MALONE - In the wake of lukewarm responses to the idea of a Franklin County planning department, the Adirondack North Country Association is offering its services as a planning consultant.
ANCA Executive Director Terry Martino and board member Jim Ellis, along with economic development specialist Carmen Lorentz from Camoin Associates, pitched the idea of a smaller-scale planning effort to the Franklin County Legislature at its Thursday meeting.
Ellis said it might make more sense for the county to try contracting out the work to ANCA for a few years, rather than spend a lot of money and use a floor of a government building for a planning department like surrounding counties do, he said.
Then, if county officials aren't satisfied after two or three years, they could look to other planning options.
Franklin County is one of two counties in the state that do not have a county-level planning agency, Ellis said.
The ANCA representatives highlighted the fact that the county has towns and villages both in and out of the Blue Line, which can lead to unfocused growth efforts.
"The more we unite ourselves, the greater is going to be our impact," said Ellis.
They said a county-level planning agency would go a long way in organizing and focusing the growth in the county.
The organization has already worked on growth plans in Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake and Malone.
"What's happening to us is that so many things are exploding that we need to keep track of them," Ellis said.
"Perhaps a consultant is the way to go," said county Legislator Daniel Crippen, D-Burke.
Crippen said ANCA will be included on roundtable discussions that are in the works to discuss planning efforts.