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HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 99-146
Further Information:For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685Wednesday
Or contact your local HUD officeAugust 11, 1999


WASHINGTON - Eight New York Congressmen will join Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo, Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman and National Park Service Director Robert Stanton next week on a tour of communities along upstate New York's Canal Corridor to promote tourism, economic growth and job creation.

In addition to visiting tourism sites with their families to help draw more vacationers to historic, cultural and recreational attractions in Canal Corridor communities, the federal officials will announce new federal assistance and other initiatives to benefit upstate communities.

Cuomo and Glickman will be accompanied on portions of the five-day trip, which begins Sunday, by a bipartisan Congressional delegation consisting of Congressmen James Walsh, Jack Quinn, John LaFalce, Thomas Reynolds, John McHugh, Sherwood Boelhert, Maurice Hinchey, and Michael McNulty. In addition, local government officials and local business executives will also take part in portions of the tour.

"The Canal Corridor is a world-class tourism destination that could attract more tourists and more tourist dollars if we invest wisely in improvements and in increasing public awareness of this tremendous resource," Cuomo said. "Most people, especially outside New York State, simply aren't aware of the beauty and the wide range of family vacation opportunities along the Canal Corridor."

Congressman Walsh of Syracuse, who is Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs, HUD and Independent Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, said: "The Canal System is an intricate part of our state history. It had an especially powerful impact on Central New York's development. I am happy to see that through federal and local efforts it is again becoming an economic force by way of travel and tourism opportunities. We are very proud of our unique natural environment, from the Finger Lakes to Lake Ontario to the Canal System, and I welcome Secretary Cuomo's energy, his enthusiasm and his ideas."

Participants in the five-day tour of the Canal Corridor will travel by boat and ground transportation across New York State. Those traveling will sample a wide variety of activities, including biking along the canal towpaths, hiking, fishing, and visits to museums, historic sites, and cultural attractions.

The 524-mile New York State Canal System was once a major link between the Northeast and the Midwest. As other forms of transportation took over the Canal's role of a major transport route, the industrial and commercial base of many cities and towns in the region suffered. These cities experienced declining populations, urban decay, and high unemployment.

HUD's Canal Corridor Initiative was begun three years ago by Cuomo to put federal resources to work as part of a long-term and coordinated commitment to revitalize communities along the Canal Corridor and elsewhere in upstate New York. The locally driven initiative seeks to turn the Erie Canal and connecting waterways that make up the Canal Corridor into a major tourism destination that will spark economic development across upstate. So far, federal assistance under the three-year-old initiative totals more than $200 million.

HUD, the Department of Agriculture, the National Park Service, local communities and businesses are working in partnership to make the initiative succeed. New Canal Corridor projects built with federal assistance span the state and include new marinas, restaurants, recreational businesses, parks, walkways and bikepaths. Federal assistance has also funded the reconstruction and preservation of historic and cultural sites, along with the development of new manufacturing and small business development.

Cuomo will take part in all stops in the trip, which includes the following destinations:

  • Sunday, August 15 - Inner harbor celebration and community picnic in Buffalo. Boating on Lake Erie with Congressmen John LaFalce and Jack Quinn, accompanied by Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman.
  • Monday, August 16 - Biking with Secretary Glickman along the Erie Canal towpath from Pittsford to Fairport. Boating along the Erie Canal with Congressman Thomas Reynolds and visiting the Erie Canal Cultural Center in Lyons.
  • Tuesday, August 17 - Touring the Elizabeth Cady Stanton home, Baldwin House, and the Women's Rights National Historic Park with National Park Service Director Robert Stanton in Seneca Falls. Touring Goose Watch Winery in Romulus with aides to Congressman Amo Houghton, and boating on Cayuga Lake and the Seneca Canal. Visiting the Old Port Harbor in Ithaca and attending a community picnic in Geneva.
  • Wednesday, August 18 - Fishing with Congressman James Walsh on Skaneateles Lake, boating along the Seneca River to Baldwinsville and dedicating a new park. Also, dedicating a waterfront marina in Fulton with Congressman John McHugh and presiding over the grand opening of Coleman's Irish Pub on the Canal in Oswego.
  • Thursday, August 19 - Boating on the Mohawk River to Little Falls with Congressman Sherwood Boehlert. Participating in a major economic development event Green Island with Congressman Michael McNulty.


Here are a few examples of successful projects that have received HUD funds under the Canal Corridor Initiative in New York:


Lockport Locks and Canal Tours, Inc., a boat tour company in Lockport, has expanded its land-based operation with $475,000 in HUD assistance, opening a restaurant/banquet facility, snack bar and picnic pavilion. Last year nearly 35,000 tourists, including over 8,000 school children, visited the company's facilities for narrated tours of the Erie Canal.


Wayne County and the Village of Lyons are working to establish the Erie Canal Cultural Center with $2.9 million in HUD assistance. The project involves the rehabilitation of the historic Hammett Building and its conversion to the Erie Canal Cultural Center. The center will be a major attraction in Wayne County, offering cultural, historical and educational programs devoted to preserving and highlighting the cultural heritage of the Erie Canal and the surrounding area within Wayne County. Rehabilitation of the site is underway.


An $800,000 HUD loan guarantee to Marine Realty of Ithaca, combined with $350,000 of assistance through HUD's Brownfields Economic Development Initiative, will assist in the revitalization of a financially distressed waterfront property in Ithaca. Marine Realty has acquired and will remediate the site, constructing a 250-seat restaurant, renovating a 47-covered-slip boat house and establishing new showroom and workspace for a boat restoration and repair firm on Ithaca's waterfront.


A $600,000 HUD loan guarantee through the Canal Corridor Initiative has leveraged significant new commercial investment in Oswego's waterfront, with the recent completion of Coleman's Irish Pub in Oswego. Restaurateur Peter Coleman has acquired and restored one of the oldest commercial building in Oswego, Cahill Fisheries, constructed in 1828 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The property includes a deep water dock and will serve both boaters and landside customers.


HUD's $4.1 million investment in Little Falls includes $250,000 in assistance for the revitalization of Benton's Landing, a new park along the Erie Canal. A waterfront promenade, lighting, landscaping and signage provide a new gateway for boaters and tourists traveling on the Mohawk Valley portion of the Canal. At Canal Place in Little Falls, former mills and factories are also being refurbished for new commercial development through HUD assistance.


A $1.5 million HUD award through the Canal Corridor Initiative is assisting in the construction of this educational facility, which will be completed in December. Through the Capital Region Board of Cooperative Education Services (BOCES), the Center will house the BOCES Maritime Academy, an alternative high school program providing at-risk youth with job training in maritime-related fields.

Content Archived: January 20, 2009

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