Saratoga Springs joins Greenway

Saratoga Springs is among six local communities to be added to the Hudson River Valley Greenway.

Last year, Gov. Eliot Spitzer expanded the state planning initiative to include Saratoga County communities. Since then, six of the 28 eligible county municipalities have joined, bringing the total number to 242 in the Hudson Rover corridor.

Saratoga planners are eager to put to use the new tool in regional and local planning. Through the program, the city will have greater access to resources and grants, said Saratoga Springs Principal Planner Jackie Hackes.

In order to become a Greenway community and be eligible for resources, a community has to accept their goals and criteria: regional planning, economic development, public access, natural and cultural resources protection and heritage area education, Hackes said.

Through Greenway, the city will have access to many opportunities, including technical assistance and various grants, she said.

Saratoga Springs was accepted into the program this yearwith the towns of Northumberland, Saratoga and Stillwater, the villages of Victory and Schuylerville who were all accepted into the program earlier this year.

"Our leaders in Saratoga County understand the importance of intermunicipal partnerships. Working together on a regional basis, these communities can continue to address common issues while balancing growth and economic development with protection of our natural and cultural resources," said Mary Mangione of Greenway.

Each of the six communities passed resolutions to become a Greenway Community. Those resolutions state the municipality's support of the five Greenway criteria.

Saratoga passed a resolution in the fall of last year in support of the initiative.

The Greenway program is designed to encourage Hudson River Valley communities to develop projects and initiatives related to the Greenway Criteria, by providing technical assistance and small grants for planning, capital projects, and water trail and land-based trails.

The program honors community home rule and has no regulatory authority over municipalities.

The city has yet to identify particular projects it plans to develop through Greenway resources, said Hackes.""

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