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Department of State Grant Recipients Recognized for Excellence

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The Upstate New York Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA) recently recognized four Department of State (DOS) grant recipients with Planning Excellence Awards at its annual conference in Utica. The awards honor projects, plans, and individuals who have made significant contributions toward improving the quality of life for people throughout Upstate New York.

The Chemung County Highway Service Study, funded by a Local Government Efficiency (LGE) Grant administered by the Department of State, received the Planning Excellence Award for Best Practice. The award recognizes Chemung County’s examination of opportunities for increased sharing of highways, maintenance services and equipment. The primary objective of the Chemung County Study was to identify potential areas of cost savings and efficiencies while increasing the quality of common highway services and activities for all municipalities. Using technical assistance from the Department of State, Chemung County anticipates that the project will save $2.7 million annually. On Thursday, October 20, 2011, the Department of State announced additional funding in the amount of $200,000 to implement certain highway service-sharing measures that have been recommended to Chemung County.

In addition to their recognition of one of our LGE grantees, the APA also recognized DOS Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP) grantees. The Planning Excellence Award for a Grassroots Initiative went to the Lake George Erie Concord Grape Heritage Area Management Plan, developed by the Town of Westfield and 14 surrounding communities. The APA recognized the plan as an initiative that illustrates how a community utilized the planning process to address a need that extends beyond the traditional scope of planning. Along with funding, the municipalities relied on technical assistance from the Department throughout the process. The APA celebrated the plan for embracing the unique characteristics of the Concord Grape Belt Heritage and creating a memorable Grape Belt Area experience along Lake Erie and the Allegany Plateau Escarpment.

When the Department is assisting communities throughout the LWRP process we stress importance of the role of comprehensive planning in achieving positive results for the communities involved. The Planning Excellence Award for Implementation recognizes these efforts and we are delighted that two separate DOS LWRP programs were recognized, the Village of Rouses Point Downtown and Waterfront Revitalization Plan and the Conesus Lake Watershed Management Plan.

Adopted in June 2006, the Village of Rouses Point’s Downtown and Waterfront Revitalization Plan is the blueprint for the Village’s efforts to take stock of its resources and strengths, while addressing those aspects of its economy and physical condition in need of improvement. In partnership with the Department of State, the Village of Rouses Point was able to implement numerous policies and capital projects as a result of implementation of this plan.

Since the Conesus Lake Watershed Management Plan was created in 2003, the Conesus Lake Watershed Council and watershed communities have leveraged more than $750,000 in Local Waterfront Revitalization Program grants to support watershed efforts and significantly reduce the volume of sediment entering the Conesus Lake. The Department of State has been instrumental in fostering and strengthening cooperation and partnerships among the Watershed Management Plan committees.

The Department of State appreciates the recognition many of its grantees received. To find out more info about LGE, LWRP and other local government assistance programs, please visit us on the web.