July 18, 2013

Downtown Association explores official status

PLATTSBURGH — The newly revived Plattsburgh Downtown Visitors Association is exploring methods to become an official nonprofit entity.

City Attorney John Clute spoke to the group this week about membership in the Lake City Local Development Corp., which has existed since 1996.

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He said it is a small organization, but it does have an existing nonprofit corporate structure.

“I believe we have the resources that can help a group such as this,” he said.

That would include the ability to seek grant funding.

Clute said the business group should define its goals. Membership in the LDC could even result in a transformation of that city corporation, he said.

“It is something that has tremendous potential.”

The association members in attendance agreed to seek LDC membership as a group.

Champlain Wine Company co-owner Colin Read said that doesn’t preclude individual members from joining the LDC. He also said he doesn’t want that membership to result in a loss of the association’s intended purpose.

Read said they can use the LDC as their nonprofit entity and still have their own organization.


The First Weekend series, with live street musicians and special offers at downtown businesses, is proving to be a success, Read said. 

“The primary thing we want to focus on is getting people downtown.”

The next events are Aug. 2 and 3 and Sept. 6 and 7, the latter coming a week before the Battle of Plattsburgh commemoration.

Tim McCormick of McCormick and Deon said they are spread thin as far as available musicians. Mary Gillen of Paychex suggested seeking jugglers, holding treasure hunts or finding groups interested in “flash mob”-type activities.

Joe Kovacs, owner of Smooth Moves on Broad Street and Mini Moves on City Hall Place, said an employee at his smaller store reported triple the usual sales on July 6, during the second First Weekend.

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