PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- Sen. Charles Schumer called on the Army Corps of Engineers to clear the way for the city's waterfront redevelopment plan Wednesday morning.
"Peekskill is on the move and this will be the crowning jewel," Schumer told those on hand at Riverfront Green Park. "We can't let bureaucracy hold it up, but that's what's happening."
The city has submitted its joint application to the U.S. Army Corps and the state Department of Environmental Conservation for the project and the corps' approval is the last thing needed before work can begin. City officials said they are worried that, if the project is not approved soon, they may not have enough time to bid for contracts during this year’s construction season.
This first phase of the multi-phase project includes the creation of retaining walls, sewage lines and additional erosion prevention safeguards designed to protect the river during the next phase of construction, which includes the construction of a new boardwalk and park area, pedestrian trails and river access area and new parking decks for downtown businesses.
Schumer said he attributed the delay to a backlog of work on the part of the corps more than any disagreement about the work itself.
"The Army Corps is not saying no - we don't want to give that impression and in fairness to them with all these budget cuts they get overwhelmed," Schumer said. "But it's my job to take projects that are important to my state to put them right up front."
Peekskill Director of Planning Anthony Ruggiero said the waterfront project was moving on schedule but will soon come to a halt without the proper approval.