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CUOMO KICKS OFF STATEWIDE TOUR TO INCREASE TOURISM ON ERIE CANAL; CUOMO, GLICKMAN, LAFALCE, AND QUINN ANNOUNCE $31.1 MILLION IN FEDERAL AID TO WESTERN NEW YORK CANAL REGION
BUFFALO -- Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo and Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman today kicked off a five-day tour of New York's Canal Corridor with an announcement of $31.1 million in federal assistance to communities along New York's Canal Corridor to spark economic growth, job creation, increased tourism, housing construction and infrastructure improvements. The funds are in addition to the $9.3 million announced by Cuomo three weeks ago for Buffalo's Inner Harbor.
Secretaries Cuomo and Glickman were joined by Congressmen LaFalce and Quinn at a news conference at the Naval and Servicemen's Park in Buffalo which is the historic terminus of the canal. Cuomo's visit is the first day of a five-day visit to upstate New York tourism sites designed to highlight the historic, cultural and recreational attractions in Canal Corridor communities. Cuomo spent the day on Lake Erie boating with Secretary Glickman and Congressmen Jack Quinn and John LaFalce.
Cuomo, joined by his wife Kerry Kennedy Cuomo, twin daughters Cara and Mariah, and Congressman and local officials from across the state will spend the rest of the week traveling the Canal Corridor by boat and ground transportation across New York State. Those traveling are sampling a wide variety of family-oriented activities available along the Canal Corridor, including biking along the canal towpaths, hiking, fishing, and visits to museums, historic sites, and cultural attractions. (See attached itinerary) Cuomo and Glickman are expected to announce over $100 million in federal assistance during the tour.
"New York's own Erie Canal Corridor is an unparalleled national and international tourism attraction," said Cuomo. "With more than $200 million in new federal investment during the past two years --which has already brought new business and jobs to the region-- there has never been a better time to enjoy the recreational and historic attractions along New York's waterways. My family and I are excited about this visit, and about the renewed vitality of the Canal Corridor."
"We're pleased to continue our successful partnership with HUD; helping rural communities prosper along New York's Canal Corridor," said Glickman. "Whether it's providing clean, running water or electricity to turn on your lights, USDA is there to help."
"I am delighted by HUD and USDA's announcement of over $100 million for the revitalization and redevelopment of the Canal Corridor," said Senator Charles Schumer. "We all recognize the enormous potential of the Canal Region, and I am pleased to see steps being taken to help our rural communities prosper. I look forward to continuing to work with Secretaries Cuomo and Glickman to ensure the economic health of New York State."
The funding today builds on over $200 million in assistance provided through the Canal Corridor Initiative during the past two years. HUD's Canal Corridor Initiative began in 1997 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.
HUD, the Department of Agriculture, the National Park Service, local communities and businesses are working in partnership to make the Canal Corridor Initiative succeed. Federal assistance has gone to over 200 projects along the 524-mile canal system. New Canal Corridor projects built with this aid 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. One project funded by HUD includes Buffalo's Inner Harbor.
"HUD recognizes the importance of Buffalo's Inner Harbor as an integral part of the Erie Canal. A 'new' Erie Canal can only bring prosperity to our state including Buffalo by increasing tourism, and attracting new businesses and new jobs," said Congressman Jack Quinn. "It is important for us to restore and maintain the quality of the Erie Canal for its historical and cultural value. I have worked hard to bring in more than $37 million in federal funds for the development of the waterfront. There is no doubt that this development is essential for Buffalo's future success."
"The Erie Canal corridor and its adjacent waterways have the potential to become significant tourist attractions in New York State," said Congressman John J. LaFalce. "The Canal Corridor Initiative, through the use of the small cities development program, with the assistance of other programs administered by both HUD and USDA, can help communities in the vicinity of the Canal to implement projects that can spur economic development, promote tourism, and create jobs. This is an excellent program for the Canal Communities of New York state and I look forward to working with Secretary Cuomo and Secretary Glickman, and all of the eligible communities, to continue the revitalization of the greater Canal area."
"Secretary Andrew Cuomo has correctly recognized that the City of Buffalo's Future rests with the redevelopment of our waterfront," said Buffalo Mayor Anthony C. Masiello. "The City of Buffalo's historical connection with the Erie Canal is now firmly established with HUD's Canal Corridor Initiative, which will only enhance all elements of Buffalo's revived waterfront region, including critically important tourism activities."
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.
The Initiative complements the New York State Canal Revitalization Program, both in its details and overall goals. It is based on a careful review of existing state and local plans for the region, including the landmark New York State Recreationway Plan, completed in 1995. As a result, it provides a template for close cooperation between federal, state and local governments in revitalizing the Canal Corridor.
HUD and USDA today announced $27 million in small cities/Canal Corridor assistance to the following five Western New York counties.
Secretary Cuomo also announced $4.1 million in entitlement assistance for the City of Niagara Falls including:
WESTERN REGION PROJECT DESCRIPTIONS BUFFALO INNER HARBOR
SECRETARY CUOMO'S CANAL CORRIDOR TRIP ITINERARY
Content Archived: January 20, 2009
Content Archived: January 20, 2009