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Fireboat restoration, new trail in Niagara Falls among new Greenway proposals

Welcome back,cottter local welcome back cotter Cantillon 7
Restoration work on the Edward M. Cotter, a fireboat owned by the City of Buffalo, is one of five proposals going before the Niagara River Greenway Commission. (Sharon Cantillon /Buffalo News file photo)

A proposal to refurbish a floating Buffalo landmark is among the five projects looking for access to a multi-million dollar fund established through a deal with the New York Power Authority.

Friends of the Edward M. Cotter and the sponsors of four other projects want the endorsement of the Niagara River Greenway Commission, which would give them the ability to apply to a $9 million annual fund established as part of the 50-year relicensing of the authority's Niagara Power Project.

The $700,000 restoration project would turn the Cotter into a floating waterfront history center on the Buffalo River, according to the group's application.

The Greenway Commission -- whose membership currently includes six state agencies or authorities as well as other appointees -- holds no power to fund any projects. That power lies with a series of committees and is handled through a separate application process.

In addition to the plans for the fireboat, a proposal for a fishing pier at the end of Tifft Street in Buffalo and an extended trail in Niagara Falls will also come before the state-appointed panel early next year.

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A rendering of the proposed Tifft Street Fishing Pier as displayed during a public meeting of the Outer Harbor Parkway Landscape Panel in March 2008. (Sharon Cantillon /Buffalo News file photo)

The City of Buffalo's $1.88 million plan for the new fishing pier seeks $470,000 in Greenway funding, according to the city's application to the commission.

In Niagara Falls, the Niagara Street Business and Professional Association has proposed a $102,000 project dubbed the "Gill Creek Park educational nature trail." The proposal calls to extend an existing, 450-foot trail along Hyde Park Boulevard and Packard Road north to Ferry Avenue and south to Buffalo Avenue. Read the full application here.

In addition to Buffalo projects and the Niagara Falls trail, the North Tonawanda History Museum wants support for its planned Lumber City History Center, which it calls "an interactive, virtual reality, entertainment-type museum." The project has an estimated cost of $819,000, and the museum is looking for $647,000 in Greenway funding, according to its application.

Also, the Niagara Falls Family YMCA is looking for $261,550 towards its $336,000 capital repair project, according to its application.

The commission is scheduled to take up the requests for endorsement during its Jan. 18 meeting.

--Aaron Besecker

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