CITY RIVERFRONT MANAGEMENT COUNCIL
Meeting held Tuesday, January 9, 2018
The meeting of the Riverfront Management Council of the City of Jamestown, New York, was held on Tuesday, January 9, 2018, at 5:30 p.m.
Those present representing the Council were:
Jeff Lehman, Acting Parks Director
Julia Ciesla-Hanley, Recreation Coordinator
Jim and Lisa Sciriano
The meeting was called to order by Billy Stevenson.
Election of Officers
Chairman: John Bauer motioned to nominate Billy Stevenson as Chairman. Jennifer Lumia seconded the motion. Carried.
Vice-Chairman: Dave Anderson motioned to nominate John Bauer as Vice-Chairman. Jennifer Lumia seconded the motion. Carried
Secretary: John Bauer motioned to nominate Ruth Lundin as Secretary. Dave Anderson seconded. Carried.
Approval of Minutes of Previous Meeting
A motion was made by John Bauer and seconded by Russ Diethrick to approve the minutes of the October 10, 2017 meeting. Carried.
Opportunity For Persons to Address Council
Reports of Committees & Projects
Report from Parks, Recreation & Conservation Commission: Jeff Lehman said the twin pedestrian bridge project and bike path projects are 90% complete at this point. Footbridges will be installed on the bike path this Spring. The McCrea Point Park boat slip has been dredged. The materials that were pulled out are being sent to the County Landfill as landfill cover. The city won’t have to pay for disposal because of that. The state approved that usage of the dredged material. Jeff said he hopes that makes it possible for the Chautauqua Belle to use the boat slip during fringe months. John Bauer asked if they will need a ticket office. Jeff said they will be discussing items like that with them as talks continue. Bill Stevenson asked if benches will be installed on the Ice House pad off the bike path. Jeff said there will be. Dave Anderson asked if there will be boardwalks on the south side of the river going toward Celoron. Jeff said that would be another phase in Riverwalk construction. The city needs state approval for that in addition to funding. The city is working on seeing what might be possible through the Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA). Jeff said the city received the permit to pull out sheet piling in the river by the Board of Public Utilities. That work can’t be done until the fish are down spawning so that will most likely happen in July. It will be a BPU project. Twan Leenders aid the Chautauqua Lake Association was going to try to do it but couldn’t get equipment in. Bill Stevenson asked if lights will be going on the pedestrian bridges. Jeff said there will be. Bill asked about the piazza project. Jeff said that West Second Street in front of the Erie-Lackawanna Train Station will be milled with pavers put down along with accents lights by the National Comedy Center.
River-Tree Work: Bill said a $24,000 grant was obtained for tree cutting on the Chadakoin River. He said the project went well and a lot of unsafe trees were taken down over a 4-day period. The Chautauqua Lake Association helped with a crane to get trees out of the water. Their barge was used as well. The work went from the outlet up to the Warner Dam. Dave Anderson an article in the paper about the clean-up would be good. Bill said the project was done so late in the year that people were not aware it was happening. He thinks maybe an article in April or May would work. Bill stated the Railroad Bridge by the BPU is 6 feet above the water. He talked to the BPU, Jeff Lehman, and Mickey Sorenson about whether the bridge has to stay or if it can be raised in order to allow larger boats to get into the basin. The railroad bridge is not being used by rail traffic any longer but pedestrians aren’t able to walk on it either. Bill said the river below the Warner Dam has tree issues. He’d like to see it cleaned out and what monies are available for that. Dave Anderson said Cassie at Chautauqua Soil & Water is aware of a variety of resources. He said the Conewango Watershed Conservancy cleaned out the river from Harrison to Winsor in 2014. Julia said the Parks Department cleaned up a section near Second Street last year.
Kayak Launch: Twan Leenders asked the status of the launch construction. Jeff said it would be done in 2018. Dave Anderson asked if Jeff will work with Dave Spann to coordinate the projects. Jeff said he would. He added it would happen that once the pedestrian bridge work is done as well as the Warner Damn work being done by the DEC. Jeff thinks signage will be going up to warn about the dam. Dave said the Kinzua Dam has a buoy line. Jeff said some of the money is for a trash removal solution.
Riverwalk Stabilization Project: Twan Leenders met with Dave Spann this morning. He needs to get stakeholders together to work on the next steps. We’re most likely locked out until June 30th. Twan would like to have students involved on the project. He’s not sure what he can do in regards to the DEC giving approval to get in sooner because of the fish spawning. He’d like to do the bank stabilization as soon as possible. Dave Anderson said he’d call DEC Fisheries Biologist Scott Cornett to see what he can do to help. Twan would like to get permeable pavement in of some kind. The Riverwalk doesn’t have to be plowed so it doesn’t have to meet the same standards as streets. Dave asked Jim Sciriano how far his property goes. Jim said it goes right up to the hitch in the road. Dave said they have permission from the BPU for rain gardens and he asked how Jim S. felt about that. Jim said he’s still in wait and see mode because of the National Comedy Center (NCC) opening. He said there will be parking needs and he already sees a lot of traffic on his property. He understands the need for a buffer, but wants to wait. He hasn’t heard from the NCC lately. He had wanted to expand the business but was turned down by the city because it wasn’t the right fit. Jim knows there are other ideas for properties on that side of the river. He said while he couldn’t expand, his request for reduced taxes was denied. Jim said the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation didn’t renew a lease on the space behind his storage facility even though they did $70 to $80-thousand dollars worth of work. He now maintains it but he’s not doing new work on his property. Twan Leenders aid the restoration projects are being done because of all the hard surfaces adjacent to the river causing erosion. He said the restoration work wouldn’t cost Jim anything and it could be removed if he had other plans at some point. Jim said the NCC had contacted him a year ago about archival possibilities at his facility but he has other tenants, so that was an issue. Dave Anderson asked Jim about whether they could do something temporary on the riverbanks. Jim did not want to commit. Twan invited Jim to be part of the project team discussions and Jim said he was open to that. Bill thanked Jim for coming to help continue discussions. Dave said the Riverwalk is like a national park in terms of the multi-uses of the area. He added it’s important to have stakeholders around the table.
Ruth Lundin requested that the scheduling of Spring and Summer walks be put on the agenda.
Lighting: Dave Anderson asked Jeff Lehman where lighting will be in regards to safety. Jeff said the Riverwalk will be lit up in the south basin around the BPU, NCC, and Pedestrian bridge area. The bike path will not be lit as that path will be considered closed with the adjacent parks close for the evening. Kim Ecklund said there is a public perception issue of safety but there are plenty of lights.
Bridge Event: Terry Horner asked if there will be a bridge event this year. Bill said the McCrea Point Park event in July went well. Julia said there will be an event to celebrate the bridge openings on the Riverwalk. Bill said it will be sometime in the Fall. Jim S. mentioned he thought there would be electric being put in on one of the sides of the river for events, but that wasn’t done.
Discussion: Good Of The Order
Julia passed out meeting schedule for 2018.
The next meeting is Tuesday, February 13, 2018 at 5:30 pm.