Press-Republican

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March 24, 2014

City, town collaboration workshop lauded

Collaboration workshop raises several options

PLATTSBURGH — A collaborative workshop between the town and city of Plattsburgh led to a number of ideas for future efforts.

After a presentation by Laberge Group Director of Planning and Community Development Ben Syden, members of similar departments in the town and city sat down to explore ways they could work together to share services and/or resources. 

The goal is to develop ways to operate more efficiently and provide better services at a lower cost, Syden said. 

City of Plattsburgh Recreation Department Director Steve Peters said the city and town would like to do a countywide survey on events and facilities people would like to see.

Town of Plattsburgh Recreation Director Melanie Defayette said it’s important their departments don’t just tell people what’s available.

“We have to find out what people want,” she said.

COLLABORATIVE EFFORTS

Peters said they would also like to work together to develop a community calendar-type data base that could be available through a downloadable app. In addition to recreation events, it could also contain information on historical, cultural and other activities. 

“Once it’s set up, it could be done (accessed) fairly easily by the public,” he said.

City Engineer Kevin Farrington said the Saranac River Trail Greenway Extension Committee, which combines members from the city and town of Plattsburgh, as well as the towns of Schuyler Falls and Saranac and the hamlet of Morrisonville, is an example of collaborative efforts to better a community. That spirit of collaboration also provides a means to better leverage funding opportunities, he said.

The city will soon host the State Department of Transportation for a presentation on the next round of funding for bicycle and pedestrian improvements in roadway projects, which could provide another opportunity to work together.

SHARING ROADWORK

City Public Works Superintendent Mike Brodi said he and the Town Highway Department members discussed issues during the workshop such as sharing plowing areas and road sweeping. The departments, and most of those throughout the county, do a good job of sharing equipment during emergencies, such as breakdowns, he said.

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