Fulton officials will soon begin to put plans on paper to try to bring back to life some of the parcels of land on the city’s west side that have been targeted for help under the state’s brownfields program.
42 parcels of land that lie between the Oswego River and 7th St. on the west side have been identified as possible sites for brownfields redevelopment programs.
The parcels are as large as the former Nestle chocolate factory and as small as a single residential-sized property.
They qualify under the state’s brownfields program because they are underused sites that have, or could have, pollution issues that have held up redevelopment.
“We have an abundance of underutilized properties,” said Mayor Ron Woodward.
The first focus of the city’s effort will be for land on the north end of the city, land that was part of one of the region’s larger pollution cleanup efforts under the federal government’s former Superfund program.
Mayor Ron Woodward wants to develop the land of and adjacent to the former Fulton Terminals site because it’s bounded by the Oswego River on one side and on the other by Route 481 and its 20,000 vehicles per day of traffic.
The city has begun to build a pedestrian walkway along the river in that area and will soon install a public dock.
“It’s not just parks and recreation. It’s economic development,” said Benjamin Syden, director of planning and community development for Laberge Group of Albany, the city’s consultant on the brownfield program.
The land could house small retail businesses or become a park and location for festivals.
Woodward noted that Syden had first proposed to build housing along the waterfront, but he nixed that because “I wanted that riverfront to be public.”
He noted that, in contrast to Oswego’s very public waterfront, very little of Fulton’s riverfrontage could be developed for public use.
The city’s final project plan will go to the state, where it will be considered with applications from other communities.
Syden said the state will fund 3 to 5 projects per region per year and there will be five yearly rounds of funding, so if Fulton doesn’t win funding in the next round, it could wind up on the state’s plan for another year.