HAMBURG, N.Y. (WIVB-TV) – Hamburg’s town supervisor has big plans for 2020.
Among those plans is protecting the town’s shoreline after 2019 brought historic devastation to Hoover Beach and damage to other areas including Mt. Vernon and Wanakah.
Supervisor James SHAW Said in his 2020 “State of the Town of Hamburg” address Thursday that 2020 is the year the town will take proactive steps. Last year, several storms wreaked havoc on Hoover Beach as well as areas along the shoreline down toward 18 Mile Creek.
Hoover Beach suffered the most damage though, and Shaw says the Town Shoreline Revitalization Committee will apply for new grants from FEMA for future mitigation of shoreline damage by allowing the installation of a break wall or revetments.
“We are competing nationwide to secure grant funds to build those revetments, to shelter the force of that water in the spring and fall storms that have historically damaged our communities, and in some cases, rendered portions of Hoover Beach uninhabitable,” Shaw said in his speech.
Shaw says this is the first time FEMA has made remediation grants available in anticipation of natural disasters in danger zones throughout the country.
In addition to protecting the shoreline, he says the town will also work on giving Woodlawn Beach a makeover and increase recreational access to 18 Mile Creek.
Another big talking point was the future of the McKinley Mall.
In order to save the mall, Shaw says the complex must be reborn as something new.
Shaw says he has renewed communications with the Woodmont Corporation, the Texas-based company appointed by the NYS Supreme Court to manage the McKinley mall, and he says he will push for aggressive marketing strategies to keep it alive.
Shaw said he believes the beleaguered mall can only be reborn after a third party sale, but once that happens, he’s hopeful.
“I hope to exert all the pressure that the town can bring to bear to reverse the state of atrophy and lay the groundwork for the mall’s reimagining and rebirth under an infusion of new capital and new leadership,” he said.
Shaw says the mall could be reinvented as any number of things. Ideas he’s put on the table include mixed use development, recreation and entertainment center, housing a medical center, or retail.
Sears is the latest store in the mall to announce it will close. That notice came in November with an expected close date sometime in February.
Also in 2020, Shaw says the town will revitalize area playgrounds, work to fill vacancies in various strip malls, and work on a town masterplan for the decade.