Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

May 20, 2013

Funds for state parks projects released

Staff reports
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Friday the release of $90 million in NY Works funding to advance nearly 90 construction projects to upgrade and repair more than 50 state parks and historic sites across New York, including Niagara Falls State Park.

“Through the NY Works program, the state is investing in much needed projects to repair our parks and historic sites while creating jobs and generating local economic activity,” Cuomo said in a statement released Friday. “These projects to rehabilitate park infrastructure and address health and safety issues will improve the experience for park visitors, create jobs and support New York’s tourism industry.”

This year’s state budget provides $90 million for state parks to begin construction on the next round of the New York Works capital program to address the backlog of environmental capital needs and spur job creation and economic development. Additionally, State Parks will undertake 60 architectural and engineering designs to advance shovel-ready capital improvement projects in nearly 50 parks in future years. The statebudget capital plan calls for investing $90 million annually in state park improvements over the next five years.

At Niagara Falls State Park, funds included in the NY Works initiative will assist the following projects: Stabilization of the America Falls Bridge ($750,000); parking area improvements ($2.5 million); replacement of the administration building’s copper roof ($675,000) and rehabilitation of the administration building’s climate control system and other improvements ($2 million). At DeVeaux Woods State Park, $850,000 is being allocated to help in the first phase of rehabilitation at the Kenan-Castellani building. 

“A first-class parks system encourages healthy recreation, protects the state’s natural resources and attracts residents, tourists, and private investment to communities around our state,” Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Rose Harvey said. “Governor Cuomo’s investment in parks and historic sites across the state will improve New York’s quality of life, while strengthening important economic assets.”

Last year, Governor Cuomo committed $89 million through the New York Works initiative to rehabilitate dozens of state parks and historic sites, enabling state parks to move forward with more than 100 overdue projects to improve 55 parks and historic sites. Construction is underway at parks and historic sites across the state on health and safety-related improvements and critical infrastructure rehabilitation, including modernizing bathhouses, repairing deteriorated restrooms, improving trails and replacing dilapidated playgrounds.