Assemblymember Barrett Passes Legislation to Make Columbia County Waterways Eligible for Public Funds

Assemblymember Didi Barrett (D – Columbia, Dutchess) announced she has authored and passed three pieces of legislation to designate creeks in Columbia County as inland waterways (A.9508-AA.9509, and A.10165). These bills designate the Roeliff Jansen Kill, Bash Bish Brook, and the Claverack, Taghkanic, and Agawamuck Creeks as inland waterways making the municipalities they flow through eligible for state and federal funding. These bills have passed the Senate as well and await the governor’s signature.

“These waterways play a critical role in our local economy, environment, and recreational life,” said Assemblymember Barrett. “With this designation, towns and villages along these creeks will be eligible to receive state and federal funds, which can go to not only protecting them from pollution, but also toward infrastructure improvement, flood prevention, and smart economic growth.”

Once signed into law, the following municipalities would be eligible for state and federal funds: Ancram, Austerlitz, Claverack, Copake, Gallatin, Germantown, Greenport, Hillsdale Livingston, Stockport, Taghkanic, and the Village of Philmont.

 “Passage of this bill will assist our town as we apply for private, state and federal funds to invest in historic and environmental infrastructure projects, such as the 1870 Shaw Bridge restoration and other projects that will create jobs, bring tourism, and improve the quality of our water,” said Claverack Councilwoman Katy Cashen.

“We are delighted that both the Roe Jan Kill and the Bash Bish Brook have been designated by the New York State Legislature as inland waterways. Both these streams flow through our town, and in fact the Bash Bish flows virtually through the Hamlet of Copake as it passes under Old Route 22. These designations will make Copake eligible for certain grants which would otherwise be beyond our reach. In 2015 the Copake Town Board adopted a Hamlet Plan which calls for much needed improvements to the streetscape of the Hamlet including creating and improving public spaces and parks. These designations will be invaluable as we work towards revitalization of the Hamlet of Copake,” said Jeanne E. Mettler, Copake Town Board Member and liaison to the Copake Hamlet Revitalization Task Force.
“With these designations we ensure communities up and down the creeks have access to funds to improve their economic and environmental well-being and I urge Governor Cuomo to sign them into law,” added Barrett.