DELHI – The Friends of Bramley Mountain Fire Tower has received a total of $55,000 for the redevelopment of the Bramley Mountain fire tower.
The Delaware County Economic Development Office’s Tourism Grant Program provided a $25,000 capital improvement grant and the Catskill Watershed Corporation has contributed $30,000 for reserve funding.
Delaware County Economic Development Office’s Capital Improvement Grants are aimed toward the construction on properties owned by municipalities and non-profits that have a direct relationship to tourism in Delaware County.
“Outdoor recreation is a key attribute of Delaware County for tourists and residents alike,” said Glenn Nealis, the director of The Economic Development Office. “The redevelopment of the Bramley Mountain fire tower will significantly enhance the hiking experience of the current trail and create a true tourism asset for the community and surrounding area.”
The Catskill Watershed Corporation supported the fire tower by earmarking $30,000 as a reserve fund in case the tower ever needs to be disassembled.
These funding awards, added to the $60,000 already raised, moves the tower much closer to construction, said Ann Roberti, the president of Friends of Bramley Mountain Fire Tower.
Jason Merwin, the executive director of the CWC said this project “will have a tremendous positive impact on the local economy, tourism, and outdoor recreation in Delaware County and surrounding Watershed communities.
The hiking trail to the top of Bramley Mountain already draws over 3000 hikers per year. Based on statistics at other Catskill Mountain fire towers, the Friends of the Tower predict that, once the tower is in place, the current number of hikers could easily triple to over 10,000 hikers a year.
Many of these potential hikers will come from outside Delaware County, and they will eat, drink, stay and shop in nearby towns.
According to the 2019 Economic Valuation Study for Public Lands in the Central Catskills, in 2018, outdoor recreation brought in 2.7 million visitors who spent an estimated $169.7 million with local businesses. Those visitors spend an average of $62.70 apiece, and those funds supported 1,882 jobs.
Based on this study and based on the projection for additional visitors to the region, the restored Fire Tower on Bramley Mountain could bring more than $400,000 into Delaware County.
More information on the project can be found at https://bramleymountainfiretower.org/