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July 22, 2013

Economic Development Strategic Plan unveiled

PLATTSBURGH — The Town of Plattsburgh has a new Economic Development Strategic Plan.

“This began a couple years ago with my concern that I didn’t want us to be waiting passively for businesses to find us,” Plattsburgh Town Supervisor Bernie Bassett said.

The plan, 75 pages in length, concludes with a number of economic development goals and action priorities.

EXPAND TAX BASE

One is to develop a business-friendly environment to expand the town’s tax base and provide residents with a wide range of business, employment and career opportunities.

Priorities include” improvement of the town’s present and future commercial corridors, with emphasis on Route 3, Tom Miller Road and Rugar Street; development of the former Clinton County Airport; expansion of available quality housing; and provision of assistance to existing and new businesses.

INFRASTRUCTURE

A second is to continue to upgrade and update the town’s infrastructure. Priorities in that regard include: creation of a five-year capital-improvement plan to identify required improvements and development of a funding strategy; support broadband and cellphone-service improvements; expansion of natural gas service; and continued focus on complete streets and healthy-living initiatives.

Bassett said the town has long realized the importance of infrastructure improvements in attracting businesses.

“It (infrastructure) doesn’t fix itself,” he said.

TOURISM

Another goal is to promote tourism as an economic engine. Priorities for that include: continued improvements to the town’s recreation program; support of regional branding initiatives such as the Adirondack Coast; marketing Plattsburgh as a tourist destination; and continued support of the economic impact of Canadian visitors.

WORKFORCE

Workforce development was identified as another goal.

That could be achieved through increased cooperative efforts among schools, industries, businesses and community organizations to create a more modern workforce and provide workers and students with the skills to attain local employment.

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