State awards Germantown grant for Local Waterfront Revitalization Program
GERMANTOWN—The New York State Department of State announced recently that the town of Germantown will receive $75,000 to develop a Local Waterfront Revitalization Program.
Generally, an approved Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (or LWRP) gives more power to municipalities to control and guide what’s done on its waterfront. According to the state Department of State website, when a municipality’s LWRP is approved by the New York State Secretary of State, state agency actions are required to be consistent with the approved LWRP to the maximum extent practicable. Further “When the federal government concurs with the incorporation of an LWRP into the New York State Coastal Management Program, federal agency actions must be consistent with the approved addition to the Coastal Management Program.”
The state encourages that LWRPs reflect community consensus, provide a clear direction for future development and establish a long-term partnership among local governments and the state.
Germantown’s Waterfront Advisory Committee, which first formed in 2016, conducted a local waterfront revitalization study, which explored the town’s waterfront resources and made suggestions based on public input. The committee held three public workshops and listened to citizens, many of whom expressed a desire for continued access to the Hudson River, further access and improvement of access, a plan to address invasive water chestnuts that have impeded river access and a reopening of sanctioned swimming areas. That study can be viewed on the town of Germantown’s website, at town hall or at the Germantown Library.
It’s expected that a new committee will also hold public workshops for further public input during the LWRP process, expected to be a 2-to-3-year process. If completed on schedule and approved by the state, it could be Columbia County’s first completed, state-approved LWRP. Anyone interested in joining the committee that will work on Germantown’s LWRP can contact the town supervisor’s assistant at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The funding for the grant is through the state Department of State’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program under Title 11 of the Environmental Protection Fund.
“This is an exciting time for Germantown,” said Robert Beaury, town supervisor of Germantown. “Over the past decade and a half our community has undergone a revitalization of the Hamlet. With an approved LWRP on the horizon, our waterfront will receive the attention it needs for economic and recreational growth and vibrancy along the two-and-a half-mile stretch of river that borders our town. I wish to thank our volunteers who have worked tirelessly to make this a reality.”
Kaare Christian, chair of the Germantown Waterfront Advisory Committee and an incoming member of the Germantown town council, said: “An LWRP will help Germantown control its future, and will express our town's character as a Hudson waterfront community that's committed to shoreline parks and shoreline access.”
Germantown is expected to match the state grant with $25,000, much of which can be in-kind through the work of volunteers.