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Grant will help shore up Scotia shoreline

The village of Scotia learned it will be getting a long-awaited state grant that will help pay for erosion control along Schonowee Avenue. For several years, residents have voiced concerns about the disappearing shoreline.

We were hoping we would be awarded this money, and we are very excited about it, said trustee Carol Carpenter.

Mayor Kris Kastberg said the village will match the $750,000 grant, as required by the state, by issuing bonds, as well as in-kind services. He said the money will be used to help reinforce the eroding shoreline along a portion of Freedom Park that is heavily used. He said the village is looking to build up areas that will protect parts of the park that are used for summertime events. Nearly 2,000 feet of shoreline will be targeted, and plans also call for the creation of a slope instead of a sharp drop-off.

"This is a grant that I think will be instrumental in protecting the shore along Schonowee Avenue," said Kastberg.

A Waterfront Feasibility Study was done in 2005 for the county, which resulted in recommendations for the Scotia side of the river to develop an entrance to the waterfront and Collins Park. The plan called for intersection realignment at Schonowee and Mohawk avenues as well as a walkway along Schonowee. Additional studies have also been conducted on how to increase use of the riverfront for activities such as fishing.

Kastberg said this is the first grant awarded to the village to specifically fix the erosion problem.

The work is estimated to take about a year once permits are in place. The first step will involve placing concrete along the shoreline between Jumpin' Jacks and Washington Road. While the work will not prevent flooding, it will allow the shoreline along Schonowee to build back up and prevent future erosion.

The grant was from the New York State Environmental Protection Fund's Local Waterfront Revitalization Program. A similar project was completed in Amsterdam that led to successful waterfront revitalization.

Kastberg said during April budget planning that looking at erosion of the riverfront was a priority for him. He said the village will continue to seek grants that will allow for further studies and funding to aid in addressing erosion issues.

"As grants become available, I, as mayor, look at the focus of the grant and determine if it is something of benefit to the village," said Kastberg.""

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