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Revitalization plan is ready for action

Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - Updated: 10:59 AM

By CRISTINE MEIXNER

Editor

SPECULATOR - The final Speculator & Lake Pleasant Revitalization Plan was presented to about 60 people Wednesday, June 12, at Lake Pleasant Central School.

The high points the Revitalization Committee has deemed would make the village more enticing to visitors are adding a sidewalk to the west side of Rt. 8/30, lowering the speed limit around The Four Corners (the intersection of state routes 8 and 30 and Elm Lake Road) to 30 mph, better lighting and new, coordinated, "brand" signage.

The plan also calls for removing the bump-outs on Rt. 8/30. They have not slowed traffic and force bicyclists into travel lanes to get around them.

Town of Lake Pleasant Supervisor Neil McGovern, who gave the presentation, said, "Attractive walks are a big, big part of what we're looking for. We have an eminently walkable main street if we make some changes.

"The bump-outs have proven ineffective in slowing traffic, and slowing traffic is key to a walkable, shopable main street."

"One of the more wonderful ideas," McGovern said, "is a pedestrian bridge over the outlet to the beach, with a meandering path to the crosswalk across Rt. 30 to the pavilion."

McGovern noted, "We're not married to any one priority list, because it depends on what you can get funding for.

"The only way this community could afford some of the larger items in a 50-50 match would be if our share could be in-kind. If it takes time it takes time."

PROMOTION TOO

The plan also outlines a two-pronged strategy for attracting visitors and their wallets: a Speculator / Lake Pleasant Economic Development Group that would be the clearinghouse for new, well-planned, sustainable events; and event committees that each handles just one event a year.

"Karen McComb is a good example," McGovern said. "She chairs the Fourth of July Committee, and as soon as it is over she is working on the next year.

"We want to identify four or five seminal events with which Speculator will be identified and get someone to do only that one event." For example, he said, Queensbury is known for its hot air balloons, Saranac Lake for its ice palace and Lake George for parasailing.

EVENT IDEAS

The committee has identified several types of events that could be big draws, McGovern said: adventure and outdoor sports, history (building on Aaron Weaver's Civil War reenactment) and an improved FebFest.

"Ideas include reviving the seaplane seminar, which stopped because the Federal Aviation Administration would no longer pay for the instructors; one big, cool race using the lake and trails systems, Don Leadley's idea years ago which I think still has legs; and a county fair done in more than one venue with the last few days at the county seat in Lake Pleasant," McGovern said.

The ideas don't have to stop coming, he added.

"The Economic Development Group will support the events, both new and existing," McGovern said, "and be able to round up volunteers for day-of for each streamlined committee that works on an event year-round."

"We now have a plan," he said. "Now we need volunteers to implement it. You need energy, most importantly from the community. If we finish the plan and we don't implement it, it isn't a plan, so we start implementation tonight."

Go to slphamletplan.com on the web for details.

     

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