FULTON, NY – A productive second public meeting regarding the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program currently being developed to enhance Fulton’s waterfronts left community members optimistic of the city’s future.
“It was an excellent meeting once again,” said Fulton resident, Bob Weston. “There was great reaction to the information provided and plenty of great ideas. I think I’m more enthused now than I have been in a long time for our city.”
The meeting was the second of three public sessions held to detail the plan broken down by sections.
The first public meeting was held in December 2016 as the six-person committee dedicated to developing the plan introduced the LWRP and its intended goals to enhance recreational use and spur economic development along Lake Neatahwanta and the Oswego River.
Additionally, the meeting detailed the first two out of seven total sections including Waterfront Revitalization Area boundaries and inventory and analysis and solicited public input regarding ideas and suggestions for the waterfront areas.
The second meeting, Tuesday night, continued to break down the plan’s subsequent sections, policies and intended uses and projects.
Briefly discussing the third section of the plan, policies, community members learned that local policies were developed based on 13 coastal policies adopted by NYS focusing on regional character, economic development, recreation and culture, coastal environment and environmental health and energy.
As an example, Policy #3 intends to protect existing agricultural lands in waterfront areas by “preventing the conversion of farmland to other uses and protecting existing and potential agricultural production.”
The thirteen policies dedicated to the protection of the existing and natural surroundings of the waterfront areas drew positive feedback from the public.
The most targeted discussion of the evening, however, was in regards to the intended uses and projects involving the city’s six waterfront boundary areas.
“As we understand it, if we don’t have an idea as a proposed use or project in the final plan, we can’t get grant money for it,” explained one of the LWRP committee members, Marie Mankiewicz.
Therefore, the committee is seeking broad ideas for land and water uses and projects along the city’s waterfront boundary areas that can be included in future development implementations.
Of these six boundary areas, Lake Neatahwanta had the most recommendations for revitalization and intended uses followed by the areas between the city’s main bridges.
At the lake, public suggestions included carp fishing, fishing tournaments, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing rentals, bike rentals, triathlons, paddle-craft rentals, installation of historical markers, handicapped accessible priority, continuation and development of trails, city shuttle service to the lake, zen areas, community center and cafe, offer concert series and dinner theatres on the lake, among many others.
Suggestions for land and water use along the Oswego River between both bridges from Oneida Street to Broadway included rebuilding existing stairways to waterfront, food and drink options, riverside patio seating, concerts, discounted rates for entrepreneurs, history and event museum expanding the South First Street historical district and link them to the waterfront.
The remaining waterfront boundary areas; the North End area, including Indian Point; the South End area, including the Green Street boat launch; the Phillips Street area, despite being majority private property; and the Nestle area, including Oswego Falls Park received far less input, but committee members encourage any public ideas to continue being submitted.
Many suggestions, comments, and ideas were submitted to the committee for review prior to the second meeting and conversation throughout the evening initiated an abundance of new suggestions surrounding the plan.
“It was excellent,” said Joe Fiumara, executive director of the Fulton Community Development Agency and member of the LWRP committee. “The quality of questions surpassed my expectations. They really got the ball rolling and opened up to start discussing their vision and that’s what we want to hear. The whole committee has been so impressed with the outpouring of support and involvement we’ve had through this process.”
As a second meeting filled the room, it seems community involvement is not in short supply for this initiative.
“We have multiple volunteer groups that have been working for more than ten years doing little parts where they can. This seems to be bringing everyone together for one common cause of improving Fulton. This is some of the most exciting times Fulton has seen in recent history and I would say it looks and feels like Fulton is going to turn the corner and show the active, beautiful, family community it is,” said Dennis Merlino, Fulton resident.
“At the end of the day, we have two natural resources in our city, a river and a lake. How many communities can say they have that? It’s just going to take coming together like this to get them where we want them, and we are going to make that happen,” Weston added.
Fiumara said the third and final public meeting is expected to be scheduled in roughly six weeks to cover the last three sections of the plan.
For more information regarding the LWRP process thus far and to view the information received at both public meetings including introduction, maps, and detailed drafts of sections 1-4, visit the Fulton Community Development Agency’s website here.
Public input can be submitted at any time to Joe Fiumara via email at [email protected] or dropped off at the CDA office located at 125 W. Broadway.