Hoosick Falls Village board weighs Greenway land acquisition


Editor's Note: The Greenway route was originally described incorrectly: It runs along the east side of the Hoosic River from the southern board of the village of the water treatment facility to the north border by the waste water treatment facility. Also, the two grants that were mentioned have been allotted and are now winding down. The committee is waiting to write new grants to see what it is eligible for after the land acquisition.

HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. -- The Hoosick Falls village select board is scheduled to vote on whether to approve the Hoosic River Greenway committee's proposed acquisition of riverfront land from Pan Am Railway, extending north of the water treatment facility.

The next village board meeting is on Tuesday, Aug. 12, at 6 p.m. in the municipal building, 24 Main St., in which Greenway supporter Village Mayor David Borge will advocate for the land acquisition.

A 2.5-mile long section of abandoned rail bed was purchased from Pan Am in 2009 with funds raised by a committee, with the help of the Hoosic River Watershed Association, to tamp down a cycle path and walkway to form the Hoosic River Greenway. That path extends from the southern end of the village limits near the water treatment facility, along the east side of the river to the waste water treatment facility.

The Greenway committee now seeks to obtain another mile-long stretch of track that extends north of the waste water treatment facility, beyond village limits. That section was not included in the original purchase because Pan Am wasn't sure how much of it the company owned.

Committee member Paula Kamperman said the only struggle the board might face in their decision is the fact that all of the proposed land acquisition lies outside the village limits. She also said it's difficult to get the public on board, because many don't even know the Greenway exists.

"We've done some events, but they aren't always well-attended; I don't even think people often realize what we are talking about," Kamperman said. "Build it and they will come is the philosophy we have more or less been taking the tack on because we haven't found a lot of public support."

The committee is running through the rest of its funds from two separate grants: One federal and one from the state of New York. If the select board approves the land acquisition, those the committee will seek out additional fund raising and seek eligibility for additional grants.

The Greenway committee meets on the last Wednesday of every month at 6 p.m. at the municipal building. Finalizing grant requests and promoting greenway visibility and use through signage are on the upcoming agenda.

Find more information about the Greenway or on how to get involved at the Hoosic River Greenway website at http://www.hoosicrivergreenway.com/default.html.

Contact Tom Momberg at tmomberg@benningtonbanner.com. Follow him on Twitter @TomMomberg.


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