Letter: No more reasons to worry about our outer harbor | Letters
I am concerned about the future of our outer harbor. Recent decisions made by the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) regarding the development of our outer harbor are made without public participation. Several years ago there were town hall meetings that I attended along with other residents of western New York State. We have reviewed ideas for the future of our outer port. Very good ideas were reviewed and the audience was able to rank them. In the end, it was obvious the public wanted a world-class park with recreational opportunities. An amphitheater was not ranked high on the list. It seems that this public contribution has been forgotten and that ECHDC is moving forward with its own program.
The proposed 8,000-seat amphitheater is a $ 13 million project that competes with other venues in western New York. It will be paid for by taxpayers. The location of our outer port has limited road access. Imagine the traffic jams. How do you manage a crowd of 8,000 people with just one exit?
Also, ECHDC refused to carry out an environmental impact study (EIA). This site is a former wetland that has been backfilled. The backfill was obtained from unknown places which makes one wonder if there are contaminants from our industrialized past. An EIA would determine this.
ECHDC is a development company. Perhaps the future of our outer port will be best managed by the parks in New York State who are experienced and focused on creating parks. Let’s make our shore of Lake Erie a world-class park.