A riverwalk for Narrowsburg?

Posted 8/17/22

NARROWSBURG, NY — Tusten may revisit a project that has lain uncompleted for decades: a riverwalk in downtown Narrowsburg.

Tusten Town Board member Jane Luchsinger re-introduced the project …

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A riverwalk for Narrowsburg?


NARROWSBURG, NY — Tusten may revisit a project that has lain uncompleted for decades: a riverwalk in downtown Narrowsburg.

Tusten Town Board member Jane Luchsinger re-introduced the project at a board meeting on August 9.

The idea was floated as early as 1996, when a Waterfront Revitalization Study recommended ways to connect Main Street with the Delaware River. Subsequent comprehensive plans in 2007 and 2021 referenced the concept and recommended its implementation.

The firm Bone/Levine Architects drafted plans for Narrowsburg’s riverwalk, which can be seen at bonelevine.net/narrowsburgesplanade. The plan’s vision includes a set of grassy terraces stepping down from the current site of the Main Street deck to the Delaware River; a walkway sweeping from there behind Main Street’s businesses under the Narrowsburg-Darbytown bridge, and a small half-moon amphitheater on the rocks below the current Veterans’ Memorial.

At Luchsinger’s request, the board authorized a letter of intent to apply for a NY Forward grant for the project. The NY Forward program provides state funding for programs to revitalize small, rural downtowns. By submitting a letter of intent, which was due August 10, the town qualifies for technical assistance from the state in completing its application (due September 23).

The money could help in a number of areas related to downtown revitalization, said Luchsinger, including the refurbishment of vacant buildings. But the core of the application focused on the riverwalk project.

The pursuit of the riverwalk project divided Tusten in earlier decades. The town board authorized $150,000 to execute the Bone/Levine plan in 2012, according to a River Reporter article from the March 1-7, 2012 issue. (Click here to read that article.) Board members and residents alike had differing opinions on the project at that time, and the project ultimately went uncompleted.

Past tensions resurfaced at the meeting on August 9.

Tusten resident Mike Farrell voiced his opposition to the riverwalk project during the meeting’s public comment period. The town’s previous attempts at a riverwalk had cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, Farrell said. In the interim, businesses along Main Street had begun to use the Delaware River on their own initiative, putting up decks and highlighting river-facing windows. Why spend additional money to encourage something that was happening of its own accord?

To try and revive the riverwalk is a disastrous idea, said Farrell.

It’s great that merchants are using the river, said Luchsinger. If the town could amplify their effort, it should.

Advice on conservation

The board held off on another piece of business at its August 9 meeting.

At a workshop meeting the previous week, the board held a public hearing on the establishment of a Conservation Advisory Council (CAC). The CAC would advise the town’s various boards on environmental matters, ensuring those boards considered the environmental impact of their decisions.

The board had indicated at that workshop meeting it would authorize the CAC and choose preliminary members for it on August 9. During the later meeting, the board chose members for the CAC, but delayed a vote on the local law authorizing it to the following month.

Board members celebrated the diversity of the six members chosen for the CAC, hailing as they did from multiple regions of Tusten.

Correction: An earlier version of this article stated in error that the Tusten town board chose nine members for its Conservation Advisory Council. The board chose six members at its August 9 meeting, and has the option to choose up to nine. This has been corrected as of August 30, 3:30 p.m.. 

Narrowsburg, conservation advisory council, Tusten, riverwalk


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