CITY RIVERFRONT MANAGEMENT COUNCIL
Meeting held Tuesday, November 13, 2018
The meeting of the Riverfront Management Council of the City of Jamestown, New York, was held on Tuesday, November 13, 2018, at 5:30 p.m.
Those present representing the Council were:
Julia Ciesla-Hanley, Recreation Coordinator
Crystal Surdyk, City of Jamestown Principal Planner (incoming)
The meeting was called to order by Bill Stevenson.
Approval of Minutes of Previous Meeting
A motion was made by Twan Leenders seconded by Luke Fodor to approve the minutes of the October 9, 2018 meeting. Carried.
Opportunity For Persons to Address Council
Reports of Committees and Projects
Riverwalk/Parks Commission Update:
* Crystal Surdyk said the TAP grant application results should be found out by next meeting for the Riverwalk extension. Bill Stevenson said the cement was being poured and pilings were going in at the old Artone site.
* Julia said the City should hear back on a grant application to the Tony Hawk Foundation for a new skatepark later this month.
* Crystal said a group of city and community members walked Chadakoin Park last week to look at the possible location for a pump track and disc golf course. DPW Assistant Civil Engineer Mark Roetzer will be working on the course design for the pump track. That project hopefully will be worked on this Spring. Crystal said she’d like to do a community event around that. A realtor organization has grant money to do a paint/artwork project and Crystal thinks this might be good to do at the skate park in Chadakoin Park. Bill said it’s great to see the large park area being used.
* Crystal said she spoke with Acting Parks Director Jeff Lehman about putting a path from the bike path to the river overlook. He had met with the Department of Environmental Conservation about putting in a path and they wouldn’t approve it. The overlook is not wheelchair accessible now. The wetland issues make it so we’re not allowed to pave. The DPW is looking at other options. Bill said there were plans to do a boardwalk in other places by the bike trail but those were shot down too. Crystal is hoping we can go back to the DEC another time and see if they have any ideas or suggestions. Bill said if we can tie in the fact that the Resource Center is nearby and that their clients can’t use the overlook now, that it might help us.
* Twan Leenders said the big question about who owns the wall behind the National Comedy Center to the river remains. He said the Gebbie Foundation owns it but is not keen on moving forward with a project right now. They want to wait to see what happens with other projects. Bill said we’re limited in how we can develop that area up to the wall. Twan said paint can be changed easily. He said Gary Peters Jr. was supposed to design an idea for him. Bill also discussed the 3D printer idea. Twan said we could make it something that gets changed every few years.
* Bill said power had been installed at Comedy Park. City Arborist Dan Stone still needs to have a meeting about tree planting on the Riverwalk by the NCC to help with erosion and to help keep people on paved paths. Bill said we’re lucky we haven’t had storms that have caused large erosion issues.
Riverfront Event Discussion
* Luke Fodor asked how we can use the Downtown Revitalization Initiative Event Fund to activate the Riverwalk. He said the process to access it sounded complicated. Crystal said there is a 25% match requirement and you have to have the money upfront for the event and be reimbursed. The match can include in-kind items. She said the Jamestown Local Development Corporation developed a loan program for what you need money wise but that needs to be paid off within 30 days of the event. Bill asked if anyone has applied yet. Crystal said there have been applicants but nothing has been funded as the proposed events were not large enough. The event money is supposed to be used to bring in large groups of people from outside the area to Jamestown. Dave Anderson asked how a group is supposed to pay back the loan in 30 days when it can take the state months to issue a reimbursement. Crystal said the event is supposed to make money so that you have the funds to pay back the loan. Kim Ecklund requested a link be put into the minutes that goes to the DRI event page on the city website:
Crystal said they’ve been telling people to make marketing part of the budget as well. The money has to be used in 2 years but funds are revolving. Jennifer Lumia asked if infrastructure can be funded like seating or garbage cans. Crystal said that’s being looked at. Bill said the NCC is interested but hasn’t brought forward a proposal yet. He added they just hired a new marketing person who had previously worked at Graceland
* Bill met with Ahlstrom Schaeffer about putting in power hook-up at McCrea Point Park for the Chautauqua Belle. The restroom building has 3-phase, which is what the Belle needs. Paul Stage intends to do more rides in the Spring. Bill is encouraging him to approach local schools to do field trips.
* Twan asked when the pedestrian bridge lights will be installed. Kim Ecklund said it’s still on deck. Bill said the piazza lights are being put together still. Ahlstrom Schaeffer had trouble determining where to attach them to the buildings.
* Bank Restabilization: Dave Anderson asked Twan for a project update. Twan said he’s waiting for people to have time to meet. The concept plans need to be developed still. Dave asked if the water plants are still going in. Twan said the kayak launches and parking needs have to be determined before the swales can be put in. Chautauqua Soil & Water are the point on the project but they’re trying to wrap up other projects before winter.
* Dave Anderson wanted to know the requirements for how close a building can be constructed to the river. He said the new Chadakoin Center seems very close to the river. Kim said that would be a Code issue and that he should ask Code Enforcement Officer Larry Scalise. Dave said he’s concerned there is no room for vegetation. Crystal said she will find out the answer and email RMC members. Bill said the Riverwalk extension was supposed to go between the Chadakoin Center and the river. Luke pointed out that the parking garage is on the ground level, so maybe there’s more reinforcement needed for that.
* Bed Tax Grant: Twan said the bed tax grants received have been closed out and reports submitted. Bill asked if we can apply for monies for the north side of the river. Twan said Chautauqua Soil & Water’s Dave Spann was nervous about that due to the steep shore, so it’s a trickier project. He’s not sure what to do because once the trees are gone, the banks will go. Jenn asked if the river flow can be diverted. Twan said that’s a good suggestion but that would affect other areas. He thought the Army Corp of Engineers was going to do some work on the Warner Dam. Dave said he will be at the Chautauqua Soil and Water meeting in the morning and will talk to them. Twan said a study needs to be done and the city should be the one to do it. Crystal asked where the areas of issue were located. Twan said the shore below the National Comedy Center. Crystal said the Jamestown Renaissance Center and Gebbie Foundation are doing a study on boat traffic potential right now. Twan said he’s trying to map the river but the water levels are inconsistent. It may be Spring before that’s complete. Anna Burt said the Chautauqua Rowing Association has to stay toward certain areas of the river and they have shallow boats. Dave said we received 50 inches of rain this year when we normally receive 30 inches. Below the dam, the water is very high due to how much is being let out.
* Luke Fodor asked if we were going to name the park. Bill needs to follow-up on that. Twan said Former Fenton History Center Executive Director Joni Blackman said it was always called “The Rapids.” Kim Ecklund said to follow up to make sure there’s no other name on the record so there aren’t issues. Bill will talk to Norm Carlson at the Fenton History Center tomorrow.
No meeting in December. Next meeting is Tuesday, January 15, 2019