By Gwendolyn Craig
U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer announced over $2 million from a federal omnibus spending package for economic development projects in Warren, Washington and Essex counties during his Thursday stop in Glens Falls.
In the Adirondacks, Fort Ticonderoga in Essex County will receive $500,000 for restoration of the 18th-century fort’s exterior walls. The Warren County Employment and Training Administration will receive $205,000 for childcare provider businesses. Just outside of the Blue Line, Glens Falls will get $439,000 to restore its city hall. Fort Edward, in Washington County, will get $950,000 for improvements to the former General Electric dewatering facility, an industrial site where toxic PCBs were removed from the Hudson River.
The Democrat and Senate majority leader said the funding will help the region prosper and grow.
“I never run out of energy when it comes to delivering for New York,” he said.
Schumer took few off-topic questions, though did tell Adirondack Explorer that he was looking forward to more Canadian neighbors visiting the region and keeping the region’s tourist destinations open.
“We worked very, very hard to get Canada to open up its border,” Schumer said. “Now, the U.S. border is less open than the Canadian border. We are pushing the Department of Homeland Security to loosen up so we can have the tourists. A lot of tourists that come here are from Canada.”
The news conference took place outside of Glens Falls City Hall. Schumer’s backdrop included scaffolding on the front of the Ridge Street building. Mayor William Collins said the building’s roof is getting replaced. The city is also upgrading to a new heat pump system that will make the building “net zero” for carbon emissions.
Joking about earmarked projects in the federal budget, Schumer said Fort Ticonderoga’s funding is a more transparent example of a project he is backing under “congressionally directed spending.” Reminiscing about his family visits to the historical battlefield on the shores of Lake Champlain, Schumer called Fort Ticonderoga a tourism anchor and attraction for the North Country. The funding will restore and rehab parts of the walls that have degraded from weather and wear.
The Warren/Washington Counties Industrial Development Agency is the recipient of the industrial park funding. The site is getting a new name: Canalside Energy Park. Schumer said the nearly $1 million will be used to upgrade water and wastewater infrastructure, install a natural gas line and improve electrical supply.
“This will assist the IDA with attracting new businesses to Washington County and create jobs in an area that has been devastated by the loss of manufacturing over the past 10 years,” according to a news release.
The $205,000 for the Warren County Employment and Training Administration will cover state licensing and start-up costs for local child care businesses. Schumer said the effort will free up more stay-at-home parents to get back into the workforce as well as create new child care jobs.