SARANAC LAKE — The Village of Saranac Lake will take another step toward center city rebirth as the Downtown Revitalization Initiative Local Planning Committee meets on Thursday, Nov. 8.

Set for 1 to 3 p.m. at the Harrietstown Town Hall Auditorium, 39 Main St. and also including the village's state partners, the session will be followed by an opportunity for public comment.

Saranac Lake was recently awarded $10 million in state dollars to revitalize its downtown; the City of Plattsburgh is participating in the same program.

Nominated by the state’s 10 Regional Economic Development Councils based on the downtown’s potential for transformation, each community is to develop a downtown strategic investment plan and implement key catalytic projects that advance its vision for revitalization, a press release said. 




The deadline for Saranac Lake project proposals was Nov. 2; that open call began in February.

The Planning Committee and a consultant team led by MJ Engineering and Land Surveying P.C., will evaluate the proposals to identify the best projects to tackle.

Local and regional leaders, stakeholders and community representatives serve on the committee, which is co-chaired by Mayor Clyde Rabideau and Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism CEO James McKenna.

The village also solicited private proposals for possible grant assistance before it applied for the DRI, and dozens were submitted, according to a story in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise.

After reviewing those ideas, village staff opted to focus on three main areas of downtown: Church Street between Main Street and Bloomingdale Avenue, the area around Union Depot and upper Broadway, and the environs of the Dorsey Street parking lot, including the River Walk and the backs of Main Street buildings.

The final decision on the focus areas has not yet been made.



Planning Committee members will attend a variety of meetings where they will brainstorm ideas, provide direction to consultants, review planning products and prioritize actions. 

The Consultant Team assisting in developing the DRI strategic investment plan is led by M.J. Engineering and Land Surveying P.C.  of Clifton Park and includes Environmental Design & Research; Landscape Architecture; Engineering & Environmental Services D.P.C.; Labella Associates; CLA SITE Landscape Architecture; Engineering & Planning P.C.; Lacey Thaler Reilly Wilson; E.M. Pemrick and Company; and Trophy Point, LLC. 

A key component of the DRI process is public engagement, the release said.

"The objective of public engagement is to ensure that all stakeholders have ample opportunity to know and understand the DRI process and its intended outcomes; to comment on the study as it progresses; to express their concerns and contribute ideas; and to participate in building a consensus about the vision for the Downtown and other outcomes, culminating in a locally supported DRI Strategic Investment Plan."

The first round of public engagement activities is set for Thursday, Nov. 15, and Friday, Nov. 16, with further details to come.

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