FULTON, NY – City officials invited NYS Assemblyman Will Barclay to Fulton to thank him for his work in securing a $100,000 legislative grant to install a stairway at Veterans Park.
The cement stairway will connect Veterans Park on South First Street across from City Hall to the Oswego River waterfront.
Barclay was welcomed by city officials, local volunteer effort leaders, and veterans as they commended him for his help in securing funds.
“It’s very important to us because for years we’ve been trying to develop our waterfront,” Fulton Mayor Ronald Woodward Sr. said. “I’m really excited, I think the people of Fulton should give a lot of thanks to Assemblyman Barclay. He’s been very good for Fulton.”
Additionally, Barclay had secured $25,000 this year for sidewalks throughout the city of Fulton.
“He does a lot for us, and it doesn’t hurt for us once in a while to recognize him for it,” Woodward said.
The legislative grant is composed of taxpayer money of which Assemblyman Barclay determines where it may be used, he explained, looking at a few factors before deciding what project to support.
“I always look for a few things: one thing I look for is leadership, I look for momentum, and something that is going to have a lasting impression, a staying power, for whatever community we are going to support. Certainly this project has all those things,” Assemblyman Barclay said.
The project not only allows greater access to the city’s waterfront, as emphasized in the restructuring of the city’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan, but also connects two trails that exist as part of the Fulton Footpaths initiative.
After a $61,500 grant supported a feasibility study to construct the volunteer group’s mission of developing a system of eight multi-use recreational trails throughout the city of Fulton, a pending grant application to NYS Department of State would secure up to $900,000 of funds to begin construction on the Pathfinder Canal Towpath and Canalview Bridge Walk Trails.
The stairwell at Veterans Park will connect these two trails and bring safe accessibility to Fulton’s waterfront to take advantage of Fulton’s geographical assets.
“Fulton has a beautiful river in its downtown and I am happy to assist the city in its efforts to make the river and the canal more accessible for people,” said Assemblyman Barclay in a press release. “In addition, I am thrilled to see the waterfront revitalization planning efforts taking place in Fulton. These types of planning efforts and the synergy of the community behind them will pay off for Fulton.”
The announcement of the stairwell funding comes following a $5,000 donation from Oswego County Opportunities allowing the city’s Department of Public Works to make sidewalk repairs in the same vicinity.
Additionally, Fulton Sunrise Rotary Club was just awarded a grant from the District of Rotary to put new benches in Veterans Park.
“That’s kind of my point of what I’m getting at, the fact that there is a real spirit of community here. There always has been but somehow it’s been emphasized a little more acute now than it’s ever been, again, there’s some leadership. It’s a little bit of a tipping point, I think that momentum can really take. We all know you’re not going to change it all in a day. This is incremental changes and it will catch fire. I think the more these small changes happen, all of a sudden you’re going to see a big surge,” Barclay said.
DPW Commissioner C.J. Smith said the $100,000 grant is enough to complete the project without the use of any local shares.
The city DPW will be doing sidewalk work leading up to the staircase, however, the construction of the stairs will be contracted out.
Smith anticipates completion of the project next season, referring to it as “a great central hub” for the city’s downtown.
“This all works together so I would encourage you all, keep at it and you have a partner in me,” Barclay said.