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Saranac Lake will hold open house for public DRI projects

This map shows the public-sector projects in downtown Saranac Lake to be funded by the state Downtown Revitalization Initiative. (Image provided by the village of Saranac Lake)

SARANAC LAKE — The village of Saranac Lake will host an open house next week for the public-sector projects funded through the state Downtown Revitalization Initiative.

The open house will take place Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. in the auditorium of the Harrietstown Town Hall, 39 Main St. People will be able to see draft designs for seven projects throughout the downtown area and provide feedback that will help shape the final designs. Village staff, project advisory committee members and consultant team members will be on hand to discuss the project designs and answer questions. No formal presentation is planned, and attendees can drop in at any time during the event.

The village asks people to enter the auditorium through the rear entrance off of the Dorsey Street parking lot. A handicap-accessible entrance is located at the rear of the auditorium on the Route 3 (south) side of the building. Social distancing guidelines and mask wearing will be required.

The public projects that were awarded DRI funding include Berkeley Green, Ward Plumadore Park, William Morris Park, Woodruff Street Streetscape, Church Street Streetscape, River Walk Extension, and Main and Broadway Urban Forestry. Installation demos will be set up in the parks as a way to show where some of the improvements are proposed. Stakes and flags will be placed within the project sites to show the location of the key changes. The demonstrations will be set up by noon on Thursday and will remain in place through noon on Friday, May 21. The public is encouraged to visit the project sites and provide feedback at the open house event or via an online survey. All of the information presented during the open house will be available on the village website no later than Thursday, along with a survey for providing feedback (see saranaclakeny.gov, Projects, Downtown Revitalization Initiative).

The Consultant Team selected to complete the DRI project designs and oversee construction for the public projects is being led by Environmental Design and Research. Design work is scheduled for completion by the end of this year with two phases of construction planned in 2022 and 2023. Funding for the projects is provided by the state Department of State under the DRI.

Participating communities are nominated by the state’s 10 Regional Economic Development Councils based on the downtown’s potential for transformation, and each community is awarded $10 million to develop a downtown strategic investment plan and implement key catalytic projects that advance the community’s vision for revitalization. The village of Saranac Lake was selected as the North Country DRI community in Round 3 in 2018, and the final list of the village’s DRI projects was approved in 2019. Many of those projects are private-sector; those will not be part of Thursday’s open house.

More information about the DRI can be found at www.ny.gov/dri www.ny.gov/dri or on the village website under Projects, Downtown Revitalization Initiative.

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