COHOES, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Mayor of Cohoes Shawn Morse gave his State of the City address on Thursday after a year ending with a major fire in the heart of downtown.
Cohoes started the year strong after being named New York’s fastest growing city. This name was backed by Quick Real Estate and Economic Development. However, things took a turn later in the year, as Mayor Morse was accused of domestic violence. No charges were ever filed. Also, at the end of November a downtown fire on Remsen Street quickly grew out of control, damaging or destroying more than 30 buildings.
In his address, Mayor Morse focused on the revitalization of the city, reflecting on recent accomplishments and announcing some new projects he hopes will help put Cohoes back on the map.
“As sad as it was, it told people hey look it we’ve been bent before, we just don’t break in Cohoes,” Mayor Morse said.
Mayor Morse feels the City of Cohoes is stronger after last year’s fire on Remsen Street and that they can only go up from here. “Although we’ve a lot of damage, it could have been worse.”
“Our Remsen Street is back to life and it’s vibrant,” Morse said.
Mayor Shawn Morse said last year’s fire on Remsen Street made the city stronger and they can only go up from here.
“Yeah we had a big fire and it really hurt, it stung, but you know what happens the next day, you don’t have time to whine and cry about all the bad things that happened, you get inspired,” Morse said. “There’s really a sense of sadness that it’s taken this long to address the problem.”
Even with the fire, 12 new businesses opened their doors on Remsen in 2017 and the city secured the $15 million needed to turn 787 into a boulevard to make it a safer place for pedestrians.
“It will be a safe highway with every single safety feature that we can find,” Morse said.
Work will start in early spring and construction on new residential apartments that he’ll announce called Remsen Street Place and Mosaic Village, which will in include the 1st floor for people with disabilities.
“Mosaic Village is going to be one of the first of its kind in the nation,” Morse said.
He’ll also reveal plans to double the size of Canal Square Park with a stage designed by RPI and upgrade the sidewalks and streetscape on Remsen.
“When people come, it’s very inviting to them to be here. People don’t have to worry about tripping and falling,” Morse said. “It will be a place that just adds this magic to the middle of our downtown.”
There will also be upgrades to the sidewalks and streetscape on Remsen Street.
“We are going to create a downtown that everybody can be proud of and everybody’s going to want to come to,” Morse said.
Overall, the mayor’s proud of where the city stands and looks forward to the future.
“It’s just really becoming a place that people want to go. It’s becoming a destination,” Morse said. “I want people to know that we are prepared, willing, committed to getting that work done.”
The mayor said that redeveloping the site of the fire will come down to the owner of the property, but that the city is working with owners to figure out a game plan.