The Village of Waterloo has announced the second in a series of public forums to discuss economic development opportunities along the Village‘s canal frontage and at Oak Island.
The forum will held at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 21 at the Waterloo Rec Center. Representatives from the New York Canal Corporation will be on hand to discuss opportunities in the Village.
The initial public forum, held in late March, featured a presentation from representatives of the Waterloo Economic Development Committee and the Canal Corporation‘s Staycation program through the Reimagine the Canals Initiative.
At that forum, residents heard about opportunities for a one–time, pilot platform camping project at Oak Island, including:
- Approximately 6 to 10 temporary platform camping sites on acreage not currently under lease by the Village for a maximum of 12 weeks this Summer;
- Management of the site by a Canal Corporation–designated vendor, with round the clock staffing at the site;
- Continued access to all current Village amenities by residents and visitors to the Island;
- Continued access to the boat launch and adjacent facilities along the canal; and
- Limited clearing of unhealthy trees, invasive species, and underbrush at the island, largely completed earlier in March under the direction of a certified arborist.
This project proposal comes on the heels of years of planning by the Village of Waterloo and the New York Canal Corporation‘s Reimagine the Canals initiative, identifying tourism and canal–side improvements as critical to the economic vitality of the Village. In response to resident interest, the Canal Corporation has worked with Village leadership to facilitate this second forum to achieve multiple objectives, including:
- Provide additional details on the potential operation of a pilot project at the Oak Island site; and
- Hear from neighboring residents and the community as a whole as to the opportunities, challenges, and concerns relating to such a project.
Information developed from this forum will be used to help the Canal Corporation to collaborate with Village leadership on final details for the potential use of Oak Island, as well as to identify other economic development potential along the Cayuga–Seneca Canal. “We were pleased with the response from residents and stakeholders at our first public forum,” said Mayor Jack O‘Connor. “In the spirit of continued collaboration, the Canal Corporation has done as promised, and will return to the Village to hear directly from residents and stakeholders on opportunities at the site. We encourage all to attend and participate.”
The meeting will be facilitated by representatives of the Waterloo Economic Development Committee and the New York Canal Corporation. Due to COVID–19 concerns, residents attending the forum will be required to sign–in upon entry, to wear a mask at all times, and to maintain safe social distancing. All are encouraged to attend.
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