ITHACA — New York State’s Secretary of State was in town Friday to drop off a present for Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick: a check for $88,340 to complete the final stage in the city’s Cayuga Waterfront Trail. Both described increasing tourism as critical to regional economic growth.
“While creating beautiful recreational areas, these projects will also attract business and tourism to the communities surrounding Cayuga Lake,” said Secretary of State Cesar Perales. Myrick expressed gratitude for the Environmental Protection Fund – Local Waterfront Revitalization Program grant, saying it will cap the final 2-mile segment of the trail, linking the Ithaca’s Farmers’ Market to Stewart Park and the Visitors Bureau.
When complete, the Trail will span six miles along the Cayuga waterfront.
The mayor also said today’s ribbon-cutting ceremony is also a chance to look to the future of “waterfront improvements here on Cayuga Lake.” Some have questioned City Hall’s desire to turn the city’s sleepy West End into a hub for lakeside hotels and housing complexes.
Today’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program grant the City of Ithaca has received since 1997.
Meanwhile, Seneca County officials were also on hand this morning to talk of a $45,000 state grant to prepare for the Cayuga Lake Blueway Trail Plan. Senenca, Tompkins and Cayuga Counties are joining to identify shoreline access points for non-motorized watercraft, such as kayaks and canoes. The project could expand tourism while also drawing attention to area boating opportunities, said Seneca County Board of Supervisors Chairman Robert Hayssen.