A grant application that was discussed at a special meeting of the Jamestown Planning Commission earlier this month has been officially submitted.
The grant, which could potentially bring in additional funding for Riverwalk development in the future, is administered by the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and focuses primarily on park acquisition, development and planning.
During the special meeting, Bill Rice, principal planner, told members of the Jamestown Planning Commission that the grant was being pursued in order to connect to separate sections of the Riverwalk with adjacent trails. Currently, there is roughly 1 mile of Riverwalk completed, running mostly through the core of downtown Jamestown. The proposed Riverwalk trail system would expand that to roughly 4 miles of trails, extending from Victoria Avenue in the east to the intersection of Steele Street and Fairmount Avenue in the west, and as far north as the McCrea Point boat launch on Jones and Gifford Avenue.
According to Rice, there is also an application in with the county and the village of Celoron for a TEP application, as well, which if it's approved will allow for the creation of a 1.75-mile bicycle path from Jamestown to Celoron.
According to the proposal, the grant would be used to take existing and replaced sidewalk along the south side of Steele Street, cross to the north side over the Sixth Street Bridge and potentially create a stairway to bring the walkway to a lower elevation where it would meet with the north segment of the Riverwalk. The north segment will use city streets.
The award date for the grant is in December, when the city will find out if it has the additional funds to use toward Riverwalk development during next year's construction season.
"They start the review process in September," Rice said. "It's all at one time with these grants, so each agency has to do the review process before we'll hear back from them."
The Jamestown Planning Commission has been working with both the Department of Public Works and Habiterra on this project, which, if successful, will provide an additional $500,000 in funding to the city for Riverwalk construction projects. The city will also be responsible for providing a $125,000 matching share for the grant.