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Tupper Lake DRI Planning Committee holds second meeting to outline project goals and strategies

Village of Tupper Lake municipal offices
Village of Tupper Lake
Village of Tupper Lake municipal offices

The village of Tupper Lake is holding its first public workshop following its receipt of a $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant from New York state. The Local Planning Committee has been holding meetings to outline the process moving forward. The latest, held earlier this month, reviewed the schedule for the overall DRI effort and discussed goals and strategies.

Project consultants coordinated the virtual meeting with the 13-member local committee and state partners. Tupper Lake Mayor Paul Maroun opened the session saying there is a lot of excitement and urged anyone with ideas to come forward or participate in the planning.

“I know this is time consuming but in a few months and down the road in a few years the people of Tupper Lake and the state and all of our participants are going to be proud of what we’re doing.”

MJ Engineering and Land Surveying Director of Planning Services and consultant team project manager Jaclyn Hakes provided a synopsis of milestones the committee must meet over the next few months.

“Our goals for this month are to prepare the draft downtown profiles. That’s essentially the existing conditions of your DRI study area and surrounding area. We are in the process of finalizing the public engagement plan and we did issue the call for projects. Coming up for next month, in April, we anticipate having preliminary project lists for the local planning committee to begin evaluating. We will be finalizing your downtown profile and we’ll be looking to discuss in more detail the strategies for your revitalization of your uptown area.”

This was the planning committee’s second meeting and it was reviewing the preliminary processes to move from the receipt of the grant to culmination of the project. Committee member and Adirondack Sky Center President Seth McGowan questioned language in the vision statement.

“How are we going to measure the success of phrases like ‘elevated quality of place’. Of course that’s something that we all want. But what exactly does that mean and how are we going to measure whether or not we’ve achieved that?”

“This is aspirational," Hakes explained. "What we are going to be talking about are how do we take a component of this and develop a targeted goal that can be achievable and then specific actions or strategies that can help get there. We will also be introducing the concept of evaluation criteria so the projects, the criteria for evaluation will be at least we strongly encourage it to be the alignment with the vision statement.”

To raise awareness about the DRI, MJ Engineering Senior Planner Sarah Starke Hesse explained that an online survey has been launched.

“This survey builds on some of the previous survey efforts that were already conducted during the development of the village’s DRI application. The questions are targeted toward understanding the community’s values for uptown which can help to inform the DRI vision, goals and strategies.”

The first public workshop on the DRI will be held virtually at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

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