Community should get behind the river walk

A key part of Amsterdam's revitalization starts with the area along the Mohawk River. A plan to create a walkway from Riverlink Park to Guy Park Manor is just another part of that effort and should be supported by city officials.

Amsterdam has an advantage with riverfront development that many other cities along the Mohawk do not have because it has shorelines on both sides of the waterway. Building a river walk is an extension of Riverlink Park and will provide access to a pedestrian bridge that will connect the city's north and south sides.

In addition, the creation of the walkway provides more recreational opportunities and has the potential to attract people from outside the city. It also provides another boost to improvements on the South Side, which is already growing with several shops, bars and restaurants.

Detractors are right to be concerned with the state of the city's finances, and fixing those problems are and should be the number one priority at City Hall.

But the problem with the books doesn't mean redevelopment efforts should be stopped dead in their tracks. Amsterdam cannot grow or prosper without some sort of investment.

These plans are not new, and have been part of the city's waterfront revitalization picture since the idea of Riverlink Park was formed nearly 20 years ago. The river walk has been part of that effort all along.

We urge city residents to learn as much as they can about this project and perhaps forward some additional ideas about developing the area around the river. The public has until Dec. 4 to make comments, some of which will be included in a final report that will be presented to the Common Council for approval.

In addition, we urge the public to get behind these plans and contact their aldermen and lobby them for support. Halting this project will only set the city back. Moving forward should be our focus.