Governor Kathy Hochul announced today that construction has been completed on a $2.5 million resilience project awarded to the City of Yates, Orleans County, as part of New York State Resilience and Economic Development Initiative. Yates Town Park serves as the city’s only public recreation space with direct access to Lake Ontario, with more than an acre of open space for recreation, including a gazebo and picnic area, and the new project will be instrumental in helping prevent future flood damage to the park and secure the local economy.
“Many communities in New York continue to be vulnerable to the effects of climate change, and projects like this better protect our coastal communities.” said Governor Hochul. “The Town of Yates Park expansion project will Strengthen flood defense measures and improve shoreline resilience to protect businesses and residents, improve public safety and boost economic development.”
The park is a popular destination for residents and visitors and during the historic flooding of 2019 the park saw significant erosion along the shoreline. The recreation space became inundated with water due to poor drainage, posing safety hazards for park visitors and hampering use of the park. Completed under the REDI program, the resilience project will stabilize the shoreline, mitigate future flooding and ensure continued access to Yates Town Park during flood periods. Resilience measures and park improvements in the project include:
- Upgrades to the park’s drainage and stormwater management systems to address serious drainage and ponding challenges;
- shore stabilization at jetty;
- installing a cartop boat ramp;
- construction of an ADA compliant fishing/water access pier;
- Installation of new playground equipment, a hiking trail, a new pavilion and sanitary facilities;
- Extension of the parking lot of the park; and
- Improvements to landscaping and green spaces.
That said the New York Secretary of State Robert Rodriguez, “Making our waterways accessible to residents and tourists is vital to any local economy. Thanks to the REDI program, the improvements and upgrades to Yates Town Park will ensure the shoreline is protected from future flooding, while also providing a better recreational experience for all visitors for generations to come.”
Basil Seggos, Commissioner for the Department of Environmental Protection and Co-Chair of the REDI Commission, said: “With the support of Gov. Hochul, New York’s REDI investments are successfully redesigning and reconstructing flood-damaged infrastructure, helping promote tourism and developing new economic opportunities in Lake Ontario’s coastal communities. The improved Yates Park will provide residents with years of enjoyment while also attracting new visitors to the area.”
State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said: “This is great news for the Yates community. I applaud the state and local partners for their work to make Yates Town Park safer, more resilient and more accessible to the community.”
Economic Development Initiative Co-Chair and Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said: “Placemaking is an important pillar of New York’s economic development strategy. The resilience of Yates Town Park not only enhances this great public space for residents and visitors to reach Lake Ontario, but also ensures that the area’s waterfront continues to contribute to the local economy.”
State Senator Robert Ortt said: “As we celebrate the Bicentennial of the City of Yates, we also celebrate the completion and opening of a beautiful new green space for families in our community. Yates Town Park will not only serve as a great place for local residents to gather and spend time together, but will also provide protection from Lake Ontario flooding thanks to the shoreline stabilization integrated into this REDI project. The completion of this project is a great example of how the REDI Commission can implement coastal stabilization while combining it with a great community project.”
Rep. Steve Hawley said: “These upgrades to Yates Town Park will help make it a more accessible, safer and more fun family destination than ever before. I am excited that these projects will soon be complete for people far and wide to enjoy and I hope they will encourage locals to spend a day at the park with people they love soon.”
Orleans County Legislature Chairwoman Lynne Johnson said: “As we continue to complete the REDI projects in Orleans County, I would like to thank the Governor and the REDI Commission for their continued support in strengthening our lakefront infrastructure to make it more resilient to future Lake Ontario flooding events. Not only has this project improved our resilience to flood events, but it has also improved the quality of life for members of our community by providing reliable and usable recreational infrastructure for all.”
James Simon, Supervisor of the City of Yates said: “What better way to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the founding of the City of Yates than by cutting the ribbon at our beautifully renovated Lake Ontario city park. We are as grateful for the partnership and support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the REDI Commission as we have navigated this project from design to completion.”
In response to the extensive flooding pattern along the shores of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, New York State established REDI to increase the resilience of coastal communities and promote economic development in the region. Five regional REDI planning committees, composed of representatives from eight counties (Niagara and Orleans, Monroe, Wayne, Cayuga and Oswego, and Jefferson and St. Lawrence), were established to identify local priorities, vulnerable infrastructure and other assets, and public safety To ponder. Through REDI, the state has pledged up to $300 million to help communities and improve resilience in flood-prone regions along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.
Since the establishment of the state REDI program in spring 2019, 134 REDI-funded local and regional projects are underway, including 52 projects in the design phase, 40 projects in the construction phase and 42 completed projects.
Further information, project profiles and REDI news can be found here here.