The city of Auburn has been awarded funding from state Sen. John Mannion to support two improvement projects at Hoopes Park.
Mannion, D-Geddes, announced in December that 27 municipalities or organizations in the 50th state Senate District would receive $4.1 million through the State and Municipal Facilities Program, a pot of money legislators can use to support projects in their districts. Auburn was one of the recipients. The city will get $150,000 for the Hoopes Park Gateway and pond wall replacement.
The Hoopes Park upgrades are part of the city's capital improvement plan. The gateway project, according to the plan, would remove "existing insignificant signage" at the park and replace it with new signs. A stone wall would be constructed along the north end of the pond on the East Genesee Street side of the park. There will be a break in the wall for the walkway that connects East Genesee Street to the park's trail.
Mannion's grant would also help the city replace the pond wall at the park. In its capital improvement plan, the city said the pond wall is "currently deteriorating and crumbling in several locations." During the floods that occurred over the summer, water spilled over the wall in some areas.
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"In order to maintain a healthy pond ecosystem, the wall must be fixed and stabilized before it is allowed to deteriorate more," the city wrote in its plan. "The deterioration has seemed to increase within the last three years."
The funding provided by Mannion would cover a portion of the total cost. The estimate for the pond wall replacement is $383,000, while the gateway's construction will cost $130,000.
Mannion told The Citizen that he and his staff had conversations with local municipalities to determine how to best distribute the funding.
"Where I sit in the Senate allows me a level of leverage where I can bring things back home and get some good projects done," he said.
He is familiar with Hoopes Park. It's not only in his district, but he and his wife, Jennifer, have walked the trail at the park.
The largest grant awarded by Mannion is $375,000 to the city of Syracuse for repairs to the Soldier and Sailors Monument in Clinton Square. The town of DeWitt got $200,000 for the Butternut Creek Trail Boardwalk and $180,000 will help fund a bridge allowing students to access an outdoor classroom in Marcellus.
There was one other Cayuga County municipality that received funding. The town of Brutus was awarded $155,000 to add a pavilion at Aqueduct Park, the site of the historic Centreport Aqueduct that was along the Erie Canal.
"Each of these grants enhances our communities in different and important ways including equipment for first responders, honoring our veterans, and improving parks and green space," Mannion said.
Online producer Robert Harding can be reached at (315) 282-2220 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @robertharding.