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For Immediate Release:
August 2, 2012

Secretary of State Cesar A. Perales, the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council,
and state and local officials announce completion of key regional projects to enhance tourism and
economic development in the Finger Lakes

Secretary of State Cesar A. Perales was joined today by Waterloo Town Supervisor Gary Westfall, Seneca County Manager Mitchell Rowe, City of Geneva Mayor Ron Alcock, Village of Waterloo Mayor Ted Young, Regional Economic Development Council Co-chairs, community leaders and local officials to announce the unveiling of three key projects that will enhance tourism and economic development in the Finger Lakes region.

The completion of the first section of the Cayuga-Seneca Trail in Waterloo, the unveiling of the design for the Finger Lakes Boating Museum and the release of the Geneva Waterfront Infrastructure Feasibility Study were funded with grants from the Department of State’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program.

“Today we celebrate three successful state and local partnerships that are revitalizing the Finger Lakes region,” said Secretary Perales. “These partnerships exemplify our Governor’s commitment to working with local communities to spur economic development across our state. I thank all of the local officials involved in these projects for their tremendous dedication to making the Finger Lakes such a lovely area for residents and tourists alike.”

“These grants are yet another example of New York State’s commitment to the tourism-driven economic development tourism approach that has made the Finger Lakes a prime destination for visitors from around the world,” said Mayor Ron Alcock. “These state dollars will be leveraged with private donations to create a world-class experience; showcasing the regions proud boating heritage.”

The Department of State awarded the Village of Waterloo a $176,372.00 grant to complete the Cayuga-Seneca Trail through installation of three miles of trail path that will link Seneca Lake State Park to the Village of Waterloo. Three bridges along the trail have been repaired and a bridge under the four-lane NYS Route 96A will be adapted to accommodate the trail. Improvements will include trail construction and the installation of concrete benching, retaining walls, storm-water infrastructure, and fencing. The completion of this project is important not only in providing local recreation resource but also begins to add a 19-mile spur to the 365-mile Erie Canal way trail.

“The development of the Cayuga-Seneca Canal Trail had been in the planning stage for many years. It is only through the support of the New York State Department of State that the trail is actually being constructed,” said Mitchell Rowe, Seneca County Manager. “It will be enjoyed by many and will be a tremendous recreational and tourist asset for Seneca County and the region,” Rowe continued.

Through a $450,000 Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) grant awarded last year, the City of Geneva commissioned the architectural drawings and design renderings for the Finger Lakes Boating Museum. The Boating Museum will occupy 7,000 square feet of the proposed 10,600 square foot facility, and will house exhibit spaces and galleries, a research library, classroom, workshop area, lobby/admission area, and retail space. The balance of the space in the new building will be devoted to a Visitors Center.

“New York State and the City of Geneva have a long history of fruitful economic development partnerships,” said City Manager Matt Horn. “The Finger Lakes Boating Museum and Visitors’ Center is another great example of state and local governments working together to make an impact in economic development.”

The recently completed Waterfront Infrastructure Feasibility Study, financed through a $57,000 Environmental Protection Fund – Local Waterfront Revitalization Program grant, promises to provide a comprehensive, integrated and phased approach to the continued development of the City’s waterfront.

Both the Finger Lakes and the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council have identified the need for enhancing regional tourism as an economic priority. Through the Environmental Protection Fund Local Waterfront Revitalization Program, the Department of State has long been involved with many Finger Lakes communities to advance projects that enhance tourism. These individual projects come together to advance regional tourism and spur economic growth.