December 28, 2012 – 2:00 AM
The City of Port Jervis was awarded a $49,045 grant from the New York state Division of Coastal Resources last week to advance the proposed Port Jervis Whitewater Kayak Park project.
Grant funds will be used to refine project design plans and engineering based on feedback from the regulatory agencies and to develop bid plans and documents for project construction.
The city’s grant is part of the 2012 statewide consolidated funding package that includes $92.8 million in funds for 84 projects throughout the Hudson Valley.
Mayor Russell R. Potter said, “The Port Jervis Whitewater Kayak Park is a new and unique concept for a public recreation area that has long been a ‘sleeping giant’ in the Port Jervis community, namely Riverside Park, a 40-acre prime waterfront site in downtown in Port Jervis. This state grant will fund the last phase of the project design and planning process and bring us very close to putting a shovel in the ground for construction of the park.
"The Port Jervis Whitewater Kayak Park will serve as a premier kayak destination for thousands of tri-state boaters, swimmers, and fishing enthusiasts, with viewing areas alongside the river for passive recreation,” Potter said. “We envision the park to include streamside seating, picnic areas, walking trails, and deep, slow pools and eddies for increased fishing access.”
The Port Jervis Whitewater Kayak Park has been a pivotal project for the city since the beginning of Potter’s administration and was featured in the Port Jervis Delaware River Waterfront Redevelopment Plan that was adopted by the city. In 2010, Potter assembled a panel including private citizens, business owners, kayak experts, and whitewater enthusiasts to spearhead the development of the whitewater kayak park.
“I’m extremely grateful to the governor, Secretary of State Cesar Perales, and the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council for making this critical funding available to Port Jervis,” Potter said, “with special thanks to (state) Sen. John Bonacic, who has been working closely with the city of Port Jervis to help us realize the success of this important project.”
To date, the city has invested $60,000 in the engineering and design of the Whitewater Kayak Park, including a $10,000 Orange County Planning Grant and $50,000 received by the Orange County Industrial Development Agency.
“The opportunity to recreate on the Delaware River is a major quality-of-life issue for Port Jervis residents,” Potter said, “and the Port Jervis Whitewater Kayak Park will serve as a key economic development anchor and attraction for thousands of visitors to Port Jervis and the tri-state area.”
Information for this story was provided by Anna Tison, administrative assistant to Port Jervis Mayor Russ Potter.