Governor Cuomo proposes $300 million plan to ‘reimagine’ the Erie Canal

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ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB)–Governor Cuomo announced a proposal for a $300 million plan to reimagine the Erie Canal as part of his 2020 State of the State.

The plan would create recreational activities on the canal to boost tourism, mitigation flooding, enhancing irrigation and recreational fishing and restoring wetlands.

Cuomo says he recommends the New York Power Authority Board approves the $300 million investment over the next five years at their January meeting.

“This bold and visionary plan to transform this historic waterway will build on the success of the Empire State Trail, grow tourism across Upstate New York, improve resilience of today’s Canal communities and ensure the economic sustainability of the waterway into the future,” the governor said.

Funding will start this year in two parts, a $100 million economic development fund to invest in communities along the canal, and a separate $65 million investment in solutions that will help prevent ice jams and related flooding in the Schenectady area.

According to Cuomo’s office, the remaining $135 million of the plan’s funding will go to research recommended by the Reimagine Task Force, as well as to solutions related to flood mitigation, invasive species prevention and ecosystem restoration.

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