testify to the truth of Gray’s words. We commend all those involved in rebuilding the village’s shoreline and wish them success with their endeavor.