Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie joined Assemblymember Addie Jenne today in the North Country on his third stop of a statewide tour of New York to experience the region's tourism attractions during a trip to the Antique Boat Museum and witness first-hand the damage caused by recent historic flooding along the Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River coastlines.
"The North Country has an abundance of exciting tourism opportunities, particularly for boating enthusiasts," said Heastie. "The region has tremendous potential for economic development through tourism, but we must ensure that the communities affected by the recent Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River flooding are able to get back on their feet. Our $55 million investment to create a flood recovery grant program will help do just that."
"I was pleased to have the speaker in the district today so he could get a first-hand look at one of our region's greatest assets, the St. Lawrence River," said Assemblymember Jenne. "We spent the day looking at the river and its impact on our local economy. The speaker had an opportunity to see our region's ties in the past to the boat building industry with a stop at the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton, and got a first-hand look at the present conditions as we headed out on the water and saw some of the impact of the high water levels and looked at steps that can be taken to grow jobs tied to our river heritage in the future."
The North Country encompasses the coastline of Lake Ontario as well as the St. Lawrence River and attracts countless passionate boaters, sailors and fishermen. During today's trip, Heastie and Jenne visited the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton, a national institution for boating enthusiasts and a historical and cultural landmark for North American maritime heritage.
Following their visit to the Antique Boat Museum, Heastie and Jenne visited the Boldt Yacht House and the Boldt Castle. Located in Alexandria Bay in the Thousand Islands, the Boldt Castle Yacht House has been a premier attraction in the region until, however, the facility was forced to close due to flooding damage.
In late June, the Assembly passed legislation to establish a $55 million flood recovery grant program to assist small businesses, farms, property owners, and municipalities. The funding will bring relief to communities and businesses like the Boldt Castle Yacht House to recover from flood damage so that they can continue to make substantial economic and cultural contributions to the region.
Assemblymember Jenne added, "Speaker Heastie was very supportive of our efforts to bring flood relief funding to the North Country to assist businesses and property owners impacted by the flooding, and this trip provided him with an opportunity to see first-hand some of the challenges that have resulted from the high water levels. The residents of New York State only benefit from the Speaker's willingness to travel the state to get a better understanding of the unique challenges facing different regions of our state."