City, BPU Receive State Grants

Large rocks have been placed on the banks of the Chadakoin River. Work to stabilize the river shoreline is continuing in Jamestown early in 2024. Submitted photo

The city of Jamestown and its Board of Public Utilities have received state planning grants for the future of the Chadakoin River and wastewater improvements on the city’s west side.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has awarded up to $50,000 to the city of Jamestown for a Non-Agricultural Nonpoint Source Planning and Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System Mapping Grant to develop a comprehensive stream corridor assessment for the Jamestown section of the Chadakoin River from the Chautauqua Lake outlet to the downstream city limit.

“Initial restoration efforts in this 6.85-mile river section have already started, and plans for economic activation of specific sites are in development, but no comprehensive framework currently exists to maximize the river’s ecological and economic potential,” said Crystal Surdyk, city development director. “Upon completion, this plan will provide a prioritized strategy for project implementation to be aligned with future funding opportunities.”

The Chadakoin River has received a lot of attention over the past several years with improvements made behind the National Comedy Center, two pedestrian bridges, work on the Chadakoin Riverwalk and federal ARPA-backed projects to stabilize the river’s streambanks, clear debris out of the river and remove the invasive Tree-of-Heaven.

Now, city officials want to figure out the best way to capitalize on that work in the future.

“This is the missing piece that will pull together a variety of studies, plans and strategies for waterfront activation and development, recreation, and overall improvement of the environmental and economic health of the Chadakoin River,” said Mayor Kimberly Ecklund. “We look forward to the completion of this plan as it will provide that critical framework to guide the City as we look for opportunities to continue our stewardship of this important waterway into the future.”

The city and the Board of Public Utilities, meanwhile, has received a grant of up to $100,000 from the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation for an Engineering Planning Grant to develop an engineering report to identify sources of inflow and infiltration, evaluate alternatives and recommend improvements to the City’s wastewater collection system.

“The project specifically will concentrate on the sewer shed in the City’s west side streets including Ellis, Hallock, Widrig, and others,” said David L. Leathers, BPU general manager. “We are grateful for this funding opportunity that should assist us in improving an area of the City that has experienced infrastructure challenges in recent years. We look forward to the results of this study and effort that will guide us as we effect change in that part of our city.”

The grant award stipulates that an agreement between the city, the BPU and the Environmental Facilities Corporation must be progressed by Sept. 30.

“I am pleased to learn that the state Environmental Facilities Corporation has approved our application for assistance in identifying ways in which life in this west side neighborhood of our City can be enhanced through the development of this sewer shed improvement program,” Ecklund said.


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