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Redeveloping Cortland Through Brownfield Strategy Tours

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The City of Cortland hopes to redevelop areas of the city that have been long-abandoned because of previous use, through the Southeast Cortland Redevelopment Strategy, funded by a State Brownfield Opportunity program.

The city hopes that business and community leaders, residents and neighbors will share their visions for the sites.

Urban planner Crystal Surdyk will lead tours of the brownfield areas in the south, southeast and east sections of Cortland. “A lot of the sites are in areas that are formerly heavy industrial areas,” said Surdyk. “That’s kind of why they are where they are today. What this allows us to do is to really form a vision for what we want the future to be.”

Surdyk is hoping to hear from anyone who can offer insight into the future use of the properties. “What we really want to hear is what is important to you. If you have a certain lens or a certain expertise that you can lend to the project.”

Surdyk says the urban planners have already prepared a list of some sites that may be returned to use, “…that may be former industries and may need a certain level of brownfield remediation. We’ve got all of that information and we’ll be looking at them throughout the tours.”

Surdyk says planners would like ideas for sustainable uses for the locations, both short and long-term. “We’re really creatively problem-solving together in the space at the time that we’re doing our site analysis.”

The community visioning tours as they are called, are Thursday at 10 am and 2 pm starting from the OCM BOCES parking lot on Port Watson Street.

A third tour is Friday morning at 10, meeting at Main and South Avenue in Cortland.Surdyk will also be at the Pumpkin Festival Saturday in Cortland, continuing her survey work.

Surdyk will also be at the Pumpkin Festival Saturday in Cortland, continuing her survey work.

Surdyk is an urban planner with Joy Kuebler Landscape of Erie County, contracted by Thoma Development Consultants, which is overseeing the project.

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