Assemblywoman Jenne: Waddington Taking Advantage of Location on St. Lawrence River to Move Forward

July 20, 2017

Waddington Mayor Janet Otto-Cassada (r) shares her vision for future improvements on the community's waterfront with Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul (l) and Assemblywoman Addie A.E. Jenne.

Assemblywoman Addie A.E. Jenne says this week's Bassmaster Elite Series fishing tournament in Waddington will once again showcase one of the greatest fisheries in the world.

"This is the third time in five years Waddington has hosted the event that attracts over 100 professional anglers and thousands of visitors to the community for the four-day event," she noted.

Assemblywoman Jenne said the Bassmaster Elite Series stops in Waddington have brought the nation's attention to the world-class fishery that runs along the northern border of St. Lawrence and Jefferson counties.

"It's no secret that we have to diversify our North Country economy, and our unique geographic location on the shores of the Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River provides us with opportunities few other communities in North America can match," she said.

She praised Waddington Mayor Janet Otto-Cassada and the volunteers that work behind the scenes to make the event a positive experience for fishermen and visitors alike.

"Janet and her committee deserve tremendous credit for their work. It is not an accident that the Bassmaster Elite Series keeps putting Waddington on their tournament schedule. It's a reflection of the hospitality shown the professional fishermen when they are in the region and the community support for the event," Assemblywoman Jenne said.

"It's far more than a fishing tournament although it is exciting to watch the boats launch at 6:15 a.m. each morning and return for weigh-ins beginning at 3:15 p.m. It's also four days of great food, good music and plenty of vendors on the site," Assemblywoman Jenne said.

Assemblywoman Jenne pointed out the tournament is being held during the same week that a new pavilion at Island View Park was opened to the public.

She said a relicensing agreement between New York Power Authority and the Local Government Task Force is providing funding necessary to improve recreational opportunities in the towns of Waddington, Louisville and Massena.

Assemblywoman Jenne joined Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul, State Senator Patty Ritchie and Mayor Otto-Cassada earlier this week to cut the ribbon during the grand opening of the new pavilion that will be used for a variety of events, including the community's popular summer concert series, just a few blocks away from the Whittaker Park site that hosts the Bassmaster events.

The ribbon cutting marked the completion of more than $1.4 million in improvements at Island View Park, a recreation and picnic facility in the Village of Waddington. The improvements include the picnic pavilion with a central hearth, and a separate building containing new bathrooms and catering facilities.

Island View Park is part of several recreational facilities that fall within the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's project boundary for the New York Power Authority's St. Lawrence-FDR Hydropower Plant in Massena.

Work on the Island View Park facilities, which began last fall, stemmed from the Power Authority's 10-year review of the 2003 Relicensing Agreement for the St. Lawrence-FDR Power Project. NYPA, who owns and operates the park, funded the renovations and directed the improvement project.

Assemblywoman Jenne said she was stunned as she walked up and saw the completed pavilion. "I can still remember the early days of this project when Janet rolled out three or four different ideas, and she has made sure the project met the community's needs. It's just amazing. I can't think of a better platform for Waddington to move forward. This is proof we can get it done. I suspect this is just the beginning of many wonderful things that are happening in Waddington," she noted.

"I was pleased to be on hand to celebrate the Power Authority's latest investments in our community. Community resources like these have the double impact of supporting economic development while also making life in the North Country that much nicer for those of us who live, work and enjoy the recreational opportunities available in the community." according to the assemblywoman.

Assemblywoman Jenne said she is excited to see the next projects that will be completed through the partnership between the Power Authority and the Local Government Task Force.

She believes the drive of local officials and completion of these projects puts the region in a stronger standing when seeking to attract major events like this week's major fishing tournament.