Council makes right decision

Kudos to the Amsterdam Common Council for agreeing to a contract Wednesday with the state for maintenance of a pedestrian bridge that will connect the city's north and south shores on the Mohawk River.

We hope the decision will finally get this long-awaited project moving forward.

We understand the council's concerns regarding the city's responsibility for the bridge. We also recognize that this project has been politically polarizing since it was approved as part of a statewide transportation bond referendum in 2005.

There are times, however, when politics has to be set aside for the good of Amsterdam, and the council did just that Wednesday night.

People need to understand that millions of dollars aren't just sitting in a shoebox somewhere that anyone can just grab whenever they need it.

The money set aside for the bridge, called the Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook, is specific to this project. The city can't use it for something else.

The bridge is also a key component to revitalizing Amsterdam's waterfront. When all the work is done, it will connect an expanded Riverlink Park to the South Side, where several improvements have already been made in that neighborhood.

With the former Chalmers knitting mills finally down, that land is now prime for development.

The potential that exists along Amsterdam's waterfront is endless, and city lawmakers need to get behind efforts to develop it.

It's refreshing to see council members ask questions and raise concerns, and it's equally refreshing to see them act sensibly when they have their issues addressed.

There's been enough talk about this bridge. It's time to make it happen.