The New York State Barge Canal has opened for its 188th navigation season after a turbulent season last year that included extensive damage from tropical storms Irene and Lee. The Canal Corp. has spent about $30 million since the fall in emergency repairs. Lock 10 in Cranesville and Lock 11 in Amsterdam sustained heavy damage in our area. In addition, the Main Street bridge at Lock 12 connecting Tribes Hill and Fort Hunter was closed for several weeks after Tropical Storm Irene.
Guy Park Manor, which is near Lock 11 in Amsterdam, also was devastated from the flooding last summer. The historic building, owned by the Canal Corp., is still under repair. The new state budget includes $600,000 to stabilize and repair the manor.
The damage to the building displaced the Walter Elwood Museum, but some good could come out of the destruction. The Canal Corp. is considering moving its offices from Albany to the Amsterdam site.
"It makes all the sense in the world for [the Canal Corp.] to be at Guy Park Manor, which is right on the canal," Canal Corp. Director Brian Stratton said last month.
Having the corporation's offices and some of its employees in Amsterdam would give a nice boost to the city and surrounding area. It would help the economy, support tourism and make good use of the historic building. The move would be logical for the Canal Corp., whose operators could see the canal they supervise right from their office windows.
We encourage the Canal Corp. to move to Guy Park Manor, and we hope our local state legislators are pressing for it.