TOURISM PROMOTION, COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
The CWC partnered with the NYC DEP, the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce and several other organizations to help initiate and promote non-motorized recreational boating on four NYC reservoirs. Following a three-year pilot project on the Cannonsville Reservoir, the program was expanded to Pepacton, Schoharie and Neversink. Funding from the CFF helped vendors purchase equipment to steam clean canoes, kayaks, sailboats and rowboats; furnished portable toilets and boat racks for launch sites; and published promotional materials. Details on this very popular program can be found here.
Outdoor Recreation Promotion
In keeping with its interest in stimulating tourism and outdoor recreation as economic development engines, the CWC received and matched a NYS Catskill Park Smart Growth Implementation Grant to develop and carry out a plan to install wayfinding signage to local, state and city-owned recreational resources in the Catskill Park. In addition, the CWC was named to coordinate a state-funded project to engage consultants to develop a recreational use Master Plan for the Catskills, and to improve access points and install informational kiosks at hiking, biking and snowmobile trailheads.
Watershed Education, Job Creation and Energy Conservation Initiative
CWC supported five projects, one in each county in the WOH Watershed, combining educational services, job inducement and renewable energy promotion.
- Daniel Pierce Library, Grahamsville, Town of Neversink, Sullivan County.
Energy saving geo-thermal heating and cooling system
- Margaretville E-Center, Town of Middletown, Delaware County.
Energy conservation measures in a 1908 historic Main Street building
- Ashokan Center, Town of Olive, Ulster County
Relocation and reconstruction assistance to help the education and cultural center move out of the Esopus Creek floodplain and create a new energy-efficient campus
- Mountain Top Library and Learning Center, Village of Tannersville, Greene County
New windows, lighting and other energy saving measures in a renovated 8,000-square-foot building
- Margaretville Telephone Company (MTC)
Expansion of high speed internet access technology to underserved parts of Schoharie County. CWC loans have allowed MTC to carry this expansion into other areas of the Watershed.
Hospital/Health Care Industry Loan Program
In 2002, recognizing the fiscal stress being experienced by hospitals and health care facilities which provide hundreds of jobs and critical services to residents of the Watershed, the CWC created a special $5 million fund within the CFF to provide low-interest loans to not-for-profit healthcare institutions located in Watershed towns. Four institutions took advantage of the funding to improve facilities and secure jobs.
Green Concierge Project
CWC funds helped retain Hospitality Green, an environmental consulting firm, to train 150 tourism and lodging facilities in the Catskill region to improve economic and environmental sustainability practices.
Catskills Grass Bio-Energy Project
CWC supported a research project to test grass pellet-burning stoves and furnaces at several locations in the Watershed. Cornell Cooperative Extension, Delaware County coordinated the project to examine whether growing and processing grass for heating purposes could be a revenue source for landowners and entrepreneurs.
Delaware Inn Rehabilitation
A CWC holding company funded the purchase and renovation of the landmark Delaware Inn in the Village of Stamford, Delaware County to restore this deteriorated commercial structure to active use. Equipped with geothermal heat and solar-powered electricity, the structure was leased in 2017 to a veterans’ service organization to provide housing and hospitality training for homeless vets.
Flood Recovery Programs
The CWC, responding to flood emergencies of August and September 2011, established a fund within the CFF to help small businesses repair structural damage and get back on their feet. More than $3 million in repair grants was disbursed directly to some 150 business owners. A grant program to assist flood-damaged non-profit organizations was opened in 2013. The NYC DEP contributed $1 million to this effort.
A program to provide low-interest loans to municipalities was established in 2014 to help property owners pay for lateral hookups to sewer systems being built or expanded under New York City’s New Infrastructure or Sewer Extension Programs.
In 2013, CWC funded a pilot project in the Village of Fleischmanns, Delaware County, to construct municipal sewer mains to serve existing or flood-relocated businesses.
A special loan program was established in 2016 to allow CWC-member municipalities the opportunity to apply for low-interest loans for municipal purposes.