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The Telegram
  • Future of Frankfort waterfront area discussed

  • Cleanup efforts are continuing at the former Union Fork and Hoe site, but the future use of that land has yet to be determined.

    Residents of the village and town of Frankfort were invited to a workshop Tuesday evening to discuss what they would like to see happen.

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  • Cleanup efforts are continuing at the former Union Fork and Hoe site, but the future use of that land has yet to be determined.
    Residents of the village and town of Frankfort were invited to a workshop Tuesday evening to discuss what they would like to see happen.
    The village and town received funding through the New York State Department of State’s Brownfield Opportunity Area Program to complete a pre-nomination study for the approximately 470-acre area between Main Street and the Mohawk River.
    Keith Ewald, project landscape architect and project planner with Barton and Loguidice, of Syracuse, told those in attendance the purpose of the meeting was to gather input from the community to help the local committee, headed by Village Clerk Karlee Tamburro, to develop a vision statement for the community. He said the pre-nomination phase of the project offers the community a chance to recognize the opportunities the brownfield area and to develop a vision statement. Some preliminary analysis work will also be included.
    “We’ll work with the committee and the state to formulate a plan that can be readily understood by everybody,” said Ewald.
    He said a brownfield area is defined by the state Department of Environmental Conservation as any real property on which future development is complicated by the presence of contaminants.
    Ewald listed several incidents in which brownfield areas had been successfully redeveloped. An industrial park was created on a large former industrial site in Buffalo. The Paper Mill Island in Baldswinsville was turned into a park, complete with an amphitheater and the development of the park precipitated positive changes in the surrounding community.
    Dave McLeod, of the New York State Department of State Communities and Waterfronts, said residents shouldn’t look only at the brownfield site itself, but think about the whole study area. “What needs to happen to make this a great place for you to be, so that people want to live here,” he asked. “What would you like to be able to write on a postcard to a friend or relative to brag about your community? You need to set a direction. It’s like planning a trip. You need to know where you’re going.”
    Ewald said the local waterfront could be part of the community’s vision, building on the services offered at the Frankfort Marina.
    Frankfort Town Supervisor Joseph Kinney noted a considerable amount of state and federal money has been invested in the Pumpkin Patch site to create an industrial park there. “We do not want to be in competition with that; we want to support the goals at the Pumpkin Patch,” he said.
    Ewald said that developing a project that would complement or augment that industrial park could be a goal.
    Page 2 of 2 - Local resident Andrew Zaffarano suggested the site could be used to improve access to Industrial Drive. “There are three businesses there and there’s a lot of traffic,” he said. He also suggested  assisted living opportunities be explored and possibly a medical clinic. The area would be close to Main Street with easy access to a grocery store, pharmacy and restaurants.
    It was noted there are plans in the works to improve access to Industrial Drive.
    Questions were raised about whether or not housing could be developed in a brownfield area and about whether wetlands or the fact that much of the site is in a flood plain would hinder development.
    Ewald said it is possible to build in a flood plain if the work is done properly. If wetlands are eliminated in one area, they must be redeveloped in another, he said. It was also noted while some areas may not be suitable for residential uses, others may be.
    Recreational uses such as bike paths and walking paths were also mentioned.
    Ewald said environmentally friendly uses could be attractive to developers, who can receive tax credits for “green” uses.
    Residents who have suggestions about the project may submit them over the next week or so to Tamburro at ktamburro@villageoffrankfortny.org or to Ewald at kewald@bartonandloguidice.com.
    The committee will meet again to work on a vision statement, taking into account the input from the public. Another public meeting will be conducted to announce the vision statement.
    Jeremy Silverman, senior project manager from Grant and Essential Management Services, said the committee hopes to submit its application in March to be considered for funding for the next step in the process.
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