Meeting Clipboard 3/9/23

MEMBERS ATTENDING (16): Jim Leyhane, Andy Leyhane, Roberto Martinez, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Murray Forth, Pat Bailey, Dick Drumm, Jeff Simon, Kevin Leyhane, Debbie Rodriguez, Phil Kellerman, Ray Hannan, Charlie Foote, Becky Raymond, and John Justino.


Hybrid Meeting:  Please let Kevin Leyhane, Jim Leyhane or Roberto Martinez know if you plan to join the weekly meeting via Zoom.

Proxy Votes:  If unable to attend please submit your proxy votes to President Kevin Leyhane or any board member who will be attending the meeting. Proxy votes can also be submitted using the Remind App. Text to the number 81010.

Meeting Notes: Due to the length of the presentation, Club business was tabled until next week.

Next Meeting:  The next meeting will be Thursday, March 16, at 6:00 pm at Moscatiello’s Italian Family Restaurant, Route 4, North Greenbush. Also, you can join the by Zoom using the link on the websites calendar page. Our speaker will be Julie Ritchie of Bees Knees Bakery.

The buffet choices will be Chicken Ceasar Salad, Spaghetti with Meatballs and Cheese Ravioli.

A Canal in Albany

An Albany Riverway Project

Len Tantillo and B.J. Costello

B.J. Costello is in Government Relations and the Education Department of Hinman and Straub, Attorneys at Law. He is also Chair of the Albany Waterways, Inc. He was founder of the Pine Hills Neighborhood Association in 1971 and the Council of Albany Neighborhood Association (CANA) a few years later. He is also Chair of the USS Slater which draws 20,000 visitors per year to Albany.

Len Tantillo is a noted historical artist. He makes his paintings of Albany based on old maps. While doing so, he noticed the maps all had an arc shoreline for the Hudson River in Albany. The shape of the shoreline was altered in the 1950s when the City of Albany began filling in the River. The highway was built limiting access to the waterfront. Projects were proposed over the ensuing years to improve Albany and access to the Hudson River. However, if implemented many of these projects deteriorated over time.

Mr. Tantillo conceptualized the Albany Waterway Project in 1995.  “Instead of bringing the city to the water” he envisioned “bringing the water to the city.” The Times Union promoted the idea in 1996 resulting in $15,000 from Mayor Jennings to develop a concept brochure. He worked with his friends Pat Mahony, a city engineer, Bruce Hiser, a landscape architect and Tiogg Thyagarajam, a city planner. They had two objectives. They did not want to interfere with the highway, and they did not want to tear down any buildings. They came up with the plan to bring the water in through the existing underpass to the South, then up Broadway with a marina in front of SUNY Central and back to the Hudson River near the Central Warehouse to the North.

Nothing was done over the last 25 years. However, now is the time to revisit the project. A canal was built in Providence, Rhode Island. San Antonio developed it’s River Walk. The City of Buffalo developed their waterfront, and the Bricktown Canal was developed in Oklahoma City. All of these projects have helped revitalize these cities. A canal in Albany can create jobs, drive economic development, provide flood remediation and make Albany a destination city.

There are four proposed options. The first is the original proposal. The second is to bring the river in on just the North end by the Central Warehouse and build a marina in the central basin. The area can support commercial structures and pavilions and can host farmers markets and craft fairs. The third is to focus on the area around SUNY Central with a marina and the fourth is to excavate and restore Lock 1 of the Erie Canal. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th options allow for the project to be done in phases.

Pat Fahey, NY State Assembly, had provided funding for an Engineering Feasibility Study. The study should start shortly. Hopefully, Albany Waterways will be included in the process. They need support from City, State and Federal Governments. To find out more and to support Albany Waterways by friending them please go to Special thanks to Stewert Wagner and Peter Brown for their efforts in making this presentation possible.

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