The City of Plattsburgh has reason to celebrate, as it was recently awarded $817,525 in grant funding through the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP). This funding will go towards a project that is part of the larger Beach Improvement Plan, which aims to revitalize the City Beach property and enhance its appeal as a recreational destination for tourists and locals alike.
The City Beach property is a focal point for tourism, attracting visitors from both the U.S. and Canada. In addition to the natural beach along Lake Champlain, the property includes the Crete Center, a 30,000 square foot multipurpose facility used for recreation and special events. Though the beach has maintained its status as a recreational destination, the Crete Center will soon outlive its usefulness if substantial renovations are not done. The City of Plattsburgh Common Council recently voted to apply for a Restore New York Communities Initiative grant through Empire State Development to help fund the demolition of the Crete Memorial Civic Center.
The Beach Improvement Plan was developed in collaboration with Saratoga Associates Landscape Architects, Architects, Engineers, and Planners, who assisted the City with a feasibility study that included an assessment of the entire property. The study provided redevelopment ideas and developed visions for the future of the property that both included and removed the Crete Center.
The preferred concept developed by Saratoga Associates provides enhanced open space with a focus on community recreation. A multipurpose performance pavilion is provided in place of the Crete Center, new waterfront buildings enhance the beach, piers are provided, and a wetland trail network and nature center expand educational opportunities. Cost estimates were developed for the mitigation, remediation, renovation, and restoration of the property, including the redevelopment options for the Crete Center.
In addition, Saratoga Associates completed a comprehensive Implementation Plan for the City Beach concept, which involved a variety of tasks to ensure that the project can be completed successfully. The plan involved SUNY Plattsburgh students to explore the best route for the trail network and identify debris for cleanup in the wooded area, which suggests that community involvement was a key aspect of the project.
In addition to the work done by the students, Saratoga Associates also worked with consultants to conduct a site survey, environmental investigation, wetland delineation, geotechnical investigation, and Phase 1 archaeology study. These investigations ensured that the project complied with any relevant environmental and archaeological regulations and identified any potential challenges that needed to be addressed during the project.
Overall, the City is committed to implementing the plan outlined by Saratoga Associates, as they are planning to construct the trails. Ultimately, the plan includes future dune stabilization and restoration, a long-term commitment to the project and to preserving the natural environment in the area.