Friday, June 16, 2017

Waiting for the $10 Million

Hudson's application in Round Two of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) was submitted in a timely manner on Wednesday, and now the waiting begins. Last year, Governor Andrew Cuomo began announcing the winners of the $10 million in each of the ten regions of the state in July, but it wasn't until August 18 that he got around to announcing the winner in the Capital Region--our region. Of course, last year, it wasn't us. Maybe this year it will be.


  1. Two things from the R-S list:

    1. "Furgary Shacks Park Development site improvements for public use."

    As if residents can't figure out what to do with Shantytown themselves.

    Citizens, including past club members, are now creating plans for reuse of the site which are historically and ecologically sensitive, and which integrate recreational and educational components which may generate revenue.

    But is the City interested in our efforts? Not a chance!

    For our local politicians, it's much easier to seek the professional-type assistance of those who know next-to-nothing about Hudson. In the end, these efforts are always a reprise of the BFJ Planners (LWRP), an unfortunate experience most recently recollected by our current environmental consultants Randall + West.

    Now we're getting advice on Shantytown, despite the fact that citizens are already discussing planning for the site, and also despite the City's uncooperativeness in these efforts.

    Obviously what's missing from this equation are adults, which is what we're really looking for every time we bring in someone else for this endless parade of planning consultants.

    2. As an example of the tin ear outsiders bring (and can be forgiven for bringing), the Register-Star quotes the President and CEO of Columbia Economic Development Corporation speaking about the Dunn Warehouse:

    “We don’t have to be definitive about how we are going to use it yet.”

    Those were good words. Reading them, I supposed he'd been briefed on last year's planning controversy.

    But at least in the quotation, he went on to say something which certainly limits our expectations of what can be done with the building:

    “We’re still lacking critical mass to create jobs. Right now, we have to figure out what dollar amount you can put into it to incentivize someone to come into it and do something there.”

    Is he saying the City must weigh the cost of refurbishing the building against the likely revenue from a prospective tenant? That places an enormous limit on the way it will be used, and he doesn't even know where the money will come from to repair the structure.

    I hope that I misunderstood him, but I doubt it. This is what happens when governments hurry, excited into action by the latest surprise grant opportunity. It's the wrong way to plan anything (unless you're a committee planning a horse, in which case you'll get the expected camel).

  2. What a stroke of genius, just replace grandparents with grant parents and the old Fisherflok will no longer be needed.

  3. The DPW can't budget money for 7th Street park or a wheelchair ramp for the Promenade and now holds the public hostage until a boat full of grant money arrives from Albany for our park. Maybe then our "servants" will replace the free stewards the city had removed from the North dock wharf.