Myers Park and Salt Point

Planning Consultant Michael Long told the Lansing Town Board Wednesday that New York State chose not to award grant funding that could have paid for improvements to Myers Park.  If the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) grant applications had been approved Lansing may have been eligible for up to $240,080 through the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation - Parks Program, and $632,075 through the NYS Department of State (DOS) Waterfront Revitalization Program (WRP).

"There are two factors when you apply for a grant," Long said. "One is, is it a good grant, well written and does it score well?  And the second thing is political.  Where's the capital?  Do you distribute it across the state?  I think that's what happened here."

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the grant recipients Tuesday.  Cuomo announced more than $763 million in economic and community development funding was awarded through Round VIII of the REDC initiative.  Lansing grant requests are reviewed by the Southern Tier Regional Council.
  • Western New York: Regional Council Awardee | $66 million supporting 118 projects
  • Finger Lakes: Top Performer Awardee | $86.5 million supporting 141 projects
  • Southern Tier: Regional Council Awardee | $65.4 million supporting 101 projects
  • Central New York: Top Performer Awardee | $88.2 million supporting 91 projects
  • Mohawk Valley: Top Performer Awardee | $85.4 million supporting 77 projects
  • North Country: Regional Council Awardee | $64.8 million supporting 70 projects
  • Capital Region: Regional Council Awardee | $67 million supporting 95 projects
  • Mid-Hudson: Top Performer Awardee | $87.1 million supporting 122 projects
  • New York City: Top Performer Awardee | $84.4 million supporting 137 projects
  • Long Island: Regional Council Awardee | $68.3 million supporting 103 projects

This was the second year in a row the grant was denied.  Last year town officials said they believed it had been denied because, despite scoring 20 out of 20 points on the eligibility scale, the Town had not approved its Comprehensive Plan revision.  Long said he is sure we had a similar score this year.With the passage this year of that revision, officials had been optimistic the Town would receive the state money, or a portion of it.

"I guess I can give you some potential reasons as to why.  We got $5.1 million for the housing project (Milton Meadows) across the street.  That may be a good reason.  You've got the airport expansion.  The Governor was here giving away a great deal of money ($14.5 million) for that project, and since the airport is in Lansing it shows up as being here.  We also have the new DOT facility that they budgeted, so I'm sure that part of that conversation is, 'How much money do you give to one community?'"

Long added that the Southern Tier got $22 million less than the Central New York region.

The portion of the Myers Park Master Plan submitted this year included improvements  and erosion control in Salmon creek between Myers Park and Salt Point.  It also included improvements to the playground, solar lighting around the main driving loop, relocation of the kayak racks and nearby parking, replacing the existing basketball court, a new park contact station, new trees, improvements to the shoreline driveway, and improvements to the lighthouse site.  There are more projects included in the entire plan, but the whole thing would be too much to apply for in one grant.

Both the Environmental Protection Fund grant through NYS Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation and the WRP grant are matching grants for which the Town would have been required to provide 'in-kind' labor and materials for its half of the financial obligation had they been approved.

"We have a good application and we can try again," Long said.