continued “If we partner with (National Grid) they would have to bear the expense of doing that, so this engineering grant might turn into a lot of free money for the town and benefit Rotterdam Junction,” Buffardi said. “We certainly can’t control Mother Nature, but the mitigation of the water going away is always going to be here.”
The Brownfield study broke down Rotterdam Junction into four subareas: the Mohawk Hudson Bike-Hike Trail, Upper Rotterdam Junction, Lower Rotterdam Junction and Waterfront/Cultural. The study area included 624 acres and 16 underutilized sites and eight strategic sites were identified.
“Looking at other land uses that would be compatible with the aquifer was the key component of this study area, which made this Brownfield Opportunity Area very unique compared to other ones across the state,” said Nicole Allen, planning services manager of Laberge.
There were two key areas for improvement identified in the study for the Mohawk Hudson Bike-Hike Trail subarea, which included connecting the trail where it is separated and creating an appealing overlook for the Old Erie Canal Lock 25 site. Expanding the recreational park, creating an RV park or continuing light industrial uses were recommended for the area.
The Upper Rotterdam Junction subarea was targeted for façade improvements and general appearance enhancements. Rezoning Main Street to encourage small-scale mixed use, rezoning Woestina Elementary School for future reuse and adopting design guidelines were also recommended.
The Waterfront/Cultural subarea was targeted for a multi-purpose trail along the Mohawk River that would connect to Main Street. Constructing boat tie-ups along the Mohawk River was recommended to encourage recreational usage. Also, adopting rural streetscape standards was recommended for the area.
Redevelopment of the Canal Corporation’s surplus property was targeted for the Lower Rotterdam Junction subarea, along with providing additional recreation connections to the Bike-Hike Trail and adopting rural streetscape standards.