CITY RIVERFRONT MANAGEMENT COUNCIL
Meeting held Tuesday, January 15, 2019
The meeting of the Riverfront Management Council of the City of Jamestown, New York, was held on Tuesday, January 15, 2019, at 5:30 p.m.
Those present representing the Council were:
Julia Ciesla-Hanley, Recreation Coordinator
Crystal Surdyk, City of Jamestown Principal Planner
Paul Stage, Chautauqua Belle
Diman Smith, Co-Commander, Cassadaga American Legion
The meeting was called to order by Julia Ciesla-Hanley.
Election of Officers
Chairman: John Bauer motioned to nominate Billy Stevenson as Chairman. Twan Leenders seconded the motion. Carried.
Vice-Chairman: Jade Barber motioned to nominate John Bauer as Vice-Chairman. Aubrey Russell seconded the motion. Carried
Secretary: John Bauer motioned to nominate Jade Barber as Secretary. Twan Leenders seconded. Carried.
Approval of Minutes of Previous Meeting
A motion was made by John Bauer seconded by Russ Diethrick to approve the minutes of the November 5, 2018 meeting. Carried.
Opportunity For Persons to Address Council
* Diman Smith – The American Legion usually holds a walkathon in Cassadaga but they decided to do it on the Riverwalk this year on Saturday, April 13th from 10am to 2pm. Mr. Smith said he has filled out the park use request form and has talked to the National Comedy Center about using Comedy Park. The money raised at the walk goes to veterans hospitals and the homeless. Diman is hoping the NCC will contribute something related to comedy in the military. The walk is a joint project between the Sons of Amvets and the Auxiliary. Diman says he’s invited a motorcycle group to be part of the vent and do a separate ride fundraiser. Russ Diethrick asked how much money is usually raised. Diman says $275,000 was raised statewide last year. Russ asked if the event was rain or shine. Diman says it is. Terry Horner asked how long the walk will be. Diman says they’re thinking of going from Comedy Park over the pedestrian bridges and back, but they’re still working on the details. Crystal Surdyk suggested using mile markers so people know how far they’ve walked. Russ asked if the date was flexible. Diman said the money raised has to be in by April 30th but the various communities try to set the same date.
* Paul Stage – The Chautauqua Belle doesn’t go in the water until May. He’s still working on a lease with the City of Jamestown. Paul said electrical questions at McCrea Point Park were resolved. He ran the boat on the Chadakoin River last year and it went well. Bill Stevenson will send the video of the boat out to the RMC members. Russ Diethrick asked how long the boat ride is. Paul said he does different trips with different scripts on the history of the area. Russ thinks the Chautauqua Belle would make a good trip for the Babe Ruth World Series in 2020. Paul said he intends to be in Jamestown for the Lucy Comedy Fest this summer. He sounded the entire channel and there is a 10 to 14-foot depth. Paul said he encourages whoever controls the dam to keep the water at the right height. Julia said the Army Corp of Engineers determines that. Bill said that Paul is going to the American Bus Association conference to advertise what we have. Paul is going to get a New Orleans style jazz band for the boat. Jade Barber asked if the rides are a flat rate. Paul said a normal ticket price is $25 for a two-hour trip. Crystal said she’s been working on finding activities for tour buses coming from Niagara Falls. Paul said it depends on what people want to pay too. He’s hoping the NCC wins the “#1 New USA Attraction” designation. We’ll find out on Friday who won. Twan Leenders asked if Paul is running into weed issues. Paul said he is not. He added he is the president of the Chautauqua Lake Association and after spending over 100 days on the lake he didn’t see any issues. He said the lake was clean and weeds didn’t have a chance to grow early last year. Paul added that if the Army Corp can keep the lake level high that it will help keep down weed growth as well. He said Burtis Bay did have the fish kill but overall the lake was awesome. Twan said he saw the same. Paul said boat traffic will help keep the river channel clear as well.
Reports of Committees and Projects
Rotary Project: Crystal Surdyk said this is the centennial year for Rotary and they want to do a project in Jamestown. Crystal’s thought is that the City, Gebbie Foundation, and the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation all find a project they can do together so that they put forward one application versus 3 separate, competing ones. Rotary hasn’t indicated a dollar amount yet but Crystal is hoping to find out more on January 28th. She said Rotary wants a project that their members are able to help contribute to or maintain. Bill Stevenson said he’s working with Luke Fodor to do work behind the NCC on drainage including buying bushes and trees. That planting will happen in the Spring. Twan suggested planting 100 trees to replace the over 100 Ash trees that had to be taken down due to Emerald Ash Borer. Jade asked if fruit bushes would be appropriate to plant on the river bank to help with erosion while providing fruit. Twan said he met with City Arborist Dan Stone and he had to cut down a healthy Locust tree due to bee issues, so have to keep things like that in mind when considering fruit-bearing vegetation. Bill said there used to be a lot of lilac bushes in the city. Jade said there was that woman who met with the RMC a couple years ago who wanted to put in a children’s natural playground. Bill said he talked with the Gebbie Foundation about that idea but it never moved forward. Twan wondered about putting sculptures along the river. Bill said there could be murals or sculptures on the wall. Crystal said that Riverwalk wall is on their radar. Bill said once Fall arrives, it’s hard to keep projects going due to the nature of the seasons. He said the proposed Riverwalk extension will need plantings. Terry said educational signage is still needed. Crystal said historical signage is still in the works. Jades wondered if an interactive project that lets others know where people are from while on the Riverwalk, like a “Where Are You From” map would work too.
Bank Rehabilitation: Twan Leenders said he met with Chautauqua Soil & Water. They have a concept for stormwater management for the south basin. They hope to have a plan in a week or two. Currently, they’re putting together a planting list. Twan said they want the “harbor” area by Panzarella Park to be experimental to show what’s possible and functional. They’re looking at floating planters, including for over on the north side of the river. Twan said hybrid willows can be planted in the water since there’s not a lot of planting room on the north bank. He learned at a planning meeting that the city ordinance requires parking lots to be blacktop or concrete. Crystal said that needs to be changed. Twan said the new medical area is a great area to try porous pavement. Bill said we need to find a material that works too. Twan said the BPU parking lot is causing issues too, so we need to discuss with them too about what can be done. The grant for all of this is a 5-year grant, so he has some time to work out what solutions may work.
Illumination Project: Julia said the illumination request-for-proposal (RFP) went out this week and the city hopes to choose someone by the end of January. Crystal said they hope to light either the BPU silo or the Washington Street Bridge this year, depending on costs. She said they hope to build out that project as well. Crystal added that the engineers have to approve the project.
Bed Tax Funding: Twan asked if the RMC thought he should put in an application for bed tax funding for rehabilitation of the north shore of the Riverwalk. Crystal said he should. Twan said he’s seeing the same erosion issues on the 90-degree angle of the shore and may need to figure out other options. Bill thinks we should go forward with the application too. He wishes we could use the money to go past the Warner Dam because clean up is needed downstream. Twan said he is doing work to map out the channel from the Dam to McCrea Point Park. With the rain we’ve received, he wasn’t able to finish it in the Fall so he’s hoping to complete that in the Spring. He’s working with the DEC with how to deal with invasive species showing up in the channels off the river. Twan wondered if the DEC would be okay about putting in a permeable path to the former Ice House pad off the bike trail. He thought if we propose something to mitigate run-off, maybe they’d be open to that. Crystal said she’d keep that in mind when she talks to her DEC contact.
No meeting in December. Next meeting is Tuesday, February 12, 2019