PLATTSBURGH — A City of Plattsburgh survey asking for marketing, signage and branding feedback is in its final days.
The city, as part of the $10 million state-funded Downtown Revitalization Initiative, has $250,000 to spend on those efforts.
Local residents, property and business owners were all invited to answer questions, share preferences and offer feedback for the project via a survey that opened on Wednesday, May 29.
The survey will close Wednesday, June 12, and as of Friday morning, Boire Benner Group sub-contractor Amy Bonn said, the survey had upwards of 140 responses.
"We want your ideas," Bonn said.
"It's really our opportunity to say, 'What do you love about your community? What do you want to highlight? It's being viewed and it's being listened to seriously."
The survey can be accessed via the city's Facebook page, as well as at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PlattsburghMarketing.
The Marketing, Signage and Branding DRI project is intended create a cohesive marketing strategy throughout the downtown corridor, Community Engagement Coordinator Scott Matthews had said.
"Targeted downtown marketing will include the development of an online interactive map and seasonal/event-based banners to strengthen downtown Plattsburgh's identity and visibility," Matthews said.
"Improved wayfinding and signage will involve logo designs, historical and arts installations and gateway signage to draw attention to historic and cultural assets, as well as amenities."
At Thursday night's Governance, Strategy & City Operations Committee meeting, Director of Community Development Matthew Miller said banners are at the top of the Marketing, Signage and Branding project's list.
One survey question asks respondents to select one of two banner categories: Historical vs. Photography.
Based on the images provided, the former would use historical images and drawings to capitalize on the city's past, while the latter would incorporate more modern, current city images.
The banners would be hung on light poles throughout the corridor and their featured images would vary based on placement, the survey explains.
For example, it says, "a book near the library, a singer near the Strand."
Input on notable places and people, as well as historical highlights, are sought after, too.
ON THE SURVEY
Other survey questions ask respondents to rank the city's greatest assets and to describe the municipality using three adjectives.
"The city will use different signage and public art, including sculptures, to direct people from the marina to downtown, up to the Strand and around the riverfront," one question says.
"The Marketing Committee for this project proposes a few possible images that could be creatively used to lead people on their way — this idea is similar to the statues used in other communities such as horses in Saratoga, buffalos in Buffalo and Burlington's cows."
Those who answer are asked to rank three choices: fish (salmon), rocks and sailboats/boats.
Bonn said she has worked on a number of community surveys for the city and beyond.
So far, the Marketing, Signage and Branding survey's rate of responses have followed patterns, making it a valid sampling, Bonn said.
Once complete, Bonn will create a mini-report summary to be made open to the public and shared with the project's local advisory committee and other DRI developers.
From there, survey responses and themes will be analyzed by key stakeholders to determine their alignment with the DRI project or any future grant opportunities, Bonn said.
But some recurring survey suggestions, she said, are outside of this project's purview, like fixing potholes and diversifying downtown shopping.
"The City of Plattsburgh has been really fortunate to receive some really wonderful grant opportunities," Bonn said.
"With those grant opportunities comes specific guidelines for how the funding can be used. It's a clearly delineated plan."
Still, she added, the city is paying attention to the survey's responses.
"It's just setting people's expectations that this is the specific way that this funding was allocated and we have to follow those guidelines."
The survey has also revealed a buzzword: Potential.
That word has come up as a city descriptor in the multiple-choice questions, as well as the open-ended response questions, Bonn said.
"It's striking to see, but it's great," she said.
"It's a lot of optimism about how downtown can be and an acknowledgement of what we already have."
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