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Economic plan for Adirondacks to be unveiled

Tuesday, June 10, 2014 - Updated: 8:05 AM


Express News Staff

INDIAN LAKE -- An economic development strategy for Adirondack Park communities will be released in July.

Indian Lake Theater hosted a meeting Thursday, June 6, to explain what the Adirondack Economic Development Strategy and Plan to Advance Key Projects is and how it fits with other efforts in the works to help bolster the economy in Hamilton and other Adirondack counties.

In a nutshell, Adirondack Strategies is a streamlined approach to developing a strategic economic plan for Adirondack Park communities. The focus is on getting real projects planned, designed and working.

The meeting marked the second time in two days the theater was used to discuss economic issues. The first came just the day before, when the North Country Regional Economic Development Council talked about what needs to be done by those seeking grants from the state when filing Consolidated Funding Applications, due by June 16.

Adirondack Strategies is led by Hamilton County through the Adirondack Partnership.

The lead consultant for the Adirondack Strategies team chosen by the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors is River Street Planning & Development in Troy and Utica. Its principal, Margaret Irwin, is project manager.

River Street has worked successfully in the Adirondacks with Central Adirondack Partnership for the 21st Century, Adirondack North Country Association and other organizations on a variety of projects including regional housing and revitalization strategies, community development, comprehensive plans and zoning updates.

The Adirondack Community Housing Trust is the project administrator.


Irwin did most of the talking, with some assistance from Board of Supervisors Chairman William Farber. About 20 people attended the event.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is funding the Adirondack Strategies project, Irwin explained, with a $123,000 grant.

This money will be used to develop an economic profile, evaluate existing plans and studies, industry cluster and stakeholder evaluations, drafting a final strategy, integrating it with North Country RED-C plans and identifying key projects.

Funding also comes from NYS Department of State Division of Coastal Resources, with a grant for $250,000.

This money is being used to review existing studies and plans, identify ranking criteria, seek input from communities and organizations, prioritize projects, help create a pool of funding to advance key projects, provide technical assistance members, and monitor project impact and performance.


Part of this initiative involves identifying key projects. This process focuses on regional, multi-municipal or community revitalization and quality of life issues.

Projects that are identified or monitored have the potential to receive technical assistance for research, planning, report preparation and design.

Irwin said she has evaluated over 100 different economic development plans over the years and her job is to tie all the plans together into one updated, coherent plan. She intends to present the plan at the 2014 Common Ground Alliance Forum Wednesday, July 16, in Long Lake.

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