State plans projects at local recreation sites

The state is planning improvements at several outdoor recreation sites in the area.

Local projects are among more than $17 million worth of improvements planned statewide.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently announced funding for projects at the Northville boat launch, the Northampton Beach state campground and Hamilton County’s Moffit Beach state campground.

The state is planning projects at more than 100 sites beginning this summer. The projects aim to improve recreation areas on public lands, including campgrounds, day-use areas, trails and boat launches.

The state will spend $190,000 to improve the Northville boat launch in Northampton; and $139,531 and $5,000, respectively, to improve the sanitary sewer system and water supply at the Northampton State Campground.

The state will spend $1.3 million to replace a shower building at the Moffitt Beach Campground in Hamilton County.

Northampton Supervisor Linda Kemper said Wednesday new ramps were put in this spring at the boat launch next to the dock. She said the state is talking about paving the parking area near the boathouse.

State Department of Environmental Conservation Region 5 spokesman David Winchell said he was unsure about the specific improvements planned for the launch.

“Improving the infrastructure of New York’s outdoor recreation hot spots will help spur economic development and job creation, boost tourism and strengthen regional economies,” Cuomo said in a news release. “New York’s vast network of camping, hiking, fishing and boating recreation sites provide millions of tourists with incredible opportunities for outdoor adventures at every turn. This funding, an important component of our New York Works program, will help upgrade and expand recreation prospects across the state and allow even more visitors to take advantage of the tremendous natural resources New York has to offer.”

The Northville boat launch is handicapped-accessible and has parking for 60 cars and trailers.

Previous renovations extended the boat launch ramp by 30 feet.

“In the past, it was difficult to launch and retrieve boats when the water levels of the reservoir were very low,” Winchell said.

The boat launch is right off Route 30.

“It’s a big asset for our community; the whole area is great,” said Northville Councilman William Gritsavage.

Under New York Works II, $12 million will pay for 27 projects across the state to develop, renovate or reconstruct boat launches; improve trails and public access, including work related to Americans with Disabilities Act compliance; and upgrade infrastructure such as roads, bridges, utilities and buildings.

In addition, 83 projects totaling $5 million will use state money for projects that include enhanced fishing and boating access, educational camp and center improvements, new kiosks, and upgrades to campgrounds, day-use areas, roads and parking areas.

Among the projects being funded are those that will improve public access to the former Finch lands along the Hudson River between Newcomb and Indian Lake this summer and into the Essex Chain of Lakes this fall.

“New York’s beautiful natural resources offer great outdoor experiences for individuals and families, whether it is a day trip, afternoon hike swim, or overnight stay,” DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said in the news release. “Gov. Cuomo recognizes that outdoor recreation is a boon to local economies and improves the quality of life for New Yorkers. These projects will help to ensure that our outdoor recreation facilities are easily accessible and offer a multitude of activities for people of all ages.”

Reporter Crystal Baumes contributed to this report.