SODUS POINT — On a chilly Friday, with summer visitors long gone, state officials toured one of the project sites set to receive funding under Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Lake Ontario Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative, or REDI.
At Sodus Point Beach Park, according to the Department of Environmental Conservation, were state Housing and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas and Department of Environmental Conservation Region 8 Director Paul D’Amato. They toured the area with Sodus Point Mayor Dave McDowell. The site tour followed a Wayne County REDI Planning Committee meeting.
The popular beach is one of 10 Wayne County projects receiving an estimated $41 million in state funding through REDI to mitigate shoreline flooding damage.
Visnauskas said that “Gov. Cuomo has been the champion these shoreline communities need at a time we need one the most. He has demonstrated a long-term and sustained commitment. The governor’s boots have been on the ground in some of the hardest hit areas before, during, and after the flooding and he’s delivered real results.”
Added D’Amato: “Gov. Cuomo saw right away that the state needed to step in and lead to help Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River shoreline communities build back after high water in 2017, and again in 2019. The governor also recognized that we needed to build back smarter and more sustainably. By partnering with state agencies, and working with partners like village of Sodus Point Mayor Dave McDowell, we are helping build this community back better and smarter.”
Besides McDowell, the tour included other members of the Wayne County REDI Planning Committee, the DEC said.
As part of the state’s ongoing response to record flooding that hit the Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River shoreline communities this past summer — as it did in 2017 — Cuomo created the REDI commission, a multi-agency team tasked with “studying sustainable solutions to strengthen infrastructure and mitigate impacts from future flooding along Lake Ontario’s waterfront, while bolstering the region’s local economies,” said the DEC.
In addition to the $490,000 for the Sodus Point Beach project, highlights of projects receiving funding include:
• A $14.6 million long-term restoration project at Crescent Beach in the town of Huron.
• $12.2 million to reconstruct shoreline and stabilize the bluff along Blind Sodus Bay in the town of Wolcott.
• $3.3 million for the Port Bay project in the towns of Wolcott and Huron.
• $7.4 million to address flooding on Wickham Boulevard and Greig Street in Sodus Point.
• $400,000 to protect the Ontario main wastewater treatment plant in Ontario.
• $260,000 to protect the town of Williamson’s water intake system.
• $590,000 to stabilize the shoreline and address erosion as part of the White Birch Campground Wastewater Infrastructure project in Sodus Point.
• 342,000 to restore and improve shoreline along Lakestones Drive in Sodus Point.
• $1.8 million to repair and restore shoreline for the Ontario Drive Stormwater Outlets project in the town of Ontario.
The DEC said the state has committed up to $300 million to rebuild the shoreline, as well as improve resiliency in flood-prone regions along Lake Ontario. The REDI Commission has also allocated $20 million for homeowner assistance, $30 million to improve the resiliency of businesses and $15 million toward a regional dredging effort that will benefit each of the eight counties. The remaining balance, $235 million, according to the DEC, has been allocated toward local and regional projects that advance and exemplify the REDI mission.
According to the DEC, the REDI Commission will hold an implementation conference Nov. 20 in Albany. The conference will provide REDI funding recipients with information about project implementation, including permitting and environmental reviews, as well as an opportunity to meet with relevant state agencies to ensure REDI projects are implemented as soon as possible.