The City of Tonawanda sits as a nexus between two great bodies of water - the Niagara River and the Erie Canal.
Now two recreation projects in the Tonawandas that would improve both trails and docks on the combined waterfronts are being considered for Niagara River Greenway funding.
"This would really make a huge difference in the city," City of Tonawanda Mayor Rick Davis said. "I may be biased, but I think we have the best waterfront in all of Western New York and it's about enhancing that for our residents and visitors."
Here the projects:
The Waterfront Dock Expansion plan in the City of Tonawanda
The Shoreline Trail in both the City and Town of Tonawanda
The Charles N. DeGlopper Memorial Park in Grand Island.
The steering committee for the Niagara River Greenway said they are consistent and with the Greenway goals and therefore will be considered in January for funding by the Buffalo and Erie County Greenway Fund Standing Committee.
That doesn't necessarily mean they will get funding.
The Standing Committee has a pool of $2 million, but but not all of the projects receive automatic funding, said Carol Jansen Sampson, a community liaison with the New York Power Authority.
The Niagara River Greenway Commission has deemed 116 projects with a total project value of over $735 million being consistent. But only $34.8 million has actually been funded.
The City of Tonawanda is asking for $557,380 in Greenway funding to match state funding for the Waterfront Dock Expansion.
Four key locations, two in Niawanda Park and two along the Erie Canal are being considered in the proposal that would add new docks, enhance existing docks and make them all handicapped accessible. The proposal also includes a kayak launch in Niawanda Park and a dedicated boat launch on the river for City of Tonawanda police boats.
The Shoreline Expansion is an $891,000 project that would be funded with a combination of state, county and Greenway funding.
The Shoreline Trail, which was largely built in the 1980s, is one the area's most heavily used multi-use trails, according to Erie County.
The project proposes to improve the aesthetics of the existing 5.92 mile trail, which runs from Niawanda Park in the City of Tonawanda to Isle View Park in the Town of Tonawanda. It would mean repaving and widening some of the heavily used portions of the trail. The project also would add new landscaping, two bicycle repair stations, 15 benches along the trail and enhanced signage and mileage markers.
The DeGlopper Memorial Park Expansion Plan is a $474,760 park beautification project in Grand Island, which would be built to memorialize Charles Neilans DeGlopper, a Grand Island resident who posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Battle of Normandy during World War II.
If approved for funding, the project would include a bronze statue of DeGlopper by Susan Geissler who created the Freedom Crossing and Tuscarora Heroes monuments in Lewiston. The park would be designed to honor all Grand Island soldiers killed in action, as well as all veterans.