Press-Republican

August 17, 2012

Grant sought for City Beach plan

By JOE LoTEMPLIO
Press-Republican

---- — PLATTSBURGH — A group of local business leaders hopes to secure a grant that could lead to a major development for the City Beach property.

The City of Plattsburgh Common Council recently agreed to let the Strategic Tourism and Planning Committee apply for $50,000 in funding from the state for a feasibility study focused on the environmental impact that certain aspects of the project would have on the property.

“Having this money will really be a key because this will be a public/private partnership, and we need to identify what lands can be used for private development and what the environmental issues are,” said Terry Meron, a local businessman who heads the Beach Redevelopment Committee.

“The private development can be handled by private developers arranging their own financing, but we need the public portion of this, too.”

SLEDDING HILL

The committee is looking at major plans for the beach property that would include winter and summer activities. The old city dump site south of Crete Memorial Civic Center would be mounded up and capped to create a sledding hill with a viewing tower on top.

The plans also call for a pier out over the lake with a restaurant at the end, hotels and shops. 

The Crete would be turned into a Battle of Plattsburgh and Battle of Valcour museum and interpretive center.

A pond would also be created near the Crete to host replicas of ships used during the historic battles, and a festival marketplace is also part of the design.

Meron said the grant funding would be used largely to see what it would take to mound and cap the old dump site and to the impact of hiking, biking and snowmobile trails on nearby wetlands.

“We really believe this project is feasible, and it would greatly enhance the quality of life in this area,” Meron said.

‘MAGICAL RELATIONSHIP’

The committee must go through the city to apply for the $50,000 grant.

Councilor James Calnon (I-Ward 4), who as mayor pro tem serves as the city’s budget officer, believes the project is valid.

“It is worth taking a look at. Recreation is a huge issue here, and we always want to look at ways of maximizing our beach assets.”

Meron said the project may take a while, but once it is developed, he believes it will benefit the community for generations.

“People have this magical relationship with water, and if we can develop this, it will be a great place for everybody forever.”

Email Joe LoTemplio: jlotemplio@pressrepublican.com