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NY State awards $1.1 million for Amsterdam projects

A total of $709.2 million in economic development funding was announced yesterday by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The funds were awarded through the Regional Economic Development Council initiative. The Mohawk Valley region, of which the City of Amsterdam is a part of, received a total of $59.6 million for 59 different projects.

The three city projects that received funding according to the NY State Regional Economic Development Councils report:

City Hall Restoration

The grant will fund urgently needed repairs to Amsterdam City Hall (Sanford Mansion) in Amsterdam, New York, to preserve the building facade and fabric of this over 145-year-old structure listed on the National and State Registers of Historic Places, and to prevent further, more severe, and more expensive repairs at a later date.

Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook

The City of Amsterdam will fabricate and install public art on the Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook, a pedestrian bridge across the Mohawk River connecting Bridge Street on the south shore with the north shore waterfront.

Phase 5 Sewer Improvements

The City of Amsterdam will use $600,000 in NYS CDBG funds to implement the Storm Sewer Separation Phase 5 project and eliminate storm and sanitary cross connections. The total project cost is $620,000 and includes $20,000 in local funds.

In addition, $558,000 in funds were awarded for a multi-city program including Gloversville, Amsterdam, Schenectady and Troy, to share code enforcement enforcement information. Previously this year, Community and Economic Development Director Robert von Hasseln expressed the need for such a program in order to gather evidence to involve the State Attorney General’s office in prosecuting absentee property owners who frequently violate codes in multiple municipalities.

Other awards for Montgomery County projects included $600,000 to the Village of Fultonville for upgrades to their water system and $30,000 to the Village of Nelliston for an engineering report on improving their sewer system.

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About Tim Becker

Tim Becker is the owner of AnthemWebsites.com LLC which publishes The Compass. He serves as both editor and a writer.

6 Responses to NY State awards $1.1 million for Amsterdam projects

  1. This takes our total grant allocations over the past couple of months, including Landbank funding, HOME funding, and our proposed code enforcement module, to almost $2.5 million dollars of much needed assistance.

  2. Mike Cinquanti says:

    With the utmost respect for the Wheel of Life concept and those that have championed it, I do not think it is the sort of attraction that will draw folks from outside our community to “want to walk” the new pedestrian bridge. We need to be trying to answer the question “What can we do with that bridge that will enhance its potential as a truly regional or statewide tourist destination.

    Which is why I suggested the New York State “Walk of Fame” idea at the recent WHA meeting. Give every region of the state the online opportunity to nominate and vote for people (past & present) from their area who have made a significant contribution of some sort to our state or nation and place plaques describing those elected, along the bridge. Then there would be a much more compelling reason for folks from Plattsburgh, Buffalo, Binghamton, and Yonkers to pull off at Exit 27 and take that walk. Each year, the induction ceremony unveiling new plaques on the bridge would attract media (and free positive publicity) from around the state.

    Add a boat ride to the bridge through one of the Mohawk River’s Locks and now you have a combined attraction that would make a compelling reason for any public school class studying New York State history to come here on field trips. The students can learn the history of our barge canal on the boat ride and learn more about famous New Yorkers and New York State history with their guided walk across the bridge.

    This concept would also automatically incorporate the pedestrian bridge into the thinking and marketing budgets of New York State Tourism, the NYS Canal Corporation, and the New York State Education Department.

    • Tim Becker says:

      One thing to consider – if it’s only local residents who connect with the Wheel of Life mosaic concept, that might not be such a bad thing. The pedestrian bridge remains a divisive issue in the community. That in itself could be a “turn-off” to developers or visitors. A piece of artwork that has real meaning for our community could help heal some of that divisiveness, and in the long run help the overall impression people get of the community when visiting.

      That being said, I do like the “Walk of Fame” idea!

  3. Diane says:

    Tim I think you hit the nail on the head……..using the Mohawk Wheel of Life to bring everyone together ! Remember, Mohawk carpets was founded here, city hall is in the former Sanford Mansion, and Mohawk Carpets is still in business today.

    Then take Mike Cinquanti’s idea for the walk of fame and that would be the draw. I would like to know who all was on any committee that chose the artwork for the bridge ? Mayor ? If not why not ?

  4. Mike Villa says:

    ” I do not think it is the sort of attraction that will draw folks from outside our community to “want to walk” the new pedestrian bridge. We need to be trying to answer the question “What can we do with that bridge that will enhance its potential as a truly regional or statewide tourist destination”

    Mr. Cinquanti nailed it.

  5. Mike Cinquanti says:

    Bob Vonhasseln, Amsterdam’s Director of Community & Economic Development used MVC’s opinion board to let me know he’d like to meet with me to discuss my NYS Walk of Fame idea, so I did just that this afternoon. He’s a dedicated hard-working civil servant who I know has good judgement because I believe he’s dating one of my very favorite people.

    But when it comes to being open to investigating the possibility of changing or expanding the theme and mission of the new pedestrian bridge via the Walk of Fame concept, he (and the Mayor) have adopted the very rigid position that its too late to make such a change. Perhaps they are right but I was truly disappointed.

    So it looks as if the decor and artwork on the Bridge will remain focused solely on the “portrayal of the Amsterdam experience” with icons labels and a very attractive compass-like “wheel of life” centerpiece. I sincerely hope that this depiction will be enough of a draw to attract the 30,000 visitors Mr Vonhasseln is projecting will travel from outside our City to walk over that bridge each year. I want to believe it will but as I told him this afternoon, the marketing and student- of-history sides of me are telling me its at best, a long shot.

    The problem is that Amsterdam can ill afford to be wrong again on a project of this scale. We need a winner real bad. If you put the two ideas side-by-side and asked every community development professional in the business which concept had greater potential for attracting people from outside the area to come to this city and walk over a bridge, I’d be real surprised if the Walk of Fame idea did not get twice as many votes. And if “the story of Amsterdam” does attract 30,000 outside visitors per year, I’ll always believe a Walk of Fame would have attracted at least four times as many. The wisest move this City could make at this time is to make sure the plans they move forward with give that bridge its best shot at becoming a successful tourist destination.

    Perhaps I should have tried harder earlier to get my idea heard, though I did e-mail Bob back in June of this year and did not receive a response.

    At this afternoon’s meeting, Mr Vonhasseln did ask me to think about other possible sites in this City for the Walk of Fame and I will. But I have to admit the idea of improving the potential for success of an attraction already being built is a lot more appealing to me than starting from scratch.

    I thought I’d let Mohawk Valley Compass and your readers know that I tried to take the Walk of Fame idea up the next step and what happened when I did. I will continue to root for the success of that bridge and for our City. Thanks.