CITY RIVERFRONT MANAGEMENT COUNCIL
Meeting held Tuesday, August 14, 2018
The meeting of the Riverfront Management Council of the City of Jamestown, New York, was held on Tuesday, August 14, 2018, at 5:30 p.m.
Those present representing the Council were:
Julia Ciesla-Hanley, Recreation Coordinator
Sam Teresi, Mayor
The meeting was called to order by Bill Stevenson.
Election of Officers
Secretary: Dave Anderson motioned to nominate Jade Barber as Secretary to replace Ruth Lundin, who has retired from the Jamestown Audubon Society. Russ Diethrick seconded. Carried.
Approval of Minutes of Previous Meeting
A motion was made by Russ Diethrick and seconded by Aubrey Russell to approve the minutes of the July 10, 2018 meeting. Carried.
Opportunity For Persons to Address Council
Reports of Committees & Projects
Report from Parks, Recreation & Conservation Commission: Julia said that City Planner Bill Rice would be attending the September RMC meeting to give an update on a new project related to the Riverwalk.
Lucy Comedy Fest: Bill Stevenson said the Lucy Comedy Fest made Jamestown look like a million bucks. The new planters, flowers, and flags were great. Dave Anderson said the Farmer’s Market is looking really great too. Bill offered kudos to all involved. Sam Teresi said they had out of town guests as well as Babe Ruth World Series players staying at their house. His son, Joe, said he was never so proud to be from Jamestown as he was Comedy Fest weekend. Joe and his friends spent 3 hours at the National Comedy Center and were knocked out by it. Bill said he spoke with Lucie Arnaz and she said the museum is way better than she ever thought it would be. Sam said his son took his friends on the Riverwalk and while they never knew how it looked before, they were still impressed.
Riverwalk: Bill said Steve French is still shooting to get the lighting done on the Riverwalk for the Christmas season. He said every bulb can be programmed to be a different color. Dave Anderson said there is a $340,000 grant from New York State for plantings and permeable pavement on the south basin side of the Riverwalk, so that should help address erosion issues beyond what the bed tax money project was able to do. That work will be done in the fall. Dave said railings for the kayak launches were part of the bed tax grant, so those should also go in the Fall. Twan Leenders said the designs are not done yet, so they will be working on that. He said to do bank restabilization on the north side of the Riverwalk would require going out for new grants. Twan said if any more trees come down on the north side, the bank will go too. He added they have 5 years to complete the south basin work under the NYS grant. Sam T. asked if that work is all bank restabilization. Twan replied that it was that and storm water management as well. He added the money can only be used on the south side of the walk.
There was discussion on using donations from Rotary Club of Jamestown to plant something on the hill by the National Comedy Center in order to prevent people from cutting around the paved path. Bill said City Arborist Dan Stone wants to come down in the Fall to look at the area since planting will be done in late Fall. He said the NCC supports the plantings because they want to protect the hill as well. Bill said there is electric installed in Comedy Park now, so they’ll be able to host bands there. The old boiler house was torn down as well, so that safety issue is gone. Bill said that he and Brian from Hopes Windows took down some large trees around the former Engine House. Jennifer Lumia asked where the restored trolley was being held. Sam said it’s in a warehouse in Falconer but the goal is to eventually have it on display at the Engine House when that’s turned into a museum.
Chautauqua Theatre Company: Julia said that she and Parks Manager John Williams brought members of the Chautauqua Theatre Company through the Riverwalk to scout locations for their outside plays next year. They put on two productions at the bandshell in Allen Park this year and they want to add a production closer to downtown for 2019.
Murals etc.: Dave Anderson said he was in Toronto where he noticed that big murals on buildings seemed to help cut down on graffiti. He thinks murals along the Riverwalk would help with that here. Dave said the more people we can get using the Riverwalk, the more they feel like stakeholders. He said we need to change perceptions. Jennifer said there education piece is still missing. She asked when educational signage will be installed. She added that people are still feeding ducks bread, which is bad for them. Twan said that educational signage is in the NYS grant and will probably be the last phase of the project. He said that RTPI will be the ones to put it together. Twan added that he needs to talk to Gebbie Foundation Executive Director Greg Edwards about the wall mural. He’s not sure the process for what goes on there. Sam said if someone can find language to fit on a sign about not feeding ducks bread or about permeable pavement that the city is willing to look at adding that to our signage program. He said the kiosks will be better populated with information next season as well. There is a base map online and Gary Peters Jr. of Fresh Press is working on a final version of that. Sam added that he, Matt Hanley, Jeff Lehman and Kris Brown will be meeting later this week about beefing up signage for the Riverwalk to help people find their way around.
Parking: Sam said that currently we have 2-hour meters. We have a $400,000 Department of Transportation grant to mitigate traffic congestion. We will be using that grant for better signage and better meters systems. The plan is to keep the rates the same at the parking garage at meters but to convert the 2-hour over to 3-hour meters. Sam said there will be smart meters too that can take coins or be paid using a cell phone. For metered areas outside the central business district, the meter rates will be reduced to encourage workers to park further away, thus freeing up spots downtown for customers.
Security Cameras: Dave Anderson asked what the status was on installing security cameras. Sam said that some have been installed at McCrea Point Park and the city is looking at options for the bike path. We’ll probably need to do battery powered ones on the bike path due to there not being wi-fi down there. Sam said the goal is to extend the cameras to the Riverwalk eventually and that any grant money would be helpful toward that.
Ducks: Russ Diethrick requested that when we put out publicity on not feeding the ducks bread if it was possible to put out information on what’s safe to feed them. Twan said we don’t want people feeding waterfowl at all but that Former Audubon President Ruth Lundin had good signs for what is okay to feed ducks. Sam said we’ll never stop people from feeding waterfowl, so education on what’s okay would be helpful.
Riverwalk Name: Bill asked Sam about a name for the basin of the Riverwalk. Sam thinks that Fenton History Center should have a list of any native names for the area. He said he knew the area was known as “The Rapids” before the Warner Dam was built. Bill said it’s a good idea to see if the Fenton Center has any information.
Chautauqua Belle: Sam said the City is still working with the Chautauqua Bell on the boat using McCrea Point Park this Fall and next Spring for excursions. He said they’re very interested in doing rides in the area. Bill said Paul Stage still wants to come down this Fall. The outlet has been dredged and cleaned up. Sam said the boat traffic will be the best dredging.
Kayaks: Twan asked if there would be kayak rentals available downtown. Sam said he’s hoping the private sector will pick up on that. He said the Jamestown Cycle Shop is doing bike rentals, so he’s hoping maybe they or another group picks up on kayak rentals.
Riverwalk Extension: Sam said he has signed an application to the NYS Department of Transportation for another round of funding that would push the Riverwalk east. The new section would go behind the Riverwalk Center (formerly JAMA), across Harrison Street, and behind the Big Lots Plaza. The plaza owner agreed to give the city access. The walk would then go from Victoria Avenue to Foote Avenue. The former Artone Building has been demolished with a 3-story medical building being built in its place next to the river. Dave Anderson asked who oversees how close buildings are built to the river. Sam said the Planning Commission will oversee that. He added Victoria Street will be abandoned and turned into a pedestrian walkway that includes a pedestrian bridge over the river to Institute Street. The Riverwalk will line up along the new medical building. Sam added the pedestrian bridge would cost several hundred thousand dollars. He said the area is being referred to as the “Health Corridor” to promote health-related buildings as well as promoting healthy activity.
Riverwalk Event Discussion: Jade Barber said she submitted an email to Bill Stevenson of ideas for activities next summer to bring people down to the Riverwalk. She said now is the time to start planning and suggested maybe having committees of people to work on nature, fitness, or family activities. Bill asked Jade to send her email to the rest of the RMC. Jade said she has pictures of locks on bridges and wondered if we want to encourage people to leave locks on the bridges or in a specific area of the Riverwalk. She also wondered if the Prendergast Library might consider holding storytime down on the Riverwalk. Another idea she had was a picnic night where everyone is encouraged to bring a picnic meal down to the Riverwalk. She suggested seeing if the YMCA would do one of their “Fitness In The Parks” classes down here as well. Another thing she’s seen in other cities is a public wi-fi system that’s often sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce. If we had it on the Riverwalk it may encourage people to come down here to work or help us create outdoor work centers. Sam said that this should be made a staple agenda item so that the RMC spends time each month talking about ways to bring people to the Riverwalk.
Discussion: Good Of The Order
The next meeting is Tuesday, September 11, 2018 at 5:30 pm.